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Research Biography

Dr Ania Kotarba is a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at Flinders University. She was born in Krakow, Poland where she was educated in Archaeology, Ancient History, Anthropology and Comparative Religion Studies at the medieval Jagiellonian University. In 2009 she obtained her MPhil there on the relationships between Cyprus, Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean in the Iron Age. Whilst pursuing her undergraduate degree she sojourned to the University of Warsaw and later spent a year of her Masters programme as an ERASMUS student at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece where she extended her portfolio to Ancient Art History.

Ania holds a PhD (DPhil) degree from the Oxford University in the UK where she was based at the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology (OCMA) in the School of Archaeology. Her PhD research used tools such as geoarchaeology, geophysics, maritime archaeology, historical archives, spatial analysis and sedimentological techniques with an aim to explore major ancient ports of trade with a case study site of Berenike Troglodytica on the Red Sea coast of Egypt and associated infilled harbour basins around the coasts of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The results of this thesis lead to a better understanding of human adaptations to and interaction with the natural environment of the Red Sea (including sea level change in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods) and to elucidate mechanisms of far-distance maritime trade in the Early Historic (Pre -Islamic) period within the wider Mediterranean-Indian Ocean protoglobalised world. Expanded and updated version of this research is forthcoming as a monograph in BAR Publishing. 

Dr Kotarba has previously held a post of a Lecturer in Archaeology and Ancient History at Macquarie University, Sydney and a Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Wollongong. Before taking up a Lectureship at Flinders she was a Visiting Professor at Universita Roma II Tor Vergata in Italy.

Ania is an experienced Field and Underwater Archaeologist (Research and Consultancy), Geoarchaeologist, Site Director and Heritage and Museums Consultant with experience working in almost 30 countries. Her extensive archaeological and heritage experience has been gained on sites in the Near and Middle East: Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, U.A.E., Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Turkey; in South Asia: India and Bangladesh; in Africa: Sudan, Kenya, mainland Tanzania, Mafia Archipelago, Zanzibar archipelago, Madagascar, Lesotho; in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea: Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Ukraine; on numerous sites in the Northern and Western Europe including Belgium, UK and Poland; and recently in the pacific Region including in Australia, and the Republic of Kiribati, Micronesia, Remote Oceania.

Ania has published widely in the areas of Archaeological science and Maritime Archaeology, Landscape Archaeology, Middle Eastern and Egyptian archaeology, East African archaeology, Classics, and Pacific archaeology. Whilst continuing with her usual (wide) research directions she is also currently working on new research in the fields of museums and heritage as well as sustainability and climate change. 

She is leading a number of research programmes in Australia and the Pacific including 'Keeping your Heritage above water. How to protect vulnerable Sea Country and Coastal Indigenous Cultural Heritage' working with Gumurru Marthakal Rangers, 'Diving into the Desert: A pilot study mapping sophisticated submerged Indigenous water management infrastructure and practices on Mithaka Channel Country' working with Mithaka Aboriginal Cooperation and University of Queensland, and 'Sustainable Past of Maritime Kiribati' along with the University of South Pacific.

She is a CI on an ARC grant 'Slow digitisation, community heritage and the objects of Martindale Hall (SR200200900).' Ania is also lead academic on an New Colombo Mobility Scheme for an anthropological and archaeological fieldschool in the Indian Himalaya: 'The Kullu-Spiti Himalayan Crossroads Field Programme'. Beyond that she participates, as a CI, in a few major research projects funded by the NCN including SONATINA 5: 'The pioneering exploration of the Puck Lagoon based on high-resolution airborne and acoustic remote sensing' and OPUS21: 'Seascape archaeology of the harbour of Constantinople at Küçükçekmece Lake basin – land and underwater surveys, communication and economical networks, mobility.'

Potential supervision areas include:

  • Cultural heritage protection, preservation and management - policy and practice
  • Cultural heritage at risk of conflict and natural disaster including Climate Change
  • Digital Heritage
  • Archaeological Science
  • Maritime Archaeology and Ancient Seafaring
  • Quaternary coastal changes
  • Ancient landscapes reconstruction, Geoarchaeology
  • Human adaptations to changing landscapes and environments
  • Rise of global economy, global acculturation and trade in the Middle East, Africa and South/Southeast Asia in the Early Historic period
  • Middle East, Egypt and Mediterranean from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity
  • Early Historic South Asian Archaeology
  • Micronesian Archaeology and Heritage
  • Iron Age to Early medieval East African Archaeology
  • Indigenous Archaeology
  • Experimental Archaeology  

Research Interests

  • Maritime Archaeoloy and ancient seafaring
  • Ancient and medieval ports of trade
  • Coastal and Landscape Archaeology
  • Human adaptations to chaning landscapes and environents
  • Rise of global economy and ancient globalisation
  • Archaeology and History of the Mediterranean and the Middle East from Bronze Age to early Medieval/Islamic period
  • Greco-Roman Egypt
  • Global aculturation and maritime exchange in the Indian Ocean with specific reference to the Middle East, East Africa, Southern Arabia and South Asia
  • Cultural Heritager management
  • Cultural Heritage protection and mitigation processes
  • UNESCO World Heritage
  • Digital Heritage
  • Underwater and terrestrial International Cultural Heritage legislation
  • Illicit trade of Antiquities


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