Australian Association Of Consulting Archaeologists Inc

Member Profiles: Joe Dortch



Dortch & Cuthbert Pty Ltd
Fremantle WA 6160
P: 08 9335 9231
M: 0428 601 008
Send Joe an email

Anywhere; anytime
* BA (Hons), University of Southampton
* PhD, University of Western Australia

Professional Associations and Positions

Full Member, Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc. (current Membership Secretary, and WA State Delegate)
Member, Australian Archaeological Association Inc.
Member, Society for American Archaeology
Member, Australasian Quaternary Association
Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Western Australia
Research Associate, Western Australian Museum


  • Site Survey
  • Site Recording
  • Excavation

Special Fields

  • Environmental analysis
  • Corporate and community training: cultural heritage awareness, field techniques
  • Environmental reconstruction
  • Faunal remains analysis
  • Plant macrofossil analysis
  • GIS
  • Lithic analysis
  • Archaeology of southwest Australia

Consulting Experience

Twenty years field experience in Australia, France, UK and USA; principle consultant on c.80 consultancy projects in Australia since 1993; from 2011-2013 directed a team of 12 archaeologists at Eureka Archaeological Research & Consulting, a business unit of the University of Western Australia.

Extensive experience in directing large and small-scale area surveys and site assessments in forests, arid zone, remote areas, rugged terrain, agricultural land and urban developments.

Extensive experience in directing small and large-scale excavations of pre-historic sites, for academic and consultancy research in rockshelters, open sites and urban contexts.

Experience in identification of biotic remains (animal bones, plant macrofossils) as a consultancy service and in academic research.

Experience in training community members and corporate clients in field techniques and in heritage issues.

Excellent knowledge of archaeological research in southwest Australia, and 20 years experience in working with Nyoongar communities across southwest Australia.

Also considerable experience in managing multiple consultancy projects in the Pilbara, Kimberley and Mid-West regions of Western Australia, through Aboriginal community representative organisations and industry clients.

Selected Publications

Rasmussen, M., and 56 others, including Dortch, J. 2011 An Aboriginal Australian Genome Reveals Separate Human Dispersals into Asia. Science 22 Sep 2011.

Dortch, J., Balme, J. and Ogilvie, J. in press Aboriginal responses to Late Quaternary environmental change in a Mediterranean-type region: zooarchaeological evidence from south-western Australia. Quaternary International.

Rusack, E., Dortch, J., Hayward, K., Renton, M., Grierson, P., & Boer, M. in press The role of habitus in the maintenance of traditional Noongar plant knowledge in southwest Western Australia. Human Ecology.

Dortch, J. and Wright, R.V.S. 2010 Identifying palaeo-environments and changes in Aboriginal subsistence from dual-patterned faunal assemblages, south-western Australia. Journal of Archaeological Science 37:1053-1064.

Oskam., C., Haile, J., Rigby, P., Alemtoft, M., Olsen, M., Gifford, M., Jacomb, C., Baynes, A. Dortch, J., Parker-Pearson, M., Gilbert, T., Holdaway, R., Willerslev, E., Bunce, M. 2010 Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277:1991-2000.

DORTCH, J., C. Dortch and R. Reynolds 2006 Investigation of Aboriginal fish-traps at Oyster Harbour, south-western Australia. Australian Archaeology 61:38-43.

Trueman, C.N.G., J.H. Field, J. DORTCH, B. Charles and S. Wroe 2005 Prolonged co-existence of humans and megafauna in Pleistocene Australia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102:8381-8385.

DORTCH, J. 2005 Reconstructing Aboriginal impacts on Australian forests. In M. Calver (ed.), Proceedings of the 6th National Conference of the Australian Forest History Society, pp527-541. Rotterdam: Millpress.

DORTCH, J. 2004 Palaeo-Environmental Change and the Persistence of Human Occupation in South-Western Australian Forests. BAR International Series 1288. Oxford: Archaeopress.

DORTCH, J. 2004 Late Quaternary extinction of Black-Footed Rock-Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis) in south-western Australia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 211:185-204.

Wroe, S., M. Crowther, J. DORTCH and J. Chong 2004 The size of the largest marsupial and why it matters. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Series B (Biology Letters) 271:S34-S36.

Field, J., R. Fullagar, J. DORTCH and A. Dutkiewicz 2003 Sandstone quarries and grinding stone manufacture: Survey and excavation at Yambacoona Hill in south-eastern Australia. Australian Archaeology 56:46-47.

Turney, C.S.M., M.I. Bird, L.K. Fifield, R.G. Roberts, M. Smith, C.E. Dortch, R. Grun, E. Lawson, L.K. Ayliffe, G.H. Miller, J. DORTCH and R.G. Cresswell 2001 Early human occupation at Devil’s Lair, southwestern Australia 50,000 years ago. Quaternary Research 55:3-13.

Dortch, C.E. and J. DORTCH 1997 Aboriginal occupation in the limestone caves and rock shelters of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Region, Western Australia: research background and archaeological perspective. Western Australian Naturalist 21:191-206.

DORTCH, J. 1996 Late Pleistocene and recent Aboriginal occupation at Tunnel Cave and Witchcliffe Rock Shelter, Naturaliste Region, south-western Australia. Australian Aboriginal Studies 2:51-60.

Dortch, C.E. and J. DORTCH 1996 Review of Devil’s Lair artifact classification and radiocarbon chronology. Australian Archaeology 43:28-31.

DORTCH, J. 1994 Pleistocene radiocarbon dates for hearths at Tunnel Cave, south-western Australia. Australian Archaeology 38:45-46.

A full curriculum vitae is available on request