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Southern Cross GeoScience

Dr Ian Moffat

Ian Moffat


PhD, Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University.  Thesis Title: Spatially Resolved Strontium Isotope Micro-Analysis of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Fauna from Archaeological Sites in Israel and Southern France

BA, English and History, University of Queensland

BSc (Hons), Earth Sciences, University of Queensland.  Thesis Title: Holocene Evolution of the Offshore Burdekin Delta Region


Research interests/background

Ian is interested in the application of earth science techniques, including geophysics, geochemistry, geoarchaeology and geomatics, to understanding the archaeological record.  His particular research interests include the use of geophysical and photogrammetry techniques for landscape archaeology, the geophysical detection of unmarked graves, the application of trace element and isotope geochemistry of biogenic carbonates to elucidate diet, mobility or environmental conditions, innovative geoarchaeological approaches to rock shelter sediments and 3D modelling of rock art sites.

Ian is an ARC DECRA Research Fellow within the Department of Archaeology at Flinders University and undertakes consulting projects with Archaeometry.  He was formerly a Postdoctoral Research at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies, a Principal Instructor at Precipice Training and Communications and Business Manager at Ecophyte Technologies.  He tweets @archaeometry.


ARC DECRA Fellowship 2016-2018 "The Drumbeat of Human Evolution: Climate Proxies from Rockshelter Sediments" $350,603.

Research grants


  • International Society of Archaeological Prospection Grant with Dr Mick Morrison and Dr Amy Roberts for the project "Geophysical and Geomatic Investigations of the Anthropogenic Earth Mounds of the Murray River Valley, South Australia" (Ł1 000)


  • ARIADNE Transnational Access Grant to attend the 2D/3D documentation for archaeology summer school (€1 00)
  • Archaeological Service of Cyprus grant with Dr Nikos Papadopoulos and Dr Kleanthis Simyrdanis for the project Geophysical Exploration in the Harbour of Kato Pafos (Cyprus) (€9 000)
  • Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering grant with Dr Amy Roberts, Dr Geraldine Jaconbsen, Professor Donald Pate, Professor Calogero Santoro and Patricio Galarce for the project Radiocarbon Dating of Human Skeletal Samples to Improve the Chronological Resolution of the Fenix-3 Site, Central Chile ($8 125 AUD)


  • 2014/2015 George Chaloupka Fellowship for the project Seeing Beneath the Surface: Applying Geophysical Techniques to Rock Art Research ($28 000 AUD)
  • Australian Institute of Maritime Archaeology Scholarship with Celeste Jordan and Dr Renaud Joannes-Boyau for the project Laser Ablation Analysis of Mother of Pearl Shell and Buttons: A New Approach to the Trace Element and Isotopic Provenance of Maritime Material Culture, ($1 000 AUD)
  • Visiting Research Fellowship for the project Magnetic Investigation of Sediments from Little Barra and Nawarla Garbarnmang, Institute of Rock Magnetism, University of Minnesota ($4000 USD)


  • Vice Chancellors Travel Grant, ANU to attend the International Quaternary Association Conference in Bern, Switzerland ($1500)
  • Earth Environment Group Grant, RSES, ANU to attend the International Quaternary Association in Bern, Switzerland ($3000)


  • Earth Environment Group Grant, RSES, ANU to attend the Australian Archaeology Conference ($450)


  • Towards better management of our unique Indigenous cultural heritage: developing geophysical methods for the identification of fireplaces in Australia, Australian Geographic Grant, joint chief investigator with Dr Lynley Wallis ($3 000)
  • Geophysical and geochemical investigations of Indigenous fireplaces in Australian archaeology Flinders Research Grant Scheme, joint chief investigator with Dr Lynley Wallis ($14 585)
  • Earth Environment Group Grant, RSES, ANU to attend the Australian Archaeology Conference ($850)


  • AINSE Postgraduate Student Grant: Quaternary Dating Workshop (return airfare and accommodation, value: $600)


  • The Geophysical Response of Historic Burials in Varying Geological Environments, South Australia, Sir Mark Mitchell Foundation Research Grant, chief investigator ($8 500)
  • Environmental Futures Network Early Career Researcher Grant ($750)
  • AINSE Postgraduate Student Travel Grant: INQUA Conference (return airfare, value: $400)
  • Centre for Archaeological Research Analysis Grant ($1 504)


Journal articles


Duke, B.J., Chang, N.J. and Moffat, I., 2016, The Invisible Moats of the Mun River valley, NE Thailand: The examination of water management devices at mounded sites through Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Journal of Indo-Pacific Archaeology, 40, 1-11.


Simyrdanis, K., Papadopoulos, N., Kim, J-H., Tsourlos, P. and Moffat, I., 2015, Archaeological Investigations in Shallow Seawater Environment with Electrical Resistivity Tomography, Near Surface Geophysics, 13, 601-611.

Moffat. I. 2015, Locating Graves with Geophysics, in Sarris, A., (ed) Best Practices of GeoInformatic Technologies for the Mapping of Archaeolandscapes, Archaeopress, Oxford, 45-53.

Simon, F-X. and Moffat. I., 2015, Identification of shapes and uses of the past landscape through EMI survey, in Sarris, A., (ed) Best Practices of GeoInformatic Technologies for the Mapping of Archaeolandscapes, Archaeopress, Oxford, 25-33.

Dosseto, A., Vigner, N., Joannes-Boyau, R., Moffat, I., Singh, T. and Srivastava, S., 2015, Rapid response of silicate weathering rates to climate change in the Himalaya, Geochemical Perspectives Letters, 1 :10-19.

Moffat, I., Papadopoulos, N., Donati, J., Sarris, A., Kalayci, T., Cuenca-García, C., Cantoro, G., Argyriou, N., Armstrong, K., Kalogiropoulou, E., Manataki, M., Simon, F-X., Karapanagiotou, A-V. and Hadji-Spiliopoulou, G., 2015, Multi-Component Geophysical Survey at the Classical Greek Cities of Mantinea and Elis, Antiquity (Project Gallery), 89(345).

Cantoro, G., Papadopoulos, N., Argyriou, N., Armstrong, K., Cuenca-García, C., Donati, J., Kalayci, T., Moffat, I., Sarris, A. and Simon, F-X., 2015, A Satellite, Aerial and Low-Altitude Approach for Ancient Greek Cities, ISAP News, 42: 3-6


Joannes-Boyau, R., Scheffers, A., Chapoulie, R., Lahaye, C., Parr, J., Orange, M., Moffat, I. and Guibert, P., 2014, Thermal behaviour of organic radicals and paramagnetic centres in chert; a case study of Bergeracois brown chert, Dordogne, France, Quaternary Geochronology, 23: 26-34.

Moffat, I., 2014, Isotope Geochemistry in Archaeology, in Smith, C. (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology, Springer, New York, 4106-4111.

Willmes, M., McMorrow, L., Kinsley, L., Armstrong. R., Aubert, M., Eggins, S., Falgučres, C., Maureille, B., Moffat, I. and Grün, R., 2014, The IRHUM (Isotopic Reconstruction of Human Migration) database - bioavailable strontium isotopes of France for geochemical fingerprinting, Earth System Science Databases, 6: 761-777.

Long, K., Stern, N., Williams, I., Kinsley, L., Wood, R., Boljkovac, K., Kelly, T., Fallon, S., Kokkonen, H., Moffat, I. and Grün, R., 2014, Fish otolith geochemistry, environmental conditions and human occupation at Lake Mungo, Quaternary Science Reviews, 88: 82-95.


McKinnon, J.F., Wesley, D., Raupp, J.T. and Moffat, I., 2013, Geophysical Investigations at the Anuru Bay Trepang Site: A New Approach to Locating Macassan Archaeological Sites in Northern Australia, Bulletin of the Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology, 37: 106-112.


Moffat, I, Stringer, C. and Grün, R., 2012, Spatially Resolved LA-MC-ICPMS Strontium Isotope Micro-Analysis of Archaeological Fauna, Palaios, 27 (9): 667-670.

Marshallsay, J., Moffat, I. and Beale, A., 2012, Geophysical Investigations of the Tabernacle (Yilke) Cemetery, Encounter Bay, South Australia, Journal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia, 35: 91-103.

Aubert, M., Williams, I.S., Boljkovac, K., Moffat, I., Moncel, M-H., Dufour, E. and Grün, R., 2012, In situ oxygen isotope micro-analysis of faunal material and human teeth using a SHRIMP II: a new tool for palaeo-ecology and archaeology, Journal of Archaeological Science, 39 (10): 3184-3194.


Bladon, P., Moffat, I., Guilfoyle, D., Beale, A. and Milani, J., 2011, Mapping Anthropogenic Fill with GPR for Unmarked Grave Detection: A Case Study from an Alleged Location of Mokare's Grave, Albany, Western Australia, Exploration Geophysics¸ 42(4): 249-257.

Moffat, I., David, B., Barker, B., Kuaso, A., Skelly, R. and Araho, N., 2011, Magnetometer Surveys as an Aid to Archaeological Research in Papua New Guinea: a Case Study from Keveoki I, Gulf Province, Archaeology in Oceania, 46(1): 17-22.


Moffat, I., Wallis, L.A., Hounslow, M., Niland, K., Domett, K. and Trevorrow, G., 2010, Geophysical prospection for Late Holocene burials in coastal environments: Possibilities and problems from a pilot study in South Australia, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, 25:(5): 645-665.


Wallis, L.A., Keys, B., Moffat, I. and Fallon, S., 2009, Gledswood 1 Shelter: Initial radiocarbon dates from a Pleistocene aged rockshelter site in north Queensland, Australian Archaeology, 69: 71-74.

David, B., Araho, N., Barker, B., Kuaso, A. and Moffat, I., 2009, Keveoki I: Exploring the Hiri Ceramics Trade at a Short-Lived Village Site near the Vailala River, Papua New Guinea, Australian Archaeology, 68: 11-22.

Moffat, I. and Wallis, L.A., 2009, Archaeological Geophysics at Flinders University, Preview 143: 29-32.

Wallis, L.A., Moffat, I., Trevorrow, G. and Massey, T., 2008, Locating places for repatriated burial: A case study from Ngarrindjeri ruwe, South Australia, Antiquity, 82: 750-760.


Moffat, I. and Raupp, J., 2008, A New Approach to Investigating Shipwreck Sites in Littoral Environments: Multi-Technique Geophysical Investigations of Port Elliot, South Australia, Technical Briefs in Historical Archaeology, 3: 1-7.

Moffat, I., Wallis, L.A., Beale, A. and Kynuna, D., 2008, Applications of geophysical techniques for the detection and identification of open Indigenous sites in Australia: A case study from inland northwest Queensland, Australian Archaeology, 66:60-64.

David, B., Araho, N., Kuaso, A., Moffat, I. and Tapper, N., 2008, The Upihoi find: Wrecked wooden lagatoi hulls of Epemeavo village, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea, Australian Archaeology, 66: 1-14.


McKinnon, J.F., Smith, A. and Moffat, I., 2007, Kangaroo Island Shipwreck Shelter Huts,Bulletin of the Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology, 31: 63-72.

McKinnon, J., Moffat, I. and Smith, A., 2007, A Needle in a Haystack: Archaeological and Geophysical Investigations of Historic Shipwreck Shelter Huts on Kangaroo Island, in McKinnon, J. and Raupp, J. (Eds.) A Year in Review: 2006 Program in Maritime Archaeology, Flinders University Maritime Archaeology Monographs Series, Shannon Research Press, Adelaide, 13: 4-16.

Dappert, C. and Moffat, I., 2007, Search for the Independence Construction Site, American River, Kangaroo Island, in McKinnon, J. and Raupp, J. (Eds.) A Year in Review: 2006 Program in Maritime Archaeology, Flinders University Maritime Archaeology Monographs Series, Shannon Research Press, Adelaide, 13: 27-45.

Moffat, I., Raupp, J. and Van Zandt, D., 2007, Attention to Detail: Geophysical.