A Chair in Archaeological Science is a unique position worldwide and provides an extraordinary opportunity to progress archaeological science in Australia and beyond. Archaeological science is fundamentally a multidisciplinary field that integrates both cultural and analytical expertise and perspectives.
Prof Rachel Popelka-Filcoff, an internationally recognised expert in radioanalytical chemistry and the scientific analysis of Indigenous Australian natural mineral pigments leads archaeological science initiatives at The University of Melbourne’s School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Rachel’s research group explores provenance, sourcing and exchange of source geological materials and artifacts through analysis and statistical approaches, and the development of high-resolution, non-invasive characterisation of cultural heritage materials.
Rachel’s research is the first comprehensive integrative characterisation of Australian natural mineral pigments on cultural heritage materials. Her research develops novel multidisciplinary approaches to analyse cultural materials, artifacts, and landscapes. These integrated methods offer an extraordinary view into past cultures, understanding of current society, and insight into our future.
This Chair has been made possible thanks to donations from Rock Art Australia, Allan Myers AC QC, the Minderoo Foundation through RAA Patrons Andrew and Nicola Forrest and a contribution from the University.