The Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAI) is one of Austria’s leading institutions for basic archaeological research.


Legal Mandate

The Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAI) is a research institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW).

Its responsibilities encompass archaeological research both at home and abroad and the scientific publication of results. The research sites of the OeAI are concentrated in Egypt and the Greco-Roman cultural regions in Europe and the Mediterranean and includes the chronological and geographical peripheries. The advanced training of junior researchers in the area of archaeological fieldwork is likewise a legally mandated responsibility of the OeAI as well as the ongoing implementation of the protection and preservation of archaeological sites and monuments. The tasks of the OeAI are managed through its institutes in Vienna, Athens, and Cairo within the framework of national and international cooperation agreements.

General Principles

The core competence of the OeAI is basic archaeological research in field archaeology and all its subfields as well as cultural and historical analyses based on the material remains. The OeAI views archaeological research as interdisciplinary, transnational teamwork based on transparent project management with the precise formulation of questions. Efficiency and flexibility in the structure of the projects are, therefore, indispensable. In order to attain its research goals, the OeAI combines traditional with innovative methods and technologies, follows international scientific standards, and thereby contributes significantly to the further development of archaeological research.

The success of the OeAI is based on the potential of its staff members: their competence and knowledge is encouraged through mobility programs, career planning, involvement in research clusters, and the leadership of independent projects.

Publicity and Society

Internationally, the activities of the OeAI form an important aspect of Austrian cultural politics in the communication with the countries of central Europe and the Mediterranean. The OeAI greatly contributes towards making scientific research visible and towards developing a knowledge-based society by disseminating scientific results not only within professional circles but also to a broader public.


A clear definition of the key responsibilities of the OeAI sharpens the institute’s profile, positions it unmistakably within its scientific environment, and reinforces its integration into the international research landscape. The OeAI establishes the general conditions for top notch archaeological research, and for an accessible transfer of knowledge.