Archaeology is truly an infant discipline in Ethiopian higher education institutions though it is just now barely coming of age. The earliest known attempt to initiate a program in the field goes back to the 1960s, when the Department of History at Addis Ababa University (AAU) proposed a program in Archaeology. Consequently, the Department was allowed to offer archaeology courses to its students. In 1978, the Department opened an “Archaeology Unit,” which became instrumental in delivering various archaeology courses to its students in the non-teaching stream.

A practical response to the problem of training professionals in Archaeology was given in September 2002 by AAU when a graduate program in Archaeology was launched under the Department of History. The success attained at the M.A. level encouraged AAU to plan and develop the “Archaeology Unit” into a fully-fledged Department of Archaeology and Heritage Management. As a result, an undergraduate program in Archaeology and Heritage Program was initiated in 2009/10 academic year by enrolling 24 students. At the beginning of 2010/11 academic year, the university materialized its plan of establishing a fully-fledged Department of Archaeology and Heritage Management, one of the six departments currently housed in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Currently, the Department runs both graduate and undergraduate programs, including a variety of courses in its curricula. Since the opening of the graduate program, trainees drawn from universities, research centers and Culture and Tourism bureaus, including a few self-sponsored students have attended the program. Our graduates are now engaged in higher education institutions, private business and in culture and tourism bureaus. Besides, 40% of the alumni are attending their further studies in African, American and European Universities. Thus, the graduate program in Archaeology has provided an important opportunity for students to do further studies. The Department aspires to be a center of excellence in Archaeology and Heritage Management in Ethiopia and the Horn.