University of Wollongong

Nathan describes himself as a Quaternary Geologist with archaeological tendencies. So, while he is at home investigating geological changes in Australia’s past, he is particularly interested in providing time and climatic constraints on the human arrival to the continent.

Nathan’s work as part of CABAH is focused primarily at Lake Mungo within the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area in western New South Wales. Lake Mungo is a nationally significant location and home country of Australia’s oldest known ritual burial. Using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), a dating method, and detailed sedimentary examination of the Lake Mungo lunette, Nathan aims to better marry together the environmental information preserved in the sediment with the archaeological record. This study will provide a chronological and palaeoenvironmental framework upon which human adaptations to the semi-arid interior of Australia can be more fully explored.


An essential item in Nathan’s toolkit

Did you know that sand grains are great story tellers? Not only that but they can also tell the time. Microscopic analyses of sand grains and a dating technique called optically stimulated luminescence are the essential items in my toolkit that help me uncover their hidden stories. These stories may not be loud, but they are invaluable.