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 218,000 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. AIA members may belong to 110 local societies (chapters) in the U.S. and Canada with one in Athens, Greece, and one in the Iberian Peninsula. Societies are located in most states in the U.S.

Programs for Professional Archaeologists and Students:

  • Site Preservation: provides grants to help preserve archaeological resources outside North America.
  • Annual Meeting: presents the results of the latest research and opportunities for scholars and students to exchange ideas, seek jobs, interact. 
  • Fellowships and Grants: for young scholars to help them to complete and publish new research.
  • Minority Scholarships: joint program with 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.


  • 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: 235,700.
  • American Journal of Archaeology: Internationally respected scholarly journal covering primarily Mediterranean and Near Eastern archaeology. Published quarterly. Founded 1885.
  • Archaeological Field Work Opportunities Bulletin: Annual listings of volunteer and staff opportunities on excavations world-wide available online.
  • Websites:;;

Programs for the Public:

  • International Archaeology Day: This mid-October event provides an opportunity for organizations across the U.S. and Canada, as well as around the world, to raise awareness of archaeology through events and activities. 
  • National Lecture Program: sends nationally recognized archaeologists to the local societies to speak on their latest research and excavations. 281 lectures were given in fiscal year 2014. Over 25,000 people attended.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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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