Our Mission

AFDAI is a non-profit organization. Its interests are being represented interim by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany at 871 United Nations Plaza, New York.

The American Friends of the German Archaeological Institute is there to accelerate German American collaboration and to offer additional support in our mutual goal of researching and preserving mankind’s cultural and historical heritage. The American Friends would like to get to a stage at which a broader public in the USA can be informed about the activities of the DAI. They should also make it possible to actively support projects carried out by the DAI. It is our hope that the American Friends will be a starting point for an active exchange between American and German archaeologists and those interested in ancient cultures.

The German Archaeological Institute (DAI)

The German Archaeological Institute (DAI) has an extensive and successful history: It was founded in Rome in 1829, and academics, artists and diplomats from all around Europe contributed to it. In 1833, the central office of the institute relocated its head office from Rome to Berlin, and further construction of the foreign departments and commissions of the DAI began.

The DAI has 11 larger branch offices (Scientific Department of the Head Office in Berlin, Orient Department in Berlin, Eurasia Department in Berlin, Athens Department, Rome Department, Madrid Department, Cairo Department, Istanbul Department, Roman-Germanic Commission in Frankfurt am Main (RGK), Commission for Ancient History and Epigraphy in Munich (AEK), Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures in Bonn (KAAK), four branches (Baghdad / Iraq, Tehran / Iran, Damascus / Syria, Sanaa / Yemen) and one temporary research centre in Ulan Bator / Mongolia; plans have been put into place for the establishment of a further research centre in Beijing / China. Furthermore, the DAI is now statutorily linked with the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology (DEI), whose institutes in Jerusalem and Amman are both research centres of the DAI.

This infrastructure makes it possible for the institute to be active on all continents, among them the sites steeped in history such as the Coliseum of Rome, the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, the Pyramids of Egypt, the monumental Scythian burial mounds in southern Siberia, the mysterious lines (geoglyphs) of the Nasca Culture in Peru, or the spectacular statues of Easter Island. In terms of time, the projects extend from the Neolithic up until the Middle Ages.

History of the German Archaeological Institute

1829Foundation of the “Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica” in Rome.
1833The institute moves to Berlin.
1859Prussia supports the financing of the Institute on a regular basis.
1871The institute becomes a Prussian State Institute.
1874The institute becomes an Imperial Institute (Kaiserlich Deutsches Archäologische Institut).
Fondation of the Athens Department.
1902Foundation of the Roman-Germanic Commission (RGK) in Frankfurt on the Main.
1929Foundation of the Istanbul Department on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the DAI.
Incorporation of the “Kaiserlich Deutsches Institut für Ägyptische Alterthumskunde” (Imperial German institute for the study of Egyptian Antiquities, founded in 1907) as a Cairo Department to the DAI.
1943Foundation of the Madrid Department.
1955Foundation of the Baghdad Department to resume the German excavations ongoing since 1887 in Iraq.
1961Foundation of the Teheran Department to manage research projects in Iran.
1967Incorporation of the Commission for Ancient History and Epigraphy in Munich.
1978Foundation of the Sanaa Branch (Yemen).
1979Foundation of the Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures in Bonn on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the DAI.
1980Foundation of the Damaskus Branch (Syria).
1994Foundation of the Eurasia Department, the Teheran Department become a branch of the Eurasia Department.
1996Foundation of the Orient-Department (Berlin) to center the archaeological research of the Institute carried out in the Near East. The Baghdad Department and also the Sanna branch and the Damaskus Branch becomes branches of the Orient Department.