The Institute for History of Material Culture PAN was founded to life on the 19th November, 1953. The leadership was taken by professor Kazimierz Majewski (1953-1954) and later on by professor Witold Hensel, who held this post until 1989. In 1992, the institute assumed the today’s name of the Institut of Archeology and Ethnology PAN.
The Institute is the only centre in Poland which gathers researchers representing diverse disciplines which were once independent. The most relevant of them are : Primeval and Medieval Archeology of the Polish land, Mediterranean archeology, cultural anthropology, ethnology, history of material culture in the Middle Ages and in Modern History. The scientific program involves integration of the disciplines with the knowledge of history and the society by means of archeological-historical-cultural methods. It serves the preservation and the enrichment of national heritage through description and interpretation of monuments, as well as acquisition of new archeological and ethnological evidence. One of the leading research lines are studies on society changes in close link to the relationship with their environment.
IAE is one of the few institutions which has the opportunity to lead studies on a broad scale. The various means of documentation, excavation materials and highly specialized laboratory form a solid basis for archeological, ethnological and historical researches. All these amenities are available for academic researchers, archivists and curators, including visitors from abroad. The access is also open for students and PhD candidates. The conferences organized by IAE are attended by representatives from different disciplines and institutions.
Thanks to its own publishing houses, organization of scientific meetings, exchange of scholarship-holders, wide international cooperation, the Institute plays also an important role in popularization of achievements of Polish sciences.