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About ARI

About ARI

The Archaeological Research Institute (ARI) is a non-profit organization based in Lawrenceburg, IN, dedicated to the study and preservation of the region’s rich history through archaeological research. ARI operates as a 501(c)(3) organization, which means it is recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt charitable organization.

ARI’s team of archaeologists leads the organization’s programming and activities, including research, public engagement & education, and archaeological preservation efforts. They are committed to providing hands-on opportunities for visitors, students, and volunteers, of all ages to engage with the field of archaeology and explore the local history.

One of ARI’s primary goals is to offer unique educational experiences to the public. They give tours of archaeological sites, allowing participants to learn about the history and cultural significance of these locations. By actively involving the community, ARI aims to foster a sense of connection and stewardship towards the region’s heritage.

ARI also focuses on preserving at-risk archaeological sites. They identify and assess sites that face potential threats from development, natural factors, or human activities. Through collaboration with local community members, landowners, and other stakeholders, ARI works to protect and conserve these sites for future generations.

Research is a vital component of ARI’s work. They engage in archaeological investigations, employing scientific methodologies to uncover and interpret the past. By conducting fieldwork, excavation, artifact analysis, and interpretation, ARI contributes to the academic understanding of the region’s history and cultural heritage while still involving the public along the way.

Overall, the Archaeological Research Institute plays a crucial role in preserving and promoting the archaeological heritage of the region. Through their inclusive and innovative educational programs, research endeavors, and preservation efforts, they strive to engage the public and create a deeper understanding and appreciation of the past.

Our Goals

  • Add to the body of knowledge of Native American sites and their cultures in the tristate region of Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky
  • Preservation of archaeological sites in Southeast Indiana and surrounding communities by acquiring said sites through donation, purchase or other equitable means
  • Encourage and financially support survey, limited excavation, and public interpretation of these archaeological sites as appropriate
  • Create a platform for Indigenous descendant communities to tell their story and assist in archaeological interpretation
  •  Provide paid and unpaid educational opportunities for students interested in archaeology (specifically offering Native American student scholarships whenever interested)
  •  Establish a laboratory and learning center in which artifacts recovered by ARI can be processed prior to final curation at a public institution
  •  Establish a facility for permanent curation of artifacts recovered by ARI
  •  Establish criteria for accepting donated local artifacts and collections; provide appropriate storage for those items
  • Develop a plan for making recovered artifacts accessible for study by interested, qualified individuals
  • Invite the public to volunteer in respectful survey and excavations under the supervision of qualified personnel
  • Advocate for consistent state laws to provide for identification and preservation of archaeological sites
  • Be a leader and early adaptor for innovative archaeological technologies and techniques
  • Be a leader in participatory, educational, experiential learning experiences and technologies
  • Be a leader in establishing methods for recording unknown local sites 
  • Provide the public with immersive hands-on educational opportunities that educate and promote stewardship of precious and sacred archaeological sites
  • Invite the public to join in our research, education, recording and preservation efforts

Our Mission

To educate current and future generations about past cultures through the investigation, identification and preservation of native and non-native sites.

We accomplish our mission by offering  carefully curated & learning-outcome-focused educational programming; hands-on archaeological experiences, tours of local & regional archaeological sites, day camps, lectures & workshops.

We are always working with and in search of partner organizations to help us provide accessible and inclusive educational opportunities.

Our Vision

Through its educational programming ARI, Inc aims to provide a bridge between past and present cultures.

Our Values


Here at ARI, we approach archaeology from a perspective of ethical stewardship, responsibility, and equity. We believe that archaeological sites and cultural heritage are deserving of scientific research, empathy and preservation.   

Here at ARI we believe that all are welcome to learn and be involved in archaeology and we have made efforts towards this goal. All people from all backgrounds, ages, and professions are welcome to come join us at ARI in our journey to a brighter more informed future. 

We do not use hard to understand jargon, the work we do is for everyone. We wish to make our research as accessible as possible and have projects in place to make it easier and easier to interact with archaeology. Our AR/VR project as well as our app and digital archive projects are all so that we can attract a bigger audience to archaeology and hopefully change the lives of all who come into contact with ARI. 

Health & Safety:
Here at ARI safety of our employees and visitors is our number one priority. We take steps starting with providing the proper tools and training to ensure the safety of everyone involved in our research, planning, and excavation activities. 

Professional Development:
Learning never stops. We expect employees and volunteers to continually learn and strive to be better. As an academic and educational institution we know that there are many ways to improve as both scholars and employees and we strive to do so. We will provide and take any and all opportunities to grow and better ourselves as scholars, employees and a company.

Land Acknowledgement Statement:

The Archaeological Research Institute (ARI) recognizes that the land we study and steward is the homeland of many peoples. We acknowledge the myaamia (Miami), Shawanwa (Shawnee), Peewaalia (Peoria), Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) and the multitude of nations who call this their homelands.  

ARI recognizes the violence inflicted upon the indigenous Nations of the Ohio Valley, including their forced removal following treaties such as Fort Finney and Greenville. ARI condemns the intentional destruction of their languages and cultures. ARI condemns the continuous discrimination against the living Native peoples throughout the United States.  

ARI recognizes that these peoples are not of the past, but are vibrant living nations. ARI recognizes that Native Americans are a diverse, resilient people with a deep enduring history worth knowing.  In that light ARI extends our respect to all Native peoples both past and present.  

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