Unlike most other archaeological organizations, the
Register of Professional Archaeologists is not a membership society. It
is focused solely on the promotion and maintenance of professional
standards in archaeology and the registration of qualified
pervasive importance of this need, the Register was created by a joint
task force of the Society of Professional Archaeologists, Society for American Archaeology, Society for Historical Archaeology, and the Archaeological Institute of America.
Through a vote of its board and membership, SOPA voted to transfer its
responsibility, authority, and assets to the Register and to enter into a
The SHA, SAA, and AIA all voted to become sponsors of the Register. Shortly thereafter, the American Anthropological Association
also became a sponsor of the Register. Sponsorship means that these
scholarly organizations endorse the mission of the Register, encourage
their qualified members to register, and provide annual financial
The Archaeology Division of the
American Anthropological Association (AAA)
The Archeology Division of the American Anthropological Association was founded in 1983 to advance the study of archeology as an aspect of anthropology, to provide a forum for members to discuss issues central to the development of archeology, and to foster the publication and communication of the results of archeological research and interpretations to anthropologists, to other scholars, and to the general public.
Members of the Archeology Division receive the AAA flagship journal, the
American Anthropologist, and publications in the Archeological Papers
of the American Anthropological Association series.
The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)
AIA has been dedicated to the
encouragement and support of archaeological research and publication and
to the protection of the world's cultural heritage for more than a
century. A non-profit cultural and educational organization chartered by
the U.S. Congress, it is the oldest and largest archaeological
organization in North America, with more than 11,000 members around the
Archaeological Institute of America/Institut ArchÈologique d'AmÈrique
(AIA/IAA - Canada) was incorporated in Canada in 1994 as an independent
affiliate of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA-U.S.).
of the Institute have conducted fieldwork in Africa, Asia, Europe, and
North and South America. The AIA has further promoted archaeological
studies by founding research centers and schools in seven countries and
maintains close relations with these institutions, including the
American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the School of Classical
Studies at the American Academy in Rome, and others.
The Society for American Archaeology (SAA)
The SAA is an international organization
dedicated to the research, interpretation, and protection of the
archaeological heritage of the Americas. With more than 7,200 members,
the society represents professional, student, and avocational
archaeologists working in a variety of settings including government
agencies, colleges and universities, museums, and the private sector.
its inception in 1934, SAA has endeavored to stimulate interest and
research in American archaeology; advocated and aid in the conservation
of archaeological resources; encourage public access to and appreciation
of archaeology; oppose all looting of sites and the purchase and sale
of looted archaeological materials; and serve as a bond among those
interested in the archaeology of the Americas.
The Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA)
Formed in 1967, the SHA is the largest scholarly group concerned
with the archaeology of the modern world (A.D. 1400-present). The main
focus of the society is the era since the beginning of European
exploration. SHA promotes scholarly research and the dissemination of
knowledge concerning historical archaeology.
The society is specifically
concerned with the identification, excavation, interpretation, and
conservation of sites and materials on land and underwater.
Geographically the society emphasizes the New World, but also includes
European exploration and settlement in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.