INRAP was created in 2002 as a public establishment under the supervision of the Ministries of Culture and Communication, and of Research. Its main missions are to detect and excavate the archaeological heritage affected by development and infrastructural works, to study and publish these results for the benefit of the scientific community, and to contribute to the broader public awareness and appreciation of archaeology. The establishment of the institute following the 2001 Law on Preventive Archaeology confirms the growing importance accorded to archaeological research in France since the 1970s, and asserts the state's strong commitment to support this public service mission in line with the Malta Convention.
Every year, INRAP carries out over 2,000 archaeological evaluations ('diagnostics') and about 300 excavations across France, in partnership with property developers, motorway building companies, quarry owners, public enterprises, and regional, local and town councils. INRAP derives its income from a specific tax on preventive archaeology (currently 0.38 € per developed square metre) and from the direct billing of excavations, reaching an annual budget of c. 130 MY€. There are currently nearly 2000 archaeologists in INRAP (100 with PhD and 350 with Master or equivalent): their periods of competence span from the lower Palaeolithic to 20th century archaeology, with areas of specialism ranging from field methods (evaluations, topography, and geomorphology) to laboratory sciences (palaeo-environment, GIS, archaeo-botany and -zoology) to material culture studies (lithics, ceramics etc.), interpretation, conservation and public outreach. Distributed in 8 regional directions and across 50 archaeological bases, INRAP archaeologists work in close collaboration with ministry of culture representatives, and undertake a range of research and publication activities with universities and CNRS research groups. INRAP also works in close relationship with the international scientific community: besides participating in various European instances, it has forged bilateral links with similar institutions in Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa and South East Asia, with the aim of sharing e xpertise and contributing to the better understanding and management of the archaeological heritage worldwide.
As the project leader of the ACE network, INRAP is the legal signatory of the contract with the EC, and it is responsible for the financial and administrative management of the network, as well as the implementation of its activities programme (see more details in the ACE Coordination page >link<). In addition, INRAP is particularly involved in the following ACE activities: On Comparative practices in archaeology(theme II) , in exploring the 'fields of archaeology' and 'European archaeology and international development' (with Leiden and R GK); on The archaeological profession (theme III), in identifying the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of the profession (with CSIC-Santiago), and also in actions of public outreach (theme IV), which include notably the conception and organisation of a major exhibit at the European city of science in November 2008.
Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives (Inrap)
Responsible for project :
Kai Salas Rossenbach
7 rue de Madrid