As an important partner in cultural diplomacy, the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) is a federal agency operating within the sphere of responsibility of the Foreign Office of Germany. 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.
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 years 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.
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.