Tasks and objectives
The DAI’s tasks and objectives include research work on archaeology and ancient history around the world, preserving cultural heritage and supporting the conservation and maintenance of cultural identity in host and partner countries. Facilities are maintained for this purpose that are available to the international research community (including libraries, archives and photo archives). The DAI is, for example, working to expand international cooperation in science and research and promoting junior archaeologists. Furthermore, it is an important actor with regard to Germany’s research and academic relations and cultural relations and education policies.
The German Archaeological Institute seeks to promote understanding of earlier civilisations in human history, which are often important to this day. It disseminates research results in academic and popular publications, often in the local language of host countries, and opens up and makes available analogue and digital archives of knowledge for the international research community and publishes findings in exhibitions. Site management and measures to preserve cultural heritage are also part of the DAI’s remit, as are regional economic promotion through opening up ancient sites to tourists – as local capacity building projects – and setting up builders’ huts as the basis for independent measures to preserve cultural heritage.
Moreover, the DAI is involved in degree courses in Germany and abroad and its researchers supervise bachelor’s and master’s theses, doctorate and post-doctoral projects and workshops and summer schools on education and training in the host and partner countries. The DAI plays an active advisory role in many different areas, both in the political arena and in the context of UNESCO.
Contribution to intercultural dialogue
In many countries, archaeology is seen as a national concern. As a tool for defining and communicating cultural identity, exploring a nation’s past is an important political priority. The DAI researchers make a valuable contribution to intercultural dialogue, which also helps to promote Germany’s standing in the world. It is active not only in countries that have long attracted archaeological interest, but also in crisis regions and conflict zones around the world.