ICA's long-term goals and the composition of its staff have been shaped by strongly held beliefs and ideals. Archaeological research and full publication are, of course, central to its mission. We believe, however, that publication should be much more than a scientific report of the excavation with illustrations of some of the objects discovered. It is our goal to make available the full range of the data we collect, in order to make it possible for other researchers to ask questions of their own. At the same time, we regard it as highly important to synthesize the results of our research in such a way that they illuminate ancient life at a particular place and time while highlighting its connection to the broader history of the region and period. We are especially interested in rural and non-elite populations, whose daily lives and material circumstances have often been neglected by scholars of the ancient world. Our approach is broad and interdisciplinary, and we believe strongly in the power of the integration of research in all fields related to the study of the past, from geomorphology to paleobotany to physical anthropology to history to remote sensing and GIS.
We further believe that the future of the site after excavation is a major responsibility of the archaeological team, hence our involvement in conservation activities and our efforts to help develop archaeological parks at both the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos in Ukraine and at Metaponto in Italy. Sites and landscapes should be firmly protected and supported by laws if they are to survive and offer instruction and enjoyment to coming generations. Our strong concern for the future of the archaeological remains, as well as their proper excavation and development, animates our efforts to support and advise the institutions that directly control these remains, and the politicians who control those institutions. A large part of that effort is focused on disseminating knowledge of these sites through conferences, programs, and publications designed for wider audiences.
Behind all our efforts is the firm belief that archaeology is an international endeavor and that information, resources, and technical expertise should be shared. Political groups may disagree with each other and with their own constituencies, but archaeologists can do their part to carry on civilized discourse and engage in joint projects that lead to a better understanding of our cultural heritage.