The research conducted by the Institute for the Study of Ancient Culture (IKAnt) covers a wide range with studies reaching from the Archaic to the Byzantine period and including the entire Mediterranean region, the Danube and northwestern provinces of the Roman Empire, Iran, Central Asia as well as the Indo-Iranian borderlands. The focus of research is on the compilation, edition and analysis of archaeological, epigraphic, literary, numismatic and papyrological sources.
Of special interest are aspects of cultural, political, social and economic history, as well as questions relating to legal history which are of supra-regional significance. These studies mostly represent an approach which differs from that of the disciplines of Classical Studies at the universities or at institutes focusing on the preservation of monuments or on field archaeology, and complement it.

Within the framework of the projects, which are consistently part of intra-, as well as interdisciplinary and international networks, subject-specific methods for the analysis and documentation of finds and findings are also being developed. The results are regularly discussed at international events/symposia and made public through conferences, publications and databases. 

The declared aim is the publication of the results, for which, according to the field of research, several series and periodicals are available.  In addition, the consistent integration of young scholars into current research projects provides them with a sound basis for further education and promotion.

Finally, the institute is responsible for several international long-term commitments by the Academy with regard to the publication of corpora and lexica.