SahulTime: interactive visualisation of ancient Australia.

SahulTime is a visualisation of ancient Australia (known by archaeologists as 'Sahul'), showing the ancient land-bridge that existed until around 8,000 years ago. The aim is to present this complex information visually and interactively rather than with wordy explanations and numerical dates.

Sahul Time was well received by the archaeological community, and won prizes at two major archaeological conferences.

Many archaeologists and palaeoenvironmenal scientists use SahulTime in lectures to show how the Australian continent has changed with time. I also created an inquiry-based learning activity where students use SahulTime to explore the geomorphological formation of the Gippsland Lakes over 400,000 years, as a background to understanding current and future flood-risk. This brings together vastly different spatial scales and timescales, while maintaining a conscious cognitive relationship between the scales.

SahulTime is built in Adobe Flash, which was the industry standard at the time. The content is now being migrated to the Temporal Earth project, toward a cross-device visualisation with similar functionality. Australian content on the archaeological timescale is shown from 6 minutes onwards in this recent demo.


Coller (2009), SahulTime: Rethinking Archaeological Representation in the Digital Age. Archaeologies Volume 5, Issue 1, pp110-123. doi: 10.1007/s11759-009-9096-x