AIA Fact Sheet

A summary of the AIA's history, mission, and programs

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The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is the oldest and largest archaeological organization in the United States.

Founded: 1879 by Harvard Professor Charles Eliot Norton and a group of Boston intellectuals.
Chartered: by Act of Congress in 1906
Headquarters: Boston, MA
Archaeology Magazine Publication Office: New York City

Mission: The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) promotes archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past to foster an appreciation of diverse cultures and our shared humanity. The AIA supports archaeologists, their research and its dissemination, and the ethical practice of archaeology. The AIA educates people of all ages about the significance of archaeological discovery and advocates the preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage.

Members: The AIA has some 200,000 Members, including professional archaeologists, students and members of the general public from all walks of life, united by their shared passion for understanding and preservation of the human past. Ninety percent reside in the U.S.

Organization: AIA members may belong to 107 local societies (chapters) in the U.S. and Canada with one in Athens, Greece, and one in the Iberian Penisula. Societies are located in most states in the U.S.

Programs for the Public:

  • National Lecture Program: sends nationally recognized archaeologists to the local societies to speak on their latest research and excavations.
  • Troops Lectures program: sends speakers to military bases to educate troops en route to Iraq and Afghanistan on basic principles of archaeology and the rich history of the region to which they are going.
  • Teachers Workshops: provides hands-on training and web-based classroom materials for teachers to integrate into K-12 curricula.

  • Archaeology Family Fairs: Hands-on demonstrations and activities for children and their families.
  • Senior Programs: Outreach to seniors in venues such as assisted living centers and public libraries.
  • Tours: land and sea tours to sites of archaeological and cultural interest world wide, led by experts in the archaeology and culture of the regions visited.

Programs for Professional Archaeologists and Students:

  • Annual Meeting: presents the results of the latest research and opportunities for scholars.
  • and students to exchange ideas, seek jobs, interact. There are usually programs for the public at the Annual Meeting as well.

  • Fellowships and Grants: for young scholars to help them to complete and publish new research.
  • Minority Scholarships: joint program with our sister institution the American Philological Association. Provides summer scholarships for promising minority undergraduate students in the classics or archaeology.
  • Awards: Provide recognition for excellence in archaeology and related fields.
  • Site Preservation: provides grants to help preserve archaeological resources outside North America.


  • Archaeology Magazine: Full-color, general interest magazine presenting articles, news and opinion pieces on archaeology around the world. Published 6 times a year. Founded 1948. Total subscribers: 216,000
  • American Journal of Archaeology: Internationally respected scholarly journal covering primarily Mediterranean and Near Eastern archaeology. Published quarterly. Founded 1885
  • Archaeological Field Work Opportunities Bulletin: in print and on line. Annual listings of volunteer and staff opportunities on excavations world-wide.
  • Websites:;;


  • The AIA speaks with a strong voice on behalf of the preservation of archaeological sites, monuments and artifacts and against looting of sites and the illicit trade in undocumented antiquities.

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