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Biographical entry Jones, Rhys Maengwyn (1941 - 2001)

AO

Born
26 February 1941
Bangor, Wales
Died
19 September 2001
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Occupation
Archaeologist

Summary

Rhys Jones was one of Australia's foremost archaeologists. He was among the earliest archaeologists to appreciate the importance of ethnographic field studies to understanding archaeological data and a pioneer in the integration of archaeology and ethnography. His work was noted for its interdisciplinary approach and involvement with Aboriginal communities. In a career that involved fieldwork in many parts of Australia he is particularly noted for his work on glacial-age caves in southwest Tasmania which resulted in the inclusion on the World Heritage List of the Kutakina and other archaeological sites in the Franklin River catchment; in north eastern Arnhem Land in collaboration with his wife Betty Meehan and the Anbarra people; and his involvement in the excavations at Lake Mungo. His research was diverse, including dating techniques to establish the period of human habitation in Australia; rock art and fire-stick farming. He was a leader in discussion of world heritage, conservation and Aboriginal social justice issues and a major contribution to broader community understanding of indigenous cultures. The high regarded in which he was held by the indigenous people with whom he worked was demonstrated in the honours which they bestowed on him. The Rhys Jones Medal is awarded annually by the Australian Archaeological Association.

Details

Events

1963 - 1969
Career position - Teaching Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney
1965 - 1972
Career position - Co-Editor, Mankind
1966
Education - MA, University of Cambridge
1966 - 2001
Career position - Member, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies
1969 - 1993
Career position - Research Fellow, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University
1971
Education - PhD, Australian National University
1977 - 1979
Career position - President, Australian Archaeological Association
1978 - 1990
Career position - Member of Council, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies
1982 - 2001
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of the Humanities
1986 - 1987
Career position - Vice-President, Australian Academy of the Humanities
1987 - 2001
Award - Fellow, Society of Antiquaries, London
1991
Career position - Australian Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1993 - 2001
Career position - Professor, Department of Archaeology and Natural History, Australian National University
1995 - 1996
Career position - Professor in Australian Studies, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
2001
Life event - Retired
2003
Award - Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) (posthumous) for service to archaeology, particularly in the areas of research and teaching, and as a leader in matters relating to world heritage, conservation and indigenous social justice issues

Related Corporate Bodies

Published resources

Books

  • Griffiths, Billy, Deep time dreaming: uncovering ancient Australia, Black Inc., Carlton, Vic., 2018, 376 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Bowdler, S., 'The last typologist: Rhys Jones and the problem of the archaeologists', in Anderson, A., Lilley, I. and O'Connor, S. (eds), History of the ages: essays in honour of Rhys Jones, Pandanus Books and Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Canberra, 2001, pp. 35-44. Details
  • Hiatt, L. R. and Jones, Rhys, 'Aboriginal Conceptions of the Workings of Nature', in R. W. Home (ed.), Australian Science in the Making, Cambridge University Press, Sydney, 1988, pp. 1-22. Details
  • Lambert, Jacquie, 'Rhys Jones and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies', in Anderson, Atholl, Lilley, Ian and O'Connor, Sue (eds), Histories of Old Ages: Essays in Honour of Rhys Jones, Pandanus Books, Canberra, pp. 23-4. Details
  • Meehan, Betty, 'The early life of a new chum 1941 - 1969', in Anderson, Atholl, Lilley, Ian and O'Connor, Sue (eds), Histories of Old Ages: Essays in Honour of Rhys Jones, Oandanus Books, Canberra, 2001, pp. 1-15. Details
  • Roberts, R. G., 'The Celtic chronologist: Rhys Jones and the dating of the human colonisation of Australia', in Anderson, Atholl, Lilley, Ian and O'Connor, Sue (eds), Histories of Old Ages: Essays in Honour of Rhys Jones, Pandanus Books, Canberra, 2001, pp. 89-93. Details
  • Spriggs, Matthew and Jones, Rhys, 'Professor', in Spriggs, Matthew, Yen, Douglas E., Ambrose, Wal , Jones, Rhys, Thorne, Alan and Andrews, Ann (eds), A community of culture: the people and prehistory of the Pacific, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, 1993, pp. 27-31. Details

Edited Books

  • Anderson, Atholl, Lilley, Ian and O'Connor, Sue (eds), Histories of old ages: essays in honour of Rhys Jones, Pandanus Books, Canberra, 2001, 444 pp. Details
  • Spriggs, Matthew, Yen, Douglas E., Ambrose, Wal , Jones, Rhys, Thorne, Alan and Andrews, Ann (eds), A community of culture: the people and prehistory of the Pacific, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, 1993, 289 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Chippendale, Christopher, 'Rhys Maengwyn Jones, Welshman and archaeologist', Antiquity, vol. 75, no. 290, 2001, pp. 672-4. Details
  • Flannery, Tim, 'Brief life of clarity and compassion: Rhys Maengwyn Jones', Australian Archaeology, vol. 53, 2001, pp. 39-40. Details
  • Golson, Jack, 'Rhys Maengwyn Jones (1941 - 2001)', Proceedings of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, vol. 26, 2001. Also available at http://www.humanities.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/AAH-Obit-Jones-2001.pdf. Details
  • Hiatt, L., 'Archaeologist who thrived on mateship', ANU Reporter, no. 5 October, 2001, p. 2. Details
  • Jones, Rhys, 'Confessions of a wild colonial boy: Rhys Jones in conversation with Vincent Megaw', Australian Archaeology, vol. 50, 2000, pp. 12-26. Details
  • Smith, Claire, 'Rhys Jones awarded the Order of Australia', Australian Archaeology, vol. 56, 2003, p. 51. Details
  • Taylor, Rebe, 'Archaeology and Aboriginal protest: the influence of Rhys Jones's Tasmanian work on Australian historiography', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 45, no. 3, 2014, pp. 331-49. Details
  • Ward, Graeme K., 'Rhys Maengwyn Jones, AO Australian archaeologist 26 February 1941 - 19 September 2001', Australian Aboriginal Studies, vol. 2002, no. 1, 2002, pp. 111-5. Details

Online Resources

Helen Cohn