National Archaeological Institute with Museum

The National Archaeological Institute with Museum at BAS (NAIM-BAS) works on the overall study of the material and spiritual culture of the tribes and peoples who inhabited present-day’s Bulgarian lands from the deepest antiquity to the 18th century.

NAIM-BAS is a national center and coordinator of all field archaeological research on the territory of Bulgaria and performs scientific and methodological control over them.

The Archaeological Museum is the largest in Bulgaria and with its expositions is one of the most important centers in the country for popularizing the past of present-day’s Bulgarian lands. With its scientific and museum potential, NAIM-BAS is the largest scientific institution for archaeology in Southeastern Europe.

Scientific activity

Taking into consideration the specifics of the studied issues, the National Archaeological Institute with Museum – BAS includes the following scientific structural units:

  • Five chronologically and thematically profiled sections: Department of Prehistory, Department of Thracian Archaeology, Department of Classic Archaeology, Department of Medieval Archaeology, Department of Numismatics & Epigraphy;
  • Department of Interdisciplinary Research and Archaeological Map of Bulgaria;
  • Two branches for studying the ancient Bulgarian capitals (in Shumen and Veliko Tarnovo);
  • Archaeological Museum with three departments: Expositions, Repositories and Laboratory for Analyses, Conservation and Restoration.

The various activities of NAIM-BAS are carried out in close cooperation and interaction with the museums in the country, state institutions (Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Science, National Institute of Immovable Cultural Heritage), regional and local executive bodies and various non-governmental organizations.

The fieldwork of scientists and specialists from NAIM-BAS includes regular and rescue archaeological excavations, field searches and observations and is carried out on more than 100 archaeological sites, chronologically covering the time from the early Paleolithic to the late Ottoman epoch.

The scientifically applied activity of NAIM-BAS is expressed mainly in various events related to the specifics of functioning of the Archaeological Museum – inventory of museum funds, inventory of new materials, preparation and presentation of permanent and temporary expositions, restoration, preservation and photo-documentation, updating of the museum records.

Educational activity

Doctoral programs

A major element in the educational activity of NAIM is the training of PhD students in the field of archaeology through the PhD program. In 2017, 10 PhD students were trained at NAIM-BAS.

Other educational initiatives

The educational activities of NAIM-BAS include conducting lectures and exercises in all higher education institutions where archaeology is studied, the preparation of graduates, the organization of field student practices. A particular emphasis in the work of the museum in recent years is the work with groups of pupils and preschool children. Annual initiatives are „School in the Museum”, „Summer in the Museum” and other museum and educational programпеs on history and ancient art in relation to permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Brief history
  • On 8 November 1878, Sofia Public Library was established.
  • On 5 June 1879 it was renamed Bulgarian National Library in Sofia.
  • On 1 January 1893 the National Museum was established as a separate institution.
  • In 1901, the Bulgarian Archaeological Society was founded.
  • With the promulgation of the Law on National Enlightenment in 1909, the National Museum was renamed People’s Archaeological Museum.
  • In 1920, on the basis of the Bulgarian Archaeological Society, the Bulgarian Archaeological Institute was established as a separate scientific institution.
  • By a decision of the Executive Council of BAS, legalized by a decree of the Council of Ministers signed on 3 November 1948, the National Archaeological Museum merged with the Archaeological Institute under the common name Archaeological Institute and Museum at BAS.