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
On September 9, 2004, as a response to recent information that controlled detonation of military ordnance near the important ancient and Early Islamic site of Hatra in Iraq will likely result in permanent damage to the site, AIA President Jane C. Waldbaum sent a message to Dr. Joseph Collins, Assistant Secretary of Defense, Col. Frank Romano, Department of Defense, and Mr. William Jeffrey, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy requesting that they take steps to ensure the protection of the site.
On March 4, the Senate passed legislation (S. 671) that gives the President the authority to impose restrictions to prevent the import into the United States of cultural materials that have been illegally removed from Iraq since August 1990. Enactment of this legislation is crucial to prevent cultural materials looted from Iraq’s cultural institutions from entering the United States and to help combat the looting of archaeological sites.
On January 8th, 2004, Jane Waldbaum, AIA President, sent the following letter to officials at US AID and the US Army Corps of Engineers requesting that the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (ISBAH) be consulted and that cultural heritage resource management requirements be established...
The 812th Military Police Company, working with the Iraqi police, have again reclaimed items on the "30 Most Wanted List" of antiquities stolen from the Iraq Museum.
It now appears that no action will take place on H.R. 2009, the "Iraq Cultural Heritage Protection Act." A new piece of legislation, S. 671/H.R. 1047, is now in process and contains provisions—although not as strong as H.R. 2009 would have been—for the protection of Iraq's cultural heritage. The AIA supports this piece of legislation and urges the public to help secure its passage.
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.