Archaeological research is particularly committed to cultural preservation. This commitment is not only at the center of thestudy, preservation, and restoration of the material remains of ancient cultures but also a focus of our research methods.

Traditionally, all DAI departments and commissions contribute to our common goal of cultural preservation and the protection of cultural goods. Of special significance in this regard is our cooperation with international organizations like UNESCO. Thus, Margarete van Ess acted as elected rapporteur for the UNESCO's International Coordination Committee for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of Iraq between 2004 and 2012. From June 2005 until 2010 she was a member of the UNESCO Sub-Committee for the Protection, Conservation and Management of the Archaeological Site of Babylon.

Over the past few years, DAI has restructured and refocused our individual activities: the Executive Committee has appointed an Historical Monuments Committee to support DAI'S building research and monument preservation activities. In 2011, two new units were set up to promote the debate on site management and the protection of cultural goods and to address technological developments. Since 2011, the IT department is being restructured. These efforts include the establishment of an IT architecture to ensure coordinated cultural preservation initiatives.

The following organizational units are currently active:

  • Architecture Section
  • Historical Monument Committee
  • Cultural Resources Protection and Site Management
  • IT Section (scientific IT, development of digital research environments)

The objectives are:

  • Coordinating initiatives within DAI and in cooperation with partners
  • Quality management
  • Strengthening national and international cooperation

Technology development at the DAI

Every excavation implies that parts of the discovery, i.e. the historical ground strata, are by necessity destroyed. Archaeologists therefore take great care to minimize their impact on the structure of findings, using non-destructive, non-invasive discovery technologies. This applies to all stages of the research process. DAI has established a committee dedicated to promoting the use and development of innovative technology.

Cultural heritage preservation and site management

Cultural preservation and site management have become overarching tasks for the German Archaeological Institute – tasks in which all departments and committees are involved. Preserving our cultural heritage brings with it both opportunities and challenges.A workgroup initiated by DAI in 2013 provides the information needed for the long-term preservation of cultural finds and their integration into their respective cultural traditions. The workgroup thus complements other, more research-oriented DAI initiatives. In addition to research data, the information compiled by the workgroupincludes data from geographic information systems, bibliographies, and images.