Dr Judith Heather Field
Honorary Associate Professor

Dr Judith Heather Field

BA (Syd) 1991

B App Sci Honours (UNSW) 1992

PhD UNSW 1996

Science
School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences

I came to archaeology as a second career and completed my undergraduate degree in Archaeology and Botany at the University of Sydney with postgraduate studies at UNSW.  My early research focussed on the extinction of the Australian megafauna and associated palaeoenvironmental studies.  More recently I have been investigating the role of plants in the dispersal of people across Sahul particularly looking at the starchy economic plants as use-related residues on stone tools. The study of starch microfossils is an emerging and exciting new discipline in archaeology and has the potential to identify the specific plants people were exploiting 10s of thousands of years ago.  Since 2009 I have been working in New Guinea with Professor Glenn Summerhayes from the University of Otago examining the function of stone artefacts and investigating how access to starchy plants may have influenced the movement of people around the landscape; and with Professor Richard Cosgrove (LTU) on the use of starchy plants in prehistory.

I was President of the Australian Archaeological Association from 2004-2005.

Location
Samuels Level 1 Room 108
  • Book Chapters | 2020
    Martinetto E; Bertini A; Bhandari S; Bruch AA; Cerilli E; Cherin M; Field JH; Gabrielyan I; Gianotti F; Kern AK; Kienast F; Lindsey EL; Momohara A; Ravazzi C; Thomas ER, 2020, 'The Last Three Millions of Unequal Spring Thaws', in Springer Textbooks in Earth Sciences, Geography and Environment, Springer International Publishing, pp. 1 - 53, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35058-1_1
    Book Chapters | 2018
    Coster ACF; Field JH, 2018, 'The Shape of Things to Come—Using Geometric and Morphometric Analyses to Identify Archaeological Starch Grains', in Agriculture as a Metaphor for Creativity in All Human Endeavors, Springer Singapore, pp. 1 - 6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-7811-8_1
    Book Chapters | 2008
    Field J, 2008, 'Starch grain analysis', in Encyclopedia of Archaeology, pp. 2078 - 2082, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-012373962-9.00297-1
    Book Chapters | 2008
    Field J, 2008, 'Oceania: Australia', in Encyclopedia of Archaeology, pp. 1699 - 1711, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-012373962-9.00030-3
    Book Chapters | 2008
    Field J; Privat K, 2008, 'Blood residue analysis', in Encyclopedia of Archaeology, pp. 927 - 931, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-012373962-9.00035-2
    Book Chapters | 2007
    Field JH, 2007, 'Analysis of Botanical Remains: Starch Grain Analysis', in Pearsall D (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Archaeology, Elsevier, Oxford, pp. 2078 - 2082
    Book Chapters | 2004
    Field JH, 2004, 'The archaeology of Late Pleistocene faunal extinctions in Australia: a view from Cuddie Springs.', in Murray T (ed.), Archaeology from Australia, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 18 - 35
  • Journal articles | 2022
    Field JH; Shaw B; Summerhayes GR, 2022, 'Pathways to the interior: Human settlement in the Simbai-Kaironk Valleys of the Madang Province, Papua New Guinea', Australian Archaeology, vol. 88, pp. 2 - 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03122417.2021.2007600
    Journal articles | 2021
    Hayes EH; Field JH; Coster ACF; Fullagar R; Matheson C; Florin SA; Nango M; Djandjomerr D; Marwick B; Wallis LA; Smith MA; Clarkson C, 2021, 'Holocene grinding stones at Madjedbebe reveal the processing of starchy plant taxa and animal tissue', Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, vol. 35, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102754
    Journal articles | 2020
    Field JH; Summerhayes GR; Luu S; Coster ACF; Ford A; Mandui H; Fullagar R; Hayes E; Leavesley M; Lovave M; Kealhofer L, 2020, 'Functional studies of flaked and ground stone artefacts reveal starchy tree nut and root exploitation in mid-Holocene highland New Guinea', Holocene, vol. 30, pp. 1360 - 1374, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959683620919983
    Journal articles | 2020
    Gaffney D; Greig K; Stoddart D; Tromp M; Field JH; Luu S; Coster ACF; Russell T; Mandui H; Summerhayes GR, 2020, 'Tropical Foodways and Exchange along the Coastal Margin of Northeastern New Guinea', Journal of Field Archaeology, pp. 498 - 511, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00934690.2020.1786285
    Journal articles | 2020
    Shaw B; Field JH; Summerhayes GR; Coxe S; Coster ACF; Ford A; Haro J; Arifeae H; Hull E; Jacobsen G; Fullagar R; Hayes E; Kealhofer L, 2020, 'Emergence of a Neolithic in highland New Guinea by 5000 to 4000 years ago', Science Advances, vol. 6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aay4573
    Journal articles | 2019
    Owen T; Field J; Luu S; Kokatha Aboriginal People ; Stephenson B; Coster ACF, 2019, 'Ancient starch analysis of grinding stones from Kokatha Country, South Australia', Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, vol. 23, pp. 178 - 188, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.10.023
    Journal articles | 2019
    Swift JA; Bunce M; Dortch J; Douglass K; Faith JT; Fellows Yates JA; Field J; Haberle SG; Jacob E; Johnson CN; Lindsey E; Lorenzen ED; Louys J; Miller G; Mychajliw AM; Slon V; Villavicencio NA; Waters MR; Welker F; Wood R; Petraglia M; Boivin N; Roberts P, 2019, 'Micro Methods for Megafauna: Novel Approaches to Late Quaternary Extinctions and Their Contributions to Faunal Conservation in the Anthropocene', BioScience, vol. 69, pp. 877 - 887, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biz105
    Journal articles | 2018
    Gaffney D; Summerhayes GR; Mennis M; Beni T; Cook A; Field J; Jacobsen G; Allen F; Buckley H; Mandui H, 2018, 'Archaeological Investigations Into the Origins of Bel Trading Groups Around the Madang Coast, Northeast New Guinea', Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, vol. 13, pp. 501 - 530, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15564894.2017.1315349
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dodson J; Field JH, 2018, 'What does the occurrence of Sporormiella (Preussia) spores mean in Australian fossil sequences?', Journal of Quaternary Science, vol. 33, pp. 380 - 392, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jqs.3020
    Journal articles | 2018
    Lape P; Peterson E; Tanudirjo D; Shiung CC; Lee GA; Field J; Coster A, 2018, 'New data from an open Neolithic site in Eastern Indonesia', Asian Perspectives, vol. 57, pp. 222 - 243, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/asi.2018.0015
    Journal articles | 2017
    Summerhayes GR; Field JH; Shaw B; Gaffney D, 2017, 'The archaeology of forest exploitation and change in the tropics during the Pleistocene: The case of Northern Sahul (Pleistocene New Guinea)', Quaternary International, vol. 448, pp. 14 - 30, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2016.04.023
    Journal articles | 2017
    Desantis LRG; Field JH; Wroe S; Dodson JR, 2017, 'Dietary responses of Sahul (Pleistocene Australia-New Guinea) megafauna to climate and environmental change', Paleobiology, vol. 43, pp. 181 - 195, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/pab.2016.50
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dortch J; Cupper M; Grün R; Harpley B; Lee K; Field J, 2016, 'The timing and cause of megafauna mass deaths at Lancefield Swamp, south-eastern Australia', Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 145, pp. 161 - 182, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.05.042
    Journal articles | 2016
    Field JH; Kealhofer L; Cosgrove R; Coster ACF, 2016, 'Human-environment dynamics during the Holocene in the Australian Wet Tropics of NE Queensland: A starch and phytolith study', Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, vol. 44, pp. 216 - 234, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaa.2016.07.007
    Journal articles | 2015
    Fullagar R; Hayes E; Stephenson B; Field JH; Matheson C; Stern N; Fitzsimmons K, 2015, 'Evidence for Pleistocene seed grinding at Lake Mungo, southeastern Australia', Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 50, pp. 3 - 19, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arco.5053
    Journal articles | 2015
    Field JH; Louderback L; Janetski JC, 2015, 'Curation practices and extraction methods in relation to starch grain yields form ground stone artifacts', Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, vol. 4, pp. 535 - 540, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.10.011
    Journal articles | 2015
    Gaffney D; Summerhayes GR; Ford A; Scott JM; Denham T; Field J; Dickinson WR, 2015, 'Earliest pottery on New Guinea mainland reveals austronesian influences in highland environments 3000 years ago', PLoS ONE, vol. 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0134497
    Journal articles | 2015
    Coster AC; Field JH, 2015, 'What starch grain is that? - A geometric morphometric approach to determining plant species origin', Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 58, pp. 9 - 25, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.03.014
    Journal articles | 2015
    Fullagar R; Hayes E; Stephenson B; Field J; Matheson C; Stern N; Fitzsimmons KE, 2015, 'The scale of seed grinding at Lake Mungo', Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 50, pp. 177 - 179, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arco.5073
    Journal articles | 2013
    Wroe S; Field JH; Archer M; Grayson DK; Price GJ; Louys J; Faith JT; Webb GE; Davidson I; Mooney SD, 2013, 'Climate change frames debate over the extinction of megafauna in Sahul (Pleistocene australia-new guinea)', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 110, pp. 8777 - 8781, http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1302698110
    Journal articles | 2013
    Wroe S; Field JH; Archer M; Grayson DK; Price GJ; Louys J; Faith JT; Webb GE; Davidson I; Mooney SD, 2013, 'Reply to Brook et al: No empirical evidence for human overkill of megafauna in Sahul', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 110, http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1310440110
    Journal articles | 2012
    Field JH; Wroe S, 2012, 'Aridity, faunal adaptations and Australian Late Pleistocene extinctions', World Archaeology, vol. 44, pp. 56 - 74, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2012.647572
    Journal articles | 2012
    Field J, 2012, 'And the answer is 42 ⋯', Australian Archaeology, vol. 74, pp. 28
    Journal articles | 2011
    Letnic M; Story P; Story G; Field J; Brown O; Dickman CR, 2011, 'Resource pulses, switching trophic control, and the dynamics of small mammal assemblages in arid Australia', Journal of Mammalogy, vol. 92, pp. 1210 - 1222, http://dx.doi.org/10.1644/10-MAMM-S-229.1
    Journal articles | 2011
    Garvey J; Cochrane B; Field J; Boney C, 2011, 'Modern emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) butchery, economic utility and analogues for the Australian archaeological record', Environmental Archaeology, vol. 16, pp. 97 - 112, http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/174963111X13110803260840
    Journal articles | 2011
    Garvey J; Field J, 2011, 'Recent studies in Australian palaeoecology and zooarchaeology: a volume in honour of the late Su Solomon.', Environmental Archaeology, vol. 16, pp. 79 - 81, http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/174963111X13110803260750
    Journal articles | 2011
    Letnic M; Story P; Story G; Field J; Brown O; Dickman CR, 2011, 'Resource pulses, Switching trophic control, and the dynamics of desert small-mammal assemblages in arid Australia: test of a conceptual model', Journal of Mammalogy, vol. 92, pp. 1210 - 1222
    Journal articles | 2010
    Summerhayes GR; Leavesley M; Fairbairn A; Mandui H; Field J; Ford A; Fullagar R, 2010, 'Human adaptation and plant use in Highland New Guinea 49,000 to 44,000 years ago', Science, vol. 330, pp. 78 - 81, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1193130
    Journal articles | 2010
    Liu L; Field J; Charles B, 2010, 'Functional Analysis of Grinding Stones from an Early Holocene Site at Donghulin, North China', Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 30, pp. 2630 - 2639
    Journal articles | 2010
    Liu L; Field J; Fullagar R; Bestel S; Chen X; Ma X, 2010, 'What did grinding stones grind? New light on Early Neolithic subsistence economy in the Middle Yellow River Valley, China', Antiquity, vol. 84, pp. 816 - 833
    Journal articles | 2010
    Field J, 2010, 'Investigating human and megafauna co-occurrence in Australian prehistory: mode and causality in fossil accumulations at Cuddie Springs', Quaternary International, vol. 3, pp. 123 - 143
    Journal articles | 2010
    Field JH; Fillios M; Charles B, 2010, 'Investigating human and megafauna co-occurrence in Australian prehistory: mode and causality in fossil accumulations at Cuddie Springs', Quaternary International, vol. 30, pp. 2630 - 2639
    Journal articles | 2010
    Summerhayes G; Leavesley M; Mandui H; Fairbairn A; Field J; Fullagar R; Ford AJ, 2010, 'Refocusing the boundaries: Human adaptation and use of plants in highland New Guinea from 49-44,000 years ago', Science, vol. 330, pp. 78 - 81
    Journal articles | 2010
    Field J, 2010, 'Comment on Holliday and Meltzer "The 12.9-ka ET Impact Hypothesis and North American Paleoindians"', Current Anthropology, vol. 51, pp. 589 - 589
    Journal articles | 2010
    Liu L; Field J; Weisskopf A; Webb J; Jiang L; Wang H; Chen X, 2010, 'The exploitation of acorn and rice in early Holocene Lower Yangzi River, China', Renleixue Xuebao - Acta Anthropologica Sinica, vol. 29, pp. 317 - 333
    Journal articles | 2009
    Denham T; Atchison J; Austin J; Bestel S; Bowdery D; Crowther A; Dolby N; Fairbairn A; Field JH; Kennedy A; Lentfer C; Matheson C; Nugent S; Parr J; Prebble M; Robertson G; Specht J; Torrence R; Barton H; Fullagar R; Haberle S; Horrocks M; Lewis T; Matthews P, 2009, 'Archaeobotany in Australia and New Guinea: practice, potential and prospects', Australian Archaeology, vol. 68, pp. 1 - 10
    Journal articles | 2008
    Trueman CN; Palmer MR; Field J; Privat K; Ludgate N; Chavagnac V; Eberth DA; Cifelli R; Rogers RR, 2008, 'Comparing rates of recrystallisation and the potential for preservation of biomolecules from the distribution of trace elements in fossil bones', Comptes Rendus - Palevol, vol. 7, pp. 145 - 158, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crpv.2008.02.006
    Journal articles | 2008
    Trueman C; Privat K; Field JH, 2008, 'Why do crystallinity values fail to predict the extent of diagenetic alteration of bone mineral?', Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 266, pp. 160 - 167, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.03.038
    Journal articles | 2007
    Cosgrove R; Field JH; Ferrier A, 2007, 'The Archaeology of Australia’s Tropical Rainforests', Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 251, pp. 150 - 173
    Journal articles | 2007
    McDonald J; Donlon D; Field JH; Fullagar R; Coltrain J; Mitchell P, 2007, 'The first archaeological evidence for death by spearing in Australia', Antiquity: a quarterly review of archaeology, vol. 81, pp. 877 - 885
    Journal articles | 2006
    Field JH; Fullagar R; Denham T; Lentfer C, 2006, 'Early and mid Holocene processing of taro (Colocasia esculenta) and yam (Dioscorea sp.) at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.', Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 33, pp. 595 - 614
    Journal articles | 2006
    Brown OJF; Field J; Letnic M, 2006, 'Variation in the taphonomic effect of scavengers in semi-arid Australia linked to rainfall and the El Niño southern oscillation', International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, vol. 16, pp. 165 - 176, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oa.833
    Journal articles | 2006
    Field JH, 2006, 'Trampling the Pleistocene: does taphonomy matter at Cuddie Springs?', Australian Archaeology, vol. 63, pp. 9 - 20
    Journal articles | 2006
    Brown O; Field JH; Letnic M, 2006, 'Variation in the taphonomic effect of scavengers in semi-arid NSW linked to rainfall and the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).', International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, vol. 16, pp. 165 - 176
    Journal articles | 2005
    Slack M; Fullagar R; Border A; Diamond J; Field JH, 2005, 'Late Holocene Occupation at Bunnengalla 1, Musselbrook Creek, northwest Queensland.', Australian Archaeology, vol. 60, pp. 54 - 57
    Journal articles | 2004
    Coltrain JB; Field J; Cosgrove R; O'Connell J, 2004, 'Stable isotope and protein analyses of Cuddie Springs Genyornis', Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 39, pp. 50 - 51, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.1834-4453.2004.tb00557.x
    Journal articles | 2004
    Slack MJ; Fullagar RLK; Field JH; Border A, 2004, 'New Pleistocene ages for backed artefact technology in Australia', Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 39, pp. 131 - 137, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.1834-4453.2004.tb00569.x
    Journal articles | 2004
    Coltrain JB; Field JH; Cosgrove R; O'Connell JF, 2004, 'Stable isotope and protein analyses of Genyornis remains from Cuddie Springs: Implications for site chronology and the timing of megafaunal extinction.', Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 39, pp. 50 - 51
    Journal articles | 2003
    Denham T; Haberle S; Lentfer C; Fullagar R; Field JH; Porch N; Therin M, 2003, 'Origins of agriculture at Kuk Swamp in the highlands of New Guinea', Science, vol. 389, pp. 189 - 193
    Journal articles | 2003
    Field JH; Fullagar R; Dortch J; Dutkiewicz A; Gordon P, 2003, 'Sandstone quarries and grinding stone manufacture: survey and excavation at Yambacoona Hill in south-eastern Australia', Australian Archaeology, vol. 56, pp. 46 - 47
    Journal articles | 2002
    Field JH; Dodson JR; Prosser I, 2002, 'A Late Pleistocene vegetation history from the Australian semi-arid zone.', Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 21, pp. 1023 - 1037, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0277-3791(01)00057-9
    Journal articles | 2001
    Field J; Fullagar R; Lord G, 2001, 'A large area archaeological excavation at Cuddie Springs', Antiquity, vol. 75, pp. 696 - 702, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00089195
    Journal articles | 2001
    Field J, 2001, 'Review', Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 36, pp. 48 - 48, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.1834-4453.2001.tb00472.x
    Journal articles | 2001
    Field J; Fullagar R, 2001, 'Archaeology and Australian megafauna.', Science, vol. 294, pp. 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.294.5540.7a
    Journal articles | 1999
    Field J; Dodson J, 1999, 'Late Pleistocene Megafauna and Archaeology from Cuddie Springs, South-eastern Australia', Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, vol. 65, pp. 275 - 301, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0079497x00002024
    Journal articles | 1997
    Fullagar R; Field J, 1997, 'Pleistocene seed-grinding implements from the Australian arid zone', Antiquity, vol. 71, pp. 300 - 307, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00084921
    Journal articles | 1992
    Huxlin KR; Sefton AJ; Furby JH, 1992, 'The origin and development of retinal astrocytes in the mouse', Journal of Neurocytology, vol. 21, pp. 530 - 544, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01186955
    Journal articles | 1990
    Penfoldi PL; Provis JM; Furby JH; Gatenby PA; Billson FA, 1990, 'Autoantibodies to retinal astrocytes associated with age-related macular degeneration', Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, vol. 228, pp. 270 - 274, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00920033
  • Other | 2015
    Metheny KB; Beaudry MC (ed.), 2015, Archaeology of Food - An Enclyclopedia, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, USA
    Conference Papers | 2005
    Field JH; Fullagar R; MacDonald J; Donlon D, 2005, 'Deadly weapons: backed microliths from Narrabeen.', in Haslam M; Robertson G (ed.), Archaeological Science Under A Microscope: Papers in Honour of Tom Loy, Terra Australis, ANU, Canberra, pp. 258 - 270, presented at Archaeometry 2005, ANU, Canberra, 12 December 2005 - 15 December 2005
    Conference Papers | 2005
    Field JH; Cosgrove R; Fullagar R; Lance B, 2005, 'Survival of starch residues on grinding stones in private collections: a study of morahs from the tropical rainforests of NE Queensland.', in Haslam M; Robertson G (ed.), Archaeological Science Under A Microscope: Papers in Honour of Tom Loy, Terra Australis, ANU, Canberra, pp. 218 - 228, presented at Archaeometry 2005, ANU, Canberra, 12 December 2005 - 15 December 2005
    Conference Papers | 2005
    Kamminga J; Field J, 2005, '2004 AAA Conference Dinner Awards', in Australian Archaeology, pp. 69 - 70

 I have held 4 Australian Research Council Discovery Grants and  2 ARC Linkage Grants since 1996 including an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship. Other awards have included an ARC Early Career Researcher Initiative Scheme, University of Sydney Sesqui R & D Grants, AINSE AMS Dating Awards and Kimberley Foundation Awards (with R Cosgrove and A. Coster).

 

 

 

My research focus has been on Pleistocene archaeology, the timing and causes of megafaunal extinctions in Australia, colonisation and settlement in New Guinea and the use of starchy plants by people through time. I have undertaken field based research programs at Cuddie Springs in SE Australia, at Budjamulla and the world heritage site of Riversleigh in north west Queensland, the rainforests of Far North Queensland, the Kimberley region and  Tasmania (with Professor Richard Cosgrove) and more recently, the Papua New Guinea highlands (with Professor Glenn Summerhayes and Dr Ben Shaw). The rainforest research investigated the antiquity of rainforest occupation in tropical Australia and the archaeological indicators of toxic starchy plant use (with Professor Richard Cosgrove at LTU).

 

Specific research interests are directed at functional studies of flaked and ground stone tools which includes identification and characterisation of organic residues on stone tools -from plants, in the form microfossils such as pollen, starch and phytoliths, and from animals through biochemical analyses of blood traces. Other research interests include palaeoenvironmental reconstructions with studies of fossil pollen and microscopic charcoal and phytoltish (with Professor Lisa Kealhofer at Santa Clara U), as well as taphonomic studies of modern and fossil bone.

 

Primarily, I am interested in how people lived in different environments, how they adapted as climate and environment changed over the long term and how we can best discover and identify the clues left in the archaeological record to better understand these dynamics.