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Professor Paul Tacon


Paul Tacon

ARC Laureate Fellow
Griffith Centre for Social Cultural Research
+61 (0)7 5552 9074 (Work)
G06 2.19E, Gold Coast Campus

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Prof Paul S.C. Tacon FAHA FSA is an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow (2016-2021), Chair in Rock Art Research and Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. He also directs Griffith University's Place, Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit (PERAHU) and leads research themes in the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research and Griffith's Research Centre of Human Evolution. He has conducted archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork since 1980 and has over 90 months field experience in remote parts of Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, southern Africa, Thailand, the Philippines and the USA. Prof Tacon co-edited The Archaeology of Rock-art with Dr Christopher Chippindale and has published over 275 academic and popular papers on rock art, material culture, colour, cultural evolution and identity. He has made key archaeological discoveries in western Arnhem Land (NT) and Wollemi National Park (NSW) that have been published in journals and also have made world headlines. In 2015, he co-authored a book that outlines a new strategy for the conservation of world rock art and in late 2016 an edited book with Liam Brady, Relating to rock art in the contemporary world: navigating symbolism, meaning and significance (University Press of Colorado). In 2017 he co-edited a major volume on the archaeology of Arnhem Land rock art. In December 2016 Prof Taçon was awarded the top award at the annual Australian Archaeological Association conference, the Rhys Jones Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Archaeology. He also received the 2016 Griffith University Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award for Research Leadership.


  • Member
    Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research2016


  • Master of Arts
    Trent University
  • Bachelor Of Arts With Honours
    University of Waterloo
  • PhD
    Australian National University, Australia