Professor Robert Layton
Robert Layton worked extensively on Australian Aboriginal land claims made under the Northern Territory's Land Rights Act during the 1970s and early 1980s. Demonstration that living groups of Aboriginal people hold responsibility for protecting sacred sites is essential to a successful claim. The first claim he researched was to land surrounding the Uluru (Ayers Rock) National Park and the success of the claim led to the return of title to the Park to its traditional Aboriginal owners. Subsequently, in 1994, he was senior author of the Australian Government's successful submission to UNESCO to inscribe the Uluru National park on the World Heritage List as a cultural landscape of outstanding universal value.
Professor Layton edited the influential book Conflict in the archaeology of living societies, which was one of the first publications to bring the issue of reburial of indigenous skeletal material to international attention. Following the war between Serbia and Croatia during the disintegration of Yugoslavia, he co-organised a conference in Croatia on the conservation and destruction of cultural property and co-edited the proceedings.
He is a member of the World Archaeological Congress's Repatriation Committee and has most recently been involved in English Heritage's consultation process following a request by the Council of British Druid Orders for the reburial of human remains displayed at the Alexander Keiller Museum, Avebury.
His publications include:
Layton, R. 2009. Postmodernism and the problem of universal cultural heritage. Kodaigaku Kenkyu 82: 1-11. [Kyoto Tachibana University] (Translated into Japanese by Yumiko Ogawa).
Layton, R. 2006. Order and Anarchy: civil society, social disorder and war. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Layton, R. and G. Wallace 2006. Is culture a commodity? 46-68. In C. Scarre and G. Scarre (eds) Ethics and Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Layton, R. 2004. The politics of indigenous "Creationism" in Australia. In S. Coleman and L. Carlin (eds) The Cultures of Creationism: anti-evolutionism in English-speaking countries. Aldershot: Ashgate. 145-164.
Layton, R., P. Stone and J. Thomas (eds) 2001. Destruction and Conservation of Cultural Property. London: Routledge.
Layton, R. 2000. From clan symbol to ethnic emblem: indigenous creativity in a connected world. In C. Smith and G. Ward (eds) Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 49-66.
P. Ucko and R. Layton (eds). 1999. The Archaeology and Anthropology of Landscape. London: Routledge.
Layton, R. 1998. Old bones of contention. Times Higher Education Supplement, March 13th 1998.
Layton, R. 1997. Representing and translating people's place in the landscape of northern Australia. 122-143. In A. James, J. Hockey and A. Dawson (eds) After Writing Culture: epistemology and praxis in contemporary anthropology. New York: Routledge.
Layton, R. 1995. Relating to the country in the Western Desert. 210-231. In E. Hirsch and M. O'Hanlon The Anthropology of Landscape: Perspectives on Place and Space. Oxford: Oxfrod University Press.
Layton, R. 1989. Conflict in the Archaeology of Living Traditions. London: Routledge.
Layton, R. 1986. Uluru: an Aboriginal History of Ayers Rock. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press. (Paperback Edition 1989; New Edition 2001)
Layton, R. 1985 Anthropology and Aboriginal land rights in northern Australia. 148-167. In R.D. Grillo and A. Rew (eds.) Social Anthropology and Development Policy. New York: Tavistock.