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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.

Marlin Tolla

Marlin is a senior researcher in the Archaeometry division of BRIN, based in the Jayapura office. She holds a PhD from the Free University of Berlin, for which she examined human and animal isotopic signatures from archaeological sites. This research allowed Marlin to determine the diets and environmental settings of past human groups around coastal Papua. Born in Sorong, Marlin has excavated extensively in Papua, with ongoing field projects in Cenderawasih Bay.


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 Matcap

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.


Anna Florin

Anna is a Lecturer in Archaeological Science based at the Australian National University. She holds a BA Hons and PhD from the University of Queensland, having studied the plant collecting and processing behaviours of the earliest inhabitants of Australia. As an archaeobotanist, Anna is an expert in identifying plant food remains from archaeological sites. Her work with the Raja Ampat Archaeological Project has involved the recovery of charred plants dating to the Pleistocene and Holocene as well as ethnobotanical observations of modern gardening practices.  

Zubair Mas'ud

Zubair Mas'ud is an archaeologist, currently based in the Prehistoric and Historic Archaeology division at BRIN in Makassar. He holds a BA and MA, having studied in Sulawesi before moving to Jayapura to spend many years undertaking fieldwork with the Papuan Archaeology Centre. Zubair has undertaken several years of excavation in the Raja Ampat Islands and joined the Raja Ampat Archaeological Project in 2023. 


Erlin Novita Idje Djami

Erlin is a senior archaeologist at BRIN in Jayapura 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. Erlin undertook excavation with the Raja Ampat Archaeological Project in 2018–2019.


Thomas Prince

Thomas is an archaeology student at the University of Cambridge, specialising in Palaeolithic archaeology and human evolution. Thomas has excavated at several important Pleistocene sites in Britain, Spain, and Israel. He joined the Raja Ampat Archaeological Project in 2023 excavating at Mololo Cave.


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 joined the Raja Ampat Archaeological Project on Waigeo in 2019.


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