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Biographical entry Flood, Josephine Mary (1936 - )

25 July 1936
Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Alternative Names
  • Scarr, Josephine (maiden name)


Josephine Flood was an archaeologist whose research highlighted the role of Bogong moths in the lives of Aboriginal people in southern highlands of New South Wales. Her excavations of the Cloggs Cave in Victoria revealed considerable evidence of Aboriginal stone and bone tools, and occupation of the cave for over 30,000 years. During her time as Deputy Director of the Australian Heritage Commission over 2,000 Aboriginal sites were added to the Register of the National Estate. She was also involved in the world heritage listing of Kakadu National Park, the Willandra Lakes region in New South Wales, and the Tasmanian south west wilderness area. Between 1981 and 1992 Flood led seven expeditions to record rock art in the Victoria River region of the Northern Territory and on Cape York, Queensland.. Her books include Archaeology of the Dreamtime (1983, 7th ed. 2010) and The riches of ancient Australia: a journey into prehistory (1990, 3rd ed. 1999).



Education - BA, University of Cambridge
Career event - Leader, British Women's Himalayan Expedition to Kulu
Career position - Lecturer in Classical Archaeology, Australian National University
Life event - Settled in Australia
1964 - 1978
Career position - Lecturer in Australian archaeology, Australian National University
Education - MA, Australian National University
Education - PhD, Australian National University
1978 - 1979
Career position - Senior Conservation Officer, Australian Heritage Commission
1979 - 1991
Career position - Deputy Director, Australian Heritage Commission
1991 -
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of the Humanities
Award - Centenary Medal for service to Australian society and the humanities in prehistory and archaeology

Published resources


  • Flood, J. M., The moth hunters: Aboriginal prehistory of the Australian Alps (Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, 1980), 388 pp. Details
  • Flood, J. M., Archaeology of the Dreamtime (Sydney: Collins, 1983), 288 pp. Details
  • Flood, J. M., The riches of ancient Australia: a journey into prehistory (St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1990), 373 pp. Details


See also

  • Bowdler, Sandra and Clune, Genevieve, 'That shadowy band: the role of women in the development of Australian archaeology', Australian Archaeology, 50 (2000), 276-35. Details
  • Lampert, R. J., 'Trends in Australian prehistoric research', Antiquity, 49 (1975), 197-206. Details

Helen Cohn