The IKAnt was created in 2000 from the Research Center Archeology, which was established in 1994 by the fusion of several ÖAW commissions: may be mentioned in particular the Limes Commission (founded in 1897), the Commission of Practical Archeology (formed in 1988 by the company Ephesos, which has been under the patronage of the Academy since 1954) and the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (founded 1951). Finally, between 1997 and 2000, there was a gradual extension through the incorporation of the Antiquarian Division of the Balkan Commission (established in 1897) and the Corpus of Ancient Mosaics of Asia Minor (established in 1973). The IKAnt was finally informed of an enlargement and extension in 2013 with the assignment of the Commission for Ancient Legal History (founded in 1974), the Numismatic Commission (founded in 1973) and the Asia Minor Commission (founded in 1896).

Head of the Archeology Research Center and first Director of the Institute was Friedrich Krinzinger (until 2008). Since 2009 Andreas Pülz heads the IKAnt.