Staff profile

Dr Peter Davies

Research Assistant

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce
Humanities and Social Sciences
Department of Archaeology and History

Martin Building 165, Melbourne (Bundoora)


BA (Hons-Melbourne), MA (Melbourne), PhD (La Trobe).

Area of study


Brief profile

Peter Davies works in numerous areas of Australian historical archaeology. His recent projects include:

  • An Archaeology of Institutional Confinement: the Hyde Park Barracks 1848-1886, an ARC Linkage Project (2008-2011) with Prof Tim Murray and the Historic Houses Trust of NSW
  • Publication (with A/Prof Susan Lawrence) of a major new synthesis of Australia historical archaeology, An Archaeology of Australia Since 1788 (Springer, 2011)
  • ‘Cultural Landscapes of Colonial Water Management in Victoria’s Central Highlands’ an ARC Discovery Project (2011-2015) with A/Prof Susan Lawrence.
  • co-editor of Australasian Historical Archaeology

Research interests

Historical Archaeology

- Historical Archaeology

- Industrial Archaeology

Recent publications


  • Davies, P, T Murray and P Crook 2013,  An Archaeology of Institutional Confinement: The Hyde Park Barracks, 1848-1886, Sydney University Press, Sydney.
  • Lawrence, S and Davies, P 2011, An Archaeology of Australia since 1788. Springer, New York.
  • Davies, P, S Lawrence and J Turnbull 2015, Water and Gold: Interpreting the Landscape of Creswick Creek, Messmate Press, Melbourne.
  • Davies, P 2006, Henry’s Mill: Historical Archaeology of a Forest Community, Studies in Contemporary and Historical Archaeology 2, Archaeopress, Oxford.


  • 2015, Cornish tin-streamers and the Australian gold rush: technology transfer in alluvial mining. Post-Medieval Archaeology 49(1):99-113 (with Susan Lawrence).
  • 2015,  Innovation, Adaptation and Technology as Habitus: The Origins of Alluvial Gold Mining Methods in Australia. Archaeology in Oceania 50:19-28(Festschrift for David Frankel; with Susan Lawrence).
  • 2015, ‘A Law Unto Herself’: Matron Hicks and the Hyde Park Destitute Asylum, Sydney, Australia. International Journal of Historical Archaeology (in press)
  • in press, Mercury use and loss from gold mining in 19th-century Victoria. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria (with Susan Lawrence and Jodi Turnbull).
  • in press, Historical maps, GIS and complex mining landscapes on the Victorian goldfields, Provenance (with Susan Lawrence and Jodi Turnbull).
  • 2014, Bitumen paper pipes and technology transfer on the Victorian goldfields. Journal of Australasian Mining History 12:45-58 (with Susan Lawrence).
  • 2014, Landscape Learning in Colonial Australia: Technologies of Water Management on the Central Highlands Goldfields of Victoria. In D. Frankel, S. Lawrence, J. M. Webb (eds), Archaeology in Environment and Technology: Intersections and Transformations, Routledge, London, pp. 149-163.
  • 2014, Adapting to a Dry Continent: Technology and Environment in Australian Industrial Archaeology. In J. Symonds and V.-P. Herva (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Historical Archaeology, Oxford University Press, Oxford (with Susan Lawrence)DOI:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199562350.013.11
  • 2014, The Sludge Question: The Regulation of Mine Tailings in Nineteenth-Century Victoria. Environment and History 20:385-410. (with Susan Lawrence).
  • 2014, A mere thread of land: water races, gold mining and water law in colonial Victoria, Journal of Australian Colonial History 16:168-187 (with Susan Lawrence).
  • 2013, Flows of water on a 19th-century Australian goldfield. Water History 5(3):331-347 (with Susan Lawrence).
  • 2013, The Garfield Water Wheel: Hydraulic Power on the Victorian Goldfields. Australasian Historical Archaeology31:25-32 (With Susan Lawrence).
  • 2013, Archaeology and Religion at the Hyde Park Barracks Destitute Asylum, Sydney, Historical Archaeology 47 (4):86-102.
  • 2013, Clothing and textiles at the Hyde Park Barracks Destitute Asylum, Sydney, Australia, Post-Medieval Archaeology 47 (1):1-16.
  • 2013, Early Zooarchaeological Evidence for Mus musculus in Australia. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 23 (1):106-111 (with Jillian Garvey).
  • 2012, Learning About Landscape: Archaeology of Water Management in Colonial Victoria, Australian Archaeology 74:47-54 (with Susan Lawrence).
  • 2011, Harvesting Water on a Victorian Colonial Goldfield, Australasian Historical Archaeology 29:24-32.
  • 2011, Destitute women and smoking at the Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney, International Journal of Historical Archaeology 15 (1):82-101.
  • 2010, Women and work at the Hyde Park Barracks Destitute Asylum, Sydney, Australasian Historical Archaeology 28:13-23.
  • 2009, Natives and Newcomers in the Antipodes: Historical Archaeology in Australasia and New Zealand. In T. Majewski and D. Gaimster (eds) International Handbook of Historical Archaeology, Springer, New York, pp. 629-646 (with Susan Lawrence).
  • 2008 French Island Ruins: An archaeology of chicory production in Western Port, Victoria, The Artefact 31:4-13.
  • 2006, Mapping Commodities at Casselden Place, Melbourne, International Journal of Historical Archaeology 10 (4): 343-355.

Older publications


  • 2008, “A lonely, narrow valley”: Teaching at an Otways outpost’, Provenance 7 (
  • 2005, The Archaeology of Childhood: Toys from Henry’s Mill, The Artefact 28: 15-22 (with Adrienne Ellis).
  • 2005, Writing slates and schooling in Victoria, Australasian Historical Archaeology 23: 63-69
  • 2005, Space and Structure at an Australian forest sawmill, Historical Archaeology 39 (4): 51-64
  • 2003, The Gabo Island Jetty Shed, The Bulletin of the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology 27: 19-24 (with Susan Lawrence).
  • 2002, Melbourne, in C. E. Orser (ed), Encyclopedia of Historical Archaeology, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 349-50.
  • 2001, A Cure for All Seasons’: Health and Medicine in a Bush Community, Journal of Australia Studies 70:63-72.

Research projects

  • Cultural Landscapes of Colonial Water Management in Victoria’s Central Highlands (ARC Discovery with Assoc Prof Susan Lawrence) 2011-2015.
  • An Archaeology of Institutional Confinement: the Hyde Park Barracks 1848-1886 (ARC Linkage, with Prof Tim Murray and the Historic Houses Trust of NSW) 2008-2011.