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The Raja Ampat Archaeological Project

is an international collaboration between researchers at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and Universitas Gadjah Mada and the National Research and Innovation Agency in Indonesia. Our collaborators are based within Papua and internationally in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom,  Europe, the United States, and Southeast Asia.


The research is currently funded by:

  • National Geographic Meridian Grant

  • British Academy Small Grant

  • Boise Trust, University of Oxford


Previous field seasons have been funded by:

  • National Geographic Early Career Grant

  • The Leakey Foundation Research Grant

  • The Royal Anthropological Institute Horniman and Sutasoma Awards

  • The Evans Fund, University of Cambridge

  • Magdalene College, Cambridge

  • The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,  Cambridge

  • Natural Environment Research Council radiocarbon dating funding

  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation radiocarbon dating funding

  • Gates Cambridge



Dylan Gaffney

Dylan is Associate Professor of Palaeolithic Archaeology at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford and co-director of the Raja Ampat Archaeological Project. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, an MA from the University of Otago in New Zealand, and was previously Research Coordinator at Southern Pacific Archaeological Research. Dylan's previous research has focussed on the archaeology of migration, trade and exchange, and social transformations in Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.


Daud Tanudirjo

Daud is Professor of Archaeology at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He co-directs the Raja Ampat Archaeological Project and has worked extensively around eastern Indonesia, in particular in Sulawesi, Maluku, and Talaud. Daud holds a PhD and MA in Archaeology from the Australian National University and has a leading role in major cultural heritage sites across Java. Daud’s work focusses on archaeological theory and cultural heritage values in Indonesia, along with the early colonisation of eastern Indonesian islands.

Erlin Novita Idje Djami

Erlin is a senior archaeologist at BRIN in Jayapura. She is a key collaborator on the project and has worked extensively around Papua. She holds an MA in anthropology from Cenderawasih University and a BA in archaeology from Gadjah Mada University. Her research focuses on the sites of early Austronesian speaking pottery makers around the north coast of Papua, and megalithic archaeology.


Tristan Russell

Tristan is a researcher at Southern Pacific Archaeological Research in New Zealand. A keen photographer, Tristan is responsible for many of the photographs and drone footage presented on this website. He also brings his wide range of fieldwork experience to the project having excavated in the Chatham Islands, Cambodia, Guatemala, and throughout New Zealand. Tristan holds a BA Hons and MA from the University of Otago with a focus on archaeozoology.

Abdul Razak Matcao

Abdul is a social anthropologist based at the Regional Centre for Cultural Conservation in Manokwari. He holds an S Soc. from Cenderawasih University. Being born and raised on Misool Island, the southernmost of the Raja Ampat group, Abdul is an expert on the society and culture of the Raja Ampat peoples. He has worked widely around the island group, along with other areas of West Papua and Papua.




Yulio Ray

Recently graduated, Yulio Ray was an archaeology student at Gadjah Mada University, studying bone taphonomy from cave sites in central Indonesia to determine different periods of natural and cultural deposition. He has completed a number of excavations and surveys at temple sites around Java and at prehistoric sites around Timor, Nusa Tenggara, and now on Waigeo.


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