The mission of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) is to conduct and facilitate research worldwide in the archaeological sciences and classical studies. Through its research projects the DAI creates an important foundation for dialogue between cultures, for international scientific collaboration and for the preservation of cultural heritage. The DAI is active on five continents in over 350 projects. The projects range from the sanctuary of Olympia, the pyramids of Dashur in Egypt, the imperial palaces on the Palatine in Rome and the 12,000 year old cult site of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey to the oases of the Arabian Peninsula. In addition ancient cultures are being investigated in the Andes of Peru, in the western desert of China, on the Solomon Islands in the West Pacific and Easter Island
. So the remains of ancient civilizations can be successfully safeguarded in the long term, careful work is needed in the prevention, monitoring and documentation of archaeological sites. Against the background of a growing historical consciousness such sites are key to the formation of cultural identity in the host and partner countries of the DAI. As such the Institute's work makes a substantial contribution to stable political and cultural ties. As an important partner in cultural diplomacy the German Archaeological Institute is a federal agency operating within the sphere of responsibility of the Foreign Office. It was assigned to that sphere as early as 1874. However, its history goes back as far as the year 1829, when the "Instituto di corrispondenza archeologica" was founded in Rome.
Today the DAI, with its Head Office in Berlin, consists of three commissions, seven departments, four branches and numerous research facilities in Germany and abroad, making it the biggest research institution of its kind in Germany and one of the biggest in the world. Thanks to its global network the DAI is an important instrument of German foreign cultural and educational policy and international scientific policy. We collaborate with numerous partners worldwide in scientific research aimed at understanding fundamental issues of human history and ancient cultures as the foundation of the civilizations of the modern world.
With more than 350 employees, the German Archaeological Institute is active at 20 locations worldwide. It is the largest German research institute in the field of archeology and antiquarian science and offers a great variety of fields of activity. Since the Institute's foundation, German and international scholars and scientists have been elected as members. Elections take place every year and there are well over 8,000 members today. Both corresponding and ordinary members are elected by the Zentraldirektion and the commissions.