History of IAD


The first Archaeology Day was celebrated around the world in 2011 as National Archaeology Day.  Despite a late start in organizing the event in 2011 and fairly limited resources, over 115 programs were associated with the first Archaeology Day. Fourteen groups officially joined as Supporting Organizations. These ranged from large national organizations like the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA), and the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to small county museums and local libraries. Over eighty AIA Local Societies joined the celebration. In all, almost 15,000 people participated in the inaugural event. 

Participation in the first National Archaeology Day covered 38 U.S. states, 4 Canadian Provinces, and included an event in the United Kingdom. 

See also: National Archaeology Day Proclaimed in Congress


The event grew significantly in its second year, due in part to an earlier start on organizing.  In 2012, over 60,000 people participated in approximately 275 events and we had 125 Collaborating Organizations. 

In 2012, participation spread to include events in 49 U.S. States, eight Canadian Provinces, Australia, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates. 


By 2013, the name of the event was changed to International Archaeology Day to better reflect the worldwide participation than in previous years.  375 events were planned and our list of Collaborating Organizations swelled to 188.  Despite a few larger events being canceled due to a sixteen day shutdown of the U.S. government, approximately 75,000 people participated in events in 2013.

In 2013, eight new countries were added to the growing number of places around the world celebrating Archaeology Day.


Growing by 100 events worldwide, the 2014 International Archaeology Day quadrupled the number of events since its first year. Our 398 Collaborating Organizations brought 100,000 people to their 475 events. 

In 2014, two additional countries and 44 states joined in celebration of International Archaeology Day.

See the 2014 IAD Poster


Spreading across the world at an exponential rate, International Archaeology Day grew to 27 countries in 2015. With 500 events and 410 Collaborating Organizations, IAD saw over 100,000 people enjoying the festivities of the day.

IAD events were held in 46 U.S. States and became more accessible to people worldwide.

See the 2015 IAD Poster


Events skyrocketed to over 700 worldwide events organized by 530 Collaborating Organizations for International Archaeology Day in 2016. Events were held in at least two dozen countries including: Argentina, Belize, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Greece, Guyana, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, and the United States.

The largest numbers of events were concentrated in the United States (550), the Czech Republic (70), and the Netherlands (60).

See the 2016 IAD Poster


The seventh Archaeology Day was celebrated with over 900 events around the world hosted by approximately 600 Collaborating Organizations. Events were held in over two dozen countries including: Belize, Canada, Colombia, Cyprus, Czechia, Ecuador, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kosovo, Malaysia, Malta, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the United States. The largest numbers of events were concentrated in the United States (500), the Netherlands (300), and Czechia (100).  Based on reported attendance figures, we estimate that over 200,000 people participated in IAD 2017.

See the 2017 IAD Poster


See the 2018 IAD Poster

See the list of past collaborators.


See the 2019 IAD Poster

See past events.



The AIA focused on building and strengthening relationships with over 1,800 collaborators in 2021 to bring both in person and virtual events to IAD. There were also six Tweetathons, which together with the #IAD2021 hashtag reached over a million people, and we did an Artifact of the Day program and an Internet Scavenger Hunt. Over 440 viewers watched our Archaeology Abridged talk for October about Indian Cuisine live, and you can still watch it on YouTube!


In 2022, we held a special virtual lecture on the archaeology of the Clotilda, which over 1,500 people registered for. To watch the event, check out the video on our YouTube page.