The Institute of Archaeology was founded in 1969 by the late Professor Y. Aharoni. Today it is a self-sufficient research facility with a large staff that provides the administrative and scientific assistance as well as the technical facilities necessary to carry out independent archaeological projects. These activities are sponsored mainly by the Sonia and Marco Nadler Fund and in part by the Friends of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University.
Since its foundation, the Institute has been intensively involved in many major interdisciplinary archaeological projects. Excavation of sites such as Tel Aphek-Antipatris, Tel Arad, Tel Beersheba, Tel Beth-shemesh, Tel Hadar, Horvat Qitmit, Horvat ‘Uza, Tel ‘Ira, Tel Jezreel, Tel Gerisa, Jaffa, Kabri, Lachish, Tel Michal and Megiddo has contributed to a better understanding of the archaeology and historical-geography of biblical Israel. The archaeology of proto-historic and prehistoric periods has been investigated at Nahal Qanah, Nahal Zehora and sites in the Sinai. Currently the staff of the Institute is systematically digging at Megiddo, Tel Beth-shemesh, Tel Bet Yerah, Ramat Rahel, Apollonia-Arsuf, Yavneh-Yam, as well as undertaking a number of rescue excavations.
The Institute’s research facilities include the archaeozoology, archaeobotany, petrography and metallurgy laboratories. These analyze and evaluate non-artifactual data, which supplement the socioeconomic picture of ancient communities provided by artifactual records. In addition, the services of a pottery restoration workshop, a photography studio and a graphics department are available to the field archaeologists.
The Publications Section, now sponsored by the Friends of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, was set up in 1973 to enable in-house publication of the results of field investigations carried out under the auspices of the Institute as well as articles dealing with subjects arising therefrom.
Research is encouraged by a comprehensive and well-stocked reference library and a rich study collection of ancient pottery and other finds from major archaeological excavations.