Founded in 1879, the AIA was chartered by the United States Congress in 1906, in recognition of its role in the development and passage of the Antiquities Act, which Theodore Roosevelt signed into law that year. Today, the AIA remains committed to preserving the world's archaeological resources and cultural heritage for the benefit of people in the present and in the future.
News, Issues, and Initiatives
The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) announces a new educational program first implemented earlier this year at the Marine Corps base at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina. In the first four months some 2,000 troops en route to Iraq and Afghanistan have benefited from presentations on the archaeology, history and cultural heritage of the region by experts in the field.
The Hill of Tara is one of the most important archaeological sites in Ireland. In use since ca. 4000 B.C., at first as a burial ground and religious center, it was also a center of Irish kingship and a key medieval site. It stands in the midst of a larger landscape containing a wealth of related sites and monuments. Now, Tara and the surrounding landscape are threatened by a proposed major highway (the M3) that will cut through the landscape and divorce Tara from the related sites that surround it.
In response to ongoing looting of their archaeological and cultural heritage, the People's Republic of China has requested a bi-lateral agreement with the United States under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention and implemented by the U.S. Cultural Property Implementation Act. The agreement was supported by the AIA and SAFE.
The unprecedented magnitude of the current plague of archaeological site destruction by looters in Iraq is documented in satellite images, aerial photographs taken by Coalition personnel, and in accounts by journalists and antiquities officials working in Iraq.
Despite the efforts of archaeologists and archaeological organizations, the street bond issue passed on November 2. Unless there is further action, the road through Petroglyph National Monument will go ahead. Further information will be posted as it becomes available.
DNA research from the AIA-supported site of Hoyo Negro makes important connections between the earliest settlers of the Americas and modern Native Americans.
Download the Program's 2014 Annual Report to learn about its many accomplishments and initiatives this past year.
The most recent Site Preservation Grant was awarded to a preservation and outreach project at Narce, Italy.