About

Originially from New Zealand I have been at James Cook University since mid-2005. I was fortunate to study under Prof. Charles Higham at Otago University where I was able to get experience not only in prehistoric and historic archaeology in New Zealand but was also introduced to Southeast Asia. Since my first field work at the site of Nong Nor in Thailand (1991) I have been committed to working in the region.

Teaching
  • AR1001: The World of Archaeology (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • AR2405: Archaeology in Practice (Level 2; CNS)
  • AR3501: Ancestors and Emperors: The Rise and Fall of Ancient Societies (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
  • AR5201: Principles of Archaeological Investigation (Level 5; TSV)
  • BA1001: Time, Truth and the Human Condition (Level 1; TSV)
  • WS2008: International Exchange (Level 2; TSV)
Interests
Professional
  • In Laos we work very closely with a major mining company in a combined research and consultancy project. I am interested in further developing international collaborations where we cross the research and consultancy divide in interesting ways.
Research
  • The prehistory of Southeast Asia. Major projects I am involved in are in Northeast Thailand (the site of Ban Non Wat and area) where we are investigating long-term changes in society and environment; from 4000 years ago to the present. We also have strong interests in integrating contemporary communities as key research collaborators. A second ongoing project is in Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR, where we are investigating ancient copper mining.
Teaching
  • One of my main teaching interests is running the honours field school here in Townsville. This is where our continuing students are introduced to the realities of field work and develop skills from planning a project to completing the final report.
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 33+ research outputs authored by Dr Nigel Chang from 1998 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Research Council - Discovery - Projects

Unravelling the mystery of the Plain of Jars, Laos

Indicative Funding
$10,000 (administered by ANU)
Summary
Since their discovery in the 1930s the mysterious collection s of giant stone jars scattered throughout central Laos have remained one of the great prehistoric puzzles of SE Asia. It is thought that the jars represent the mortuary remains of an extensive and powerful Iron Age culture. This project seeks to determine the true nature of these sites which date to a dynamic period of increasing complexity in Se Asia (c.500BCE-500CE). This will be achieved through extensive reconnaissance, precision mapping, archaeological excavation and analysis of associated burial material. Using a suite of cutting-edge archaeological technologies this project will have far-reaching benefits for archaeology, science, Laos and World Heritage.
Investigators
Dougald O'Reilly, Louise Shewan, Richard Armstrong, Samsung Lim, Nigel Chang and Kate Domett in collaboration with Sian Halcrow (Australian National University, Monash University, The University of New South Wales, Corporate P&L, College of Medicine & Dentistry and University of Otago)
Keywords
Laos; Southeast Asia; Archaeological Science; Iron Age; ancient burial practice; megaliths

Lane Xang Minerals Limited - MMG - Contract Research

2014 Archaeological Excavation & Training Project, MMG-LXML, Lao PDR

Indicative Funding
$187,500 over 3 years
Summary
This project is a continuation of an ongoing collaboration, under the terms of an MOU (that is in its 3rd iteration) between JCU, the Lao Dept, of National Heritage and MMG-LXML to conduct archaeological excavations on archaeological sites threatened by modern mining practices. These projects also include an element of training and capacity building with Government staff (at National, Provincial and District levels) and students from the National University of Laos. Finally, the offer an important opportunity for JCU students to gain experience in the industry environment.
Investigators
Nigel Chang in collaboration with Viengkeo Souksavatdy (College of Arts, Society & Education, Department of National Heritage and Lao PDR)
Keywords
Bronze Age; Laos; Tangible Heritage; Southeast Asia; Archaeometallurgy; Iron Age

Townsville City Council - T150 - Anniversary Grant Program

Townsville's Prioneering Road: Objects, histories and stories from pasture to port and prosperity

Indicative Funding
$8,838
Summary
Townsville's success over Port Denison (Bowen) and Cardwell was due to the Townsville-Dalrymple road, constructed by Melton Black, connecting the port in Ross Creek to the interior. This project highlights the road and its role in Townsville's story through objects excavated from archaeological sites found along it including Stanton House (Flinders St East), the Range Hotel (Hervey's Range) and the Cape River goldfield. The objects will be presented in an online, 'virtual' museum with 3D images. The project will use the objects to stimulate a creative writing workshop and will also include electronic education packs for primary school students.
Investigators
Shelley Greer, Ariella Van Luyn and Nigel Chang (College of Arts and Society & Education)
Keywords
Virtual Museum; Townsville; Dalrymple; Hof's building; Range Hotel; Cape River goldfield
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

Current
  • Rock Art and Archaeology in the Dry Tropics of North Queensland (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Zooarchaeological analysis of animal resources in the Upper Mun River Valley, Northeast Thailand (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Crowd mining real-time public attitudes of the Great Barrier Reef in correlation with media announcements (Masters , Advsor Mentor)
  • Trauma and Conflict in Prehistoric Southeast Asia: A Life of War or Peace? (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • The Politics of Sugar: The Herbert River Farmers' League a North Queensland Small Farmer Organization in Comparative Perspective (PhD , Advsor Mentor)
  • Bridging the Divide in Heritage? Archaeology, Heritage Management and the Sepon Gold & Copper Mine, Lao PDR (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Who were the People of Prehistoric Vilabouly? Exploring Origins and Relationships through Archeometallurgy. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Ancient Ceramics at Vilabouly: Pottery Productions and Society in a Prehistoric Mining Community in Laos. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • The functions and contents of the Spindle Whorls in Thai Prehistory with the particular reference to the site of Ban Non Wat (PhD , Primary Advisor)
Completed
Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  4. Dr Christian Reepmeyer
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  5. A/Prof Kate Domett
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