The Institute of Archaeology of the HUN-REN RCH is one of the leading institutions of Hungarian archaeology. The Institute’s activity integrates its public duties and research purposes: it aims to establish and be a partner in national and international collaborative projects while harmonising the strategic issues of Hungarian archaeology and heritage protection, applies new methodological solutions and disseminates scientific results on a large scale. The researchers of the Institute of Archaeology study the history and archaeology of the Carpathian Basin over the last eight thousand years from the rise of food-producing farming communities up to the Early Modern period. In order to contextualise the proper understanding of the region’s historical developments, both neighbouring and more distant geographical regions are also covered. Within these research activities, complex methodological assessment of regions and sites of international significance are carried out by applying archaeometric, bioarchaeological examinations, by integrating environmental archaeological, topographical approaches and settlement network studies. In addition to accomplishing comprehensive investigations, the Institute’s long-term strategic goal is to expand a database-based inventory of research data, and to develop further field survey methods by adapting new technologies and by strengthening their heritage protection purposes.


Main research areas/topics

The IA’s research is currently structured around the following two major subject:

  • Crises, Turning Points, and Strategies of Survival during the Past 12,000 Years — Responses to Ecological and Social Challenges Through the Millennia
  • Integrating Digital Data — Research Data Repository and Developing the Digital Atlas of Archaeology in Hungary

Within these two subjects, there are five main research areas:

1. Emergence and Spread of the Early Farming Societies: The Process of Neolithisation in the Carpathian Basin (6th to 5th Millennium BC)

2. Socio-Economic Strategies of Late Copper Age and Bronze Age Societies in the Carpathian Basin (4th to 2nd Millennium BC)

3. On the Frontier of Two Worlds: Rome and the Peoples of the Great Migration

4. Centre and Hinterland: Monasteries, Castles, and Settlements in the Medieval Carpathian Basin

5. Integrating Research Resources in the Exploration of Micro- and Macro-Historical Trajectories of the Carpathian Basin

Social Impact/Public Benefit

IA researchers publish their research results in monographs, journal papers, and edited volumes both in Hungarian and in foreign languages. In addition to our monographic volumes – including both syntheses and sites monographs – the IA publishes its annual peer-reviewed journal, Antaeus, while the Hereditas Archaeologica Hungariae series delivers high-standard scientific knowledge in an accessible format for a broader audience. Being fully aware that education is a vital component of knowledge transfer, the IA’s researchers have a long-standing tradition of active involvement in higher education. Substantial efforts are also made to disseminate the new results through public lectures, exhibitions, and media appearances.

History of the Institute of Archaeology 1958–1999

The history of the Institute of Archaeology up to 1999 was written by László Török:

László Török: The Archaeological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences: The first forty-one years, 1958–1999

The 65-year-old Institute of Archaeology

Read more about the 65th Anniversary Day of the Institute of Archaeology in November 2023, entitled " Living Stories —

Traditions and Crossroads in Archaeological Research":

Programme and summary of the Lecture Day held on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of the founding of the Institute of Archaeology 

More about the IA's activities: