Universiteit Leiden

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Ian Lilley

Professor/Guest Staff Member

Prof.dr. I.A. Lilley
+31 71 527 6065

Ian Lilley an international academic leader whose interests focus on archaeology and cultural heritage in Australasia, the Indo-Pacific and globally. Ian is an archaeologist in the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland in Australia, to where he moved in 2019 as Professor Emeritus after 25 years leading the academic program in UQ's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit. He also has a continuing visiting appointment as Willem Willems Chair for Contemporary Issues in Archaeological Heritage Management at Leiden.

More information about Ian Lilley


Ian undertakes archaeological and cultural heritage research, consultancies and advisory missions throughout Australia, in Asia and the Pacific Islands and in North and South America. Ian's current heritage research focuses on global issues regarding World Heritage, the World Bank and transnational corporations in the extractive industries sector, particularly in relation to Indigenous people and other descendent communities. He is also an accredited investigator with the US Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). In this capacity, he provides strategic advice to the US Defense Department regarding the recovery of missing service members from WWII to the present and coordinates field missions to locate missing personnel. Archaeologically Ian is working with French colleagues on long-term developments in New Caledonia, and recently has been invited to participate in a project on mining and archaeological heritage there as well. He also has a project with Dutch partners including the Netherlands Ministry of Defence and funded by the Dutch Embassy in Australia, concerning the headquarters of Netherlands East Indies government-in-exile during WWII, which is located just outside Brisbane in Australia. In addition, he is an advisor to the Centre for Global Heritage and Development (Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam).

Teaching activities

Ian teaches primarily at Masters level when he visits Leiden, contributing to a variety of heritage courses. He supervises PhD and MPhil research projects in Archaeology at Leiden and in many different schools across the University of Queensland.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected adjunct positions 
2015 continuing Willem Willems Chair, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden  
2019 Stipendiary Visiting Professor, DAI, Berlin
2017 continuing Honorary Professor, Institute for Resilient Regions, USQ 
2010-11 Leverhulme Professorial Fellow, Archaeology, Oxford 
2009-10 Visiting Professor, Stanford Program in Australia
2008 Visiting Scholar, National Museum of Prehistory, Taiwan
2003 Visiting Scholar, ANU Centre for Cross-Cultural Research
2000 Visiting Scholar, Archaeological Research Facility, UC Berkeley
2000 Visiting Scholar, IRD Centre d'Orléans (France)
2000 Visiting Scholar, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford 
1995-2000 Archaeologist - Queensland Region, Kinhill Engineers Pty Ltd

Selected professional leadership 
Australian Archaeological Association (past President, 3 terms)
Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists (selective; past Full Member and Affiliate)
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (selective)
Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association (Secretary-General 2009-2018)
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS; World Heritage Assessor 2005 to date; selective)
ICOMOS Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management (Secretary-General 2009-17)
IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (Member, Protected Landscapes Specialist Group) (selective)
IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (selective)
Society for American Archaeology (Chair, International Government Affairs Committee 2013-17)
World Archaeological Congress (past Secretary)

Selected honours
2011 to date  Fellow, Australian Academy of Humanities (Vice-President 2016-2018)
2008 to date  Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of London

Selected editorial positions
Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Social Archaeology
Editorial Board, Advances in Archaeological Practice 
Editorial Board Conservation & Management of Archaeological Sites
Editorial Board, Historic Environment

I do field research across Australasia and the Indo-Pacific and write about the place of archaeology and heritage in contemporary society. I have directed or participated in major archaeological research projects funded by the Australian Research Council, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Australian Heritage Commission, Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Dutch Embassy in Australia, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Swiss Network for International Studies and U.S. National Geographic Society. 

I am co-authoring two books in French on archaeology in New Caledonia and am contracted to Cambridge University Press to co-author a volume on Australian archaeology. I have published 100+ scholarly works and contributed reviews and commentary to learned journals and the press. 

I advise numerous private- and public-sector clients in Australia and internationally, including the UNESCO World Heritage Advisory Bodies ICOMOS and IUCN. I had a central role in the development of Rio Tinto’s global heritage guidelines and the recent reformulation of the World Bank’s heritage safeguards. I provide advice on heritage matters to government agencies around the world, recently including the Cambodian and Japanese governments and currently the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Professor/Guest Staff Member

  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • Archaeological Heritage
  • Heritage of Indigenous Peoples

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number B2.20



  • U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accoutning Agency (Pentagon) Investigator and strategic advisor
  • International Committee for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) World Heritage activities (desk and field assessments, advisory missions etc)
  • University of Queensland Oversight of continuing research projects and PhD co-supervision
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