ARCAS (Australasian Research Cluster for Archaeological Science) was officially launched at the Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) meeting in Cairns, in December 2014. Key objectives of ARCAS include:
- re-establishment of the Australasian Archaeometry/Archaeological Science Conferences, and
- creation of links among the various archaeological science groups within Australia and internationally.
Some links will be primarily directed at an open flow of information about what is happening where, infrastructure availability and how to access facilities, short courses on offer, student exchanges and digital archives. Other links may have a more formal component and be directed toward collaborative grants and capacity building, with a strong emphasis on long-term sustainability of equipment and support staff.
The groundwork for ARCAS began at a University of Wollongong (UOW) workshop in 2009. Subsequent workshops also flagged prospects for an ARC Centre of Excellence with a substantial focus on archaeological science.
ARCAS is currently an informal group with plans to be registered as an incorporated association. Membership is currently free and open to all interested persons.
Initial funding support for ARCAS comes from the Australian Research Council (ARC) through Australian Laureate Fellowship FL130100116 awarded to Prof Richard (Bert) Roberts.