• The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway, 1.21 Old Economics Building

    6009 Perth


  • 168 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
1994 …2021
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Personal profile


I am an archaeologist who specialises in rock art, graffiti, heritage politics, Indigenous knowledge, intellectual property issues, landscape, creolisation & cross-cultural contact, monuments, origins, and understandings of time. In terms of intellectual arc, I studied for my BA and BA Honours at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (1988-1992). I then worked as the Head of the Rock Art Department at National Museum in Bloemfontein (1994-2002) before reading for an MA and PhD at UC Berkeley in California (2002-2006; PhD conferred 2008). While studying there I also taught Ancient African History at San Quentin Prison outside San Francisco. I returned to South Africa as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Anthropology & Archaeology (2006-2011) before becoming Curator of Archaeology at Iziko South African Museum (2011-2013). On 1 July 2013 I joined the Centre for Rock Art Research + Management at the University of Western Australia as a Kimberley Rock Art Research Fellow and has been Discipline Chair of Archaeology (2016-2018) amd co-ordinates the Archaeology Majpor and the Honours programme.

I have directed research in Australia, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, documenting over 2500 rock art sites and producing 234 site reports and conducting 7 excavations. I have produced 31 academic & 83 other publications; established 6 rock art and heritage site museums; curated 8 exhibitions and trained 53 people.

Previous positions

2011-2013: Curator: Archaeology, Iziko South African Museum
2006-2011: Senior Lecturer, Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
1994-2002: Head: Rock Art Department, National Museum, South Africa

Current projects

* Kimberley Visions: Rock Art Style Provinces of North Australia. 2015-2019. ARC Linkage Project.

* Dating the Aboriginal rock art sequence of the Kimberley in north west Australia. ARC Linkage Project 170100155. * An Archaeology of Origins in Australia

* Rock Markings of the Kimberley

* Human - stone relationships

Future research

* An archaeology of prints and pathways

* An archaeology of graffiti and homelessness

* Pseudo-Archaeology

* Rock art dating and pigment analysis

* South-South knowledge encounters and responses to colonialism

Funding overview


1. 2015-2020 - Kimberley Visions: Rock Art Style Provinces of North Australia. ARC Linkage Project 150100490.   $865,905 in direct funding.

2. 2017-2020 - Dating the Aboriginal rock art sequence of the Kimberley in north west Australia. ARC Linkage Project 170100155.  $880,000 in direct funding.


51 awards including National Research Foundation (1995-2000, 2005, 2009, 2012-2015), Australian Museum Fellowship (1996 & 2000), Fulbright Amy Biehl Prize (2002); Wenner-Gren Foundation (2003, 2006, 2008), UC Berkeley (2002-2008)

Teaching overview

Developed 25 and taught 329 courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level in Australia, South Africa and the USA, including:

* 2005-2006 Ancient African History, San Quentin, USA

* 2006-2011 A history in stone and paint - introduction to Archaeology. University of Pretoria (1st year)

* 2006-2011 Waiting for the Barbarians: Archaeo-Tourism. University of Pretoria (1st year)

* 2006-2011 Public Archaeology. University of Pretoria (2nd year)

* 2006-2011 Archaeologies of Archive, University of Pretoria (3rd year)

* 2006-2011 Indigenous Africa: The Archaeology of Identity, University of Pretoria (Honours)

* 2013-present Archaeology A, B, 14C, UWA

* 2013-present Great Discoveries in Global Archaeology, UWA

* 2013-present Archaeology of Death, UWA

* 2013-present Australian Archaeology, UWA

* 2013-present Archaeological Field Skills, UWA

* 2013-present Archaeological Lab Skills, UWA

* 2013-present Experimenting with Archaeology, UWA

* 2013-present Archaeological Theory, UWA

* 2013-present Archaeologists in Action, UWA

Industrial relevance

* Provide expert opinion on impacts of development on rock art
* Provide expert opinion on curation of archaeological material impacted by development

Roles and responsibilities

* Administrator
* Advocacy
* Lecturer
* Public Outreach
* Researcher


Rock Art
Rock Art and Community in the Kimberley
Indigenous Intellectual Property and Rights
Museums and Archives
Vision and the non-visual


* English
* Afrikaans

External positions

Research Associate, Iziko South African Museum

31 Jan 2016 → …

Research Associate, University of South Africa

1 Dec 2014 → …


  • Archaeology
  • Rock Art
  • Heritage
  • Grafitti
  • Aboriginal Heritage
  • African rock art
  • Australian rock art; especially the Kimberley
  • Archaeological theory
  • Archaeology and identity
  • Graffiti
  • Heritage studies
  • Human interactions with stone
  • Indigenous intellectual property and modern uses of heritage
  • Museums and public archaeology
  • Prison education
  • Rock art

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 8 Similar Profiles
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2015 2021

Research Output 1994 2018

4 Citations

Plants before farming: The deep history of plant-use and representation in the rock art of Australia's Kimberley region

Veth, P., Myers, C., Heaney, P. & Ouzman, S., 30 Sep 2018, In : Quaternary International. 489, p. 26-45 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

rock art
material culture
indigenous population
3 Citations

Mineral deposition systems at rock art sites, Kimberley, Northern Australia — Field observations

Green, H., Gleadow, A., Finch, D., Hergt, J. & Ouzman, S., 1 Aug 2017, In : Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 14, p. 340-352 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rock Art
Northern Australia

Plants before animals? Aboriginal rock art as evidence of ecoscaping in Australia’s Kimberley

Ouzman, S., Veth, P., Myers, C., Heaney, P. & Kenneally, K., 1 Nov 2017, The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Rock Art. David, B. & McNiven, I. (eds.). Oxford University Press, 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

rock art