The Archaeological Record of Humans Beyond Earth

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Space archaeology is the study of human material culture related to space exploration in the 20th and 21st centuries. This talk is a survey of some of the most iconic and interesting archaeological sites in the solar system, from amateur Australian satellites in Earth orbit, to the red Tesla sportscar out beyond Mars. Taking a solar system perspective raises questions about aspects of terrestrial archaeology that we take for granted, like the role of gravity in shaping society.

Dr Alice Gorman is an internationally recognised leader in the field of space archaeology. Her research focuses on the archaeology and heritage of space exploration, including space junk, planetary landing sites, off-earth mining, rocket launch pads and antennas. She is a Senior Lecturer at Flinders University and a Director on the Board of the Space Industry Association of Australia. In 2017 she won the Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing. Her book Dr Space Junk vs the Universe: Archaeology and the Future was published in April 2019.