Dr Rebecca Simone Phillipps

BA (UoA) MA (UoA) PhD (UoA)

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Senior Lecturer


After completing an BA in Classics and Ancient History and Anthropology from The University of Auckland 2004, Rebecca obtained a MA (First Class Hon) in Ancient History from The University of Auckland 2006. Her thesis examined surface archaeological remains dating to the mid-Holocene in the Fayum Egypt. In 2007, Rebecca began her doctoral research ath The University of Auckland comparing human mobility between three locations in Egypt occupied during the Neolithic. She analyzed stone artefacts from the Fayum, Sa' el-Hagar (Sais), and Nabta Playa. Since graduating in 2012, Rebecca has worked as a Professional Teaching Fellow in Anthropology, and in 2013 began a three year Post Doctoral Research Fellowship.


Research | Current

  • Archaeology (New Zealand and Egyptian)
  • Stone artefact analysis
  • GIS

Current field projects:

  • Ahuahu Great Mercury Island Archaeological Project
  • UCLA/RUG/UoA Fayum Project

My research includes environmental productivity, predictability and sustainability in the Holocene, particularly in the context of the development of agriculture and subsequent state formation in the Middle East and North Africa. I am also interest in stone artefact studies in different parts of the world including New Zealand, Australia and Egypt. My most recent research examines the use of stone resources in New Zealand during the earliest phases of Polynesian arrival in New Zealand.

Part of my Post Doctoral research involved developing a robust recording protocol and data management system to be used by staff and students for the Ahuahu Great Mercury Island Project. This included the development of an in-field recording system and data management through a relational database and GIS.

I am interested in the development of archaeological method and theory, through the use of innovative field recording and analytical techniques, particularly those that are non-destructive to archaeological remains.  These include investigation of post-depositional processes, remote survey techniques, non-destructive pedestrian and intensive survey, geological surface dating and electronic field data recording methods, and GIS and eResearch applications. 

Teaching | Current

Semester 1 2017

ANTHRO 317 Field Methods in Archaeology

ANTHRO 206/322 Origins of Civilisations


Semester 2 2017

ANTHRO 252 Global Heritage Management (Special Topic)

Postgraduate supervision


Doug Gaylard (MA)

Rose Young (BAHons)

Jess Blair (BAHons)

Abby Donaldson (BAHons)

Sian Canton (BAHons)


Amanda McIvor (BAHons)

Rebecca Ramsay (BAHons)

Sarah Ricketts (BAHons)


Areas of expertise

Archaeology, stone artefact analysis, GIS, data management, New Zealand archaeology, Egyptian archaeology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Holdaway, S. J., Emmitt, J., Phillipps, R., & Masoud-Ansari, S. (2019). A Minimalist Approach to Archaeological Data Management Design. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 26 (2), 873-893. 10.1007/s10816-018-9399-6
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45952
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Holdaway, Joshua Emmitt
  • Holdaway, S., Phillipps, R., Emmitt, J., & Wendrich, W. (2018). E29G1 revisited: The current state of the surface archaeology of western regions of the Fayum North shore, Egypt. In Kabaciński J, Chłodnicki M, M. Kobusiewicz, Winiarska-Kabacińska M (Eds.) Desert and the Nile: Prehistory of the Nile Basin and the Sahara: Papers in honour of Fred Wendorf (pp. 583-602). Poznań, Poland: Archaeological Museum. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45333
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt, Simon Holdaway
  • Holdaway, S., Phillipps, R., Emmitt, J., Linseele, V., & Wendrich, W. (2018). The Desert Fayum in the twenty-first century. Antiquity, 92 (361), 233-238. 10.15184/aqy.2017.178
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42279
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Holdaway, Joshua Emmitt
  • Emmitt, J. J., McAlister, A. J., Phillipps, R. S., & Holdaway, S. J. (2018). Sourcing without sources: Measuring ceramic variability with pXRF. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 17, 422-432. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.024
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42349
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt, Simon Holdaway
  • Furey, L., Emmitt, J. J., Phillipps, R., Ladefoged, T., Jorgensen, A., & Holdaway, S. (2017). Brief interim report for excavations on Ahuahu Great Mercury Island, June 2014 to February 2017. Archaeology in New Zealand, 60 (3), 45-63.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt, Thegn Ladefoged, Simon Holdaway
  • Pillay, P., Barrett, M., Emmitt, J. J., Mackrell, T., & Phillipps, R. (22/6/2017). Data acquisition and integration protocol on the Ahuahu/Great Mercury Island Archaeological Project. Poster presented at NZAA Annual Conference 2017, Thames, New Zealand. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt, Matthew Barrett, Timothy Mackrell
  • Emmitt, J., Sefton, B., Phillipps, R., Wendrich, W., & Holdaway, S. (2017). Reimag(in)ing the Past. Advances in Archaeological Practice, 5 (01), 44-53. 10.1017/aap.2016.5
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33574
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joshua Emmitt, Simon Holdaway
  • Phillipps, R., Holdaway, S. J., & Wendrich, W. (2017). The Fayum in the Context of Northeast Africa. In S. J. Holdaway, W. Z. Wendrich (Eds.) The Desert Fayum Reinvestigated: The Early to Mid-Holocene Landscape Archaeology of the Fayum North Shore, Egypt (pp. 9-16). Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Holdaway

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 8, Room 853
New Zealand

Social links

Web links