ARCAS (Australasian Research Cluster for Archaeological Science) is the national archaeological science organisation in Australia and is currently hosted by the University of Melbourne and co-chaired by Professor Rachel Popelka-Filcoff and Dr Louise Shewan.
Key objectives of ARCAS include:
- facilitating links among the various archaeological science groups within Australia and internationally.
- promoting Australian Archaeological Science within and outside of Australia
- convening Australasian Archaeological Science Conferences
Membership is currently free and open to all interested persons.
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 was officially launched at the Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) meeting in Cairns, in December 2014. Initial funding support for ARCAS comes from the Australian Research Council (ARC) through Australian Laureate Fellowship FL130100116 awarded to Prof Richard (Bert) Roberts.