History of CAS

The Center for Archaeological Sciences was established in May of 1984. The first bylaws were adopted in January of 1985. The original membership included 28 UGA faculty and staff from nine university units and 11 Associates from outside UGA. The Center was established with the mission to serve as a research center for people interested in geological and geochemical aspects of “ancient studies.” Another early objective was to coordinate M.S. or Ph.D. research that combined archaeology, anthropology, ancient history and other related social sciences with geology and other physical sciences. In a subsequent revision of the bylaws (November, 1988), the purposes of the Center were identified as: (1) to facilitate interaction between archaeology and related fields involved in the study of the past and among geographical areas; (2) to serve as a forum through which faculty and students might inform one another about current research; (3) to plan and test approaches to specific problems best handled by interdisciplinary research; (4) to sponsor special programs and symposia; (5) and to coordinate graduate and undergraduate programs of interdisciplinary study in the archaeological sciences.

A significant function of the Center was (and is) to communicate among Associates and with others through speaker series, colloquia, and other formats. In 1986-87, Center provided support for guest speakers in collaboration with the Athens Archaeology Society and the Department of Anthropology. By 1990-1991, four of the nine seminars sponsored by Center and related organizations were given by off-campus guests. A monthly Brown Bag seminar series was initiated in 1989-1990. Of the nine speakers Brown Bag speakers in 1989-90, four were from off-campus. The speaker series continued in 1990-91, with an additional nine speakers. Some of these presentations were jointly sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America. Four of the 1990-91 speakers were guests from institutions other than UGA.

In 2005, the original Center Bylaws were revised (in 2006), a strategic plan was adopted, and the Interdisciplinary Certificate updated twice. Throughout the 2012-2013 school year, Associates nominated and voted admission to new faculty members. The Center now has 24 Associates, many of whom joined the faculty within the past 12 months. That so many of these new hires in many separate departments share archaeological interests and sought membership in the Center within their first year of employment at UGA is compelling evidence that the archaeological sciences is a high priority among departments on campus and is recognized as a unit that fosters the interdisciplinary approaches critical to modern archaeology. This is an extremely positive outcome and offers great promise for the future of the Center.