The Groningen Institute of Archaeology (GIA) was founded in 1995, after a merger of three departments within the University of Groningen: the famous Biologisch Archeologisch Instituut founded by Van Giffen in the 1920s, the Institute for Classical Archaeology, and the Arctic Centre.
The Institute and its forerunners have been active in field research in the Mediterranean and the Near East from the 1970s onwards. Besides extensive palaeo-environmental research in Turkey, Egypt and the Near East (by the late prof. Bottema and, more recently, by prof. Cappers), work on refining the chronology of Italian protohistory (by Dr Nijboer) and a brief project in the Crimea (prof. Attema), the GIA has been conducting three major long-term research projects in Greece and Italy. These projects combine excavations of urban and proto-urban sites with extensive diachronic landscape archaeological studies in the surroundings.
- The excavations at Halos (a Hellenistic town in Thessaly, Greece) started in the mid-1970s and are still on-going under the direction of prof. em. Reinder Reinders. In the surroundings, field walking surveys have been conducted in the plains of Almirós and Sourpí.
- The Satricum excavations (an Archaic proto-urban centre in south Lazio, Italy) ran between the late 1970s and the early 1990s and were directed by prof. Marianne Kleibrink. The Pontine Region Project (directed by prof. Peter Attema) originated in the mid-1980s to contextualise this site, but since developed into a major, independent and multifaceted regional landscape archaeological project that is still on-going.
- The excavations on the hilltop of Timpone della Motta di Francavilla Marittima (Calabria, Italy), initially directed by prof. Kleibrink and more recently by prof. Attema, began in the early 1990s and went on until 2008. From 1996 field surveys were conducted to contextualise the site, and from 2000 onwards these were formalised as an independent research project (the Raganello Archaeological Project or RAP), directed by prof. Attema and Dr Martijn van Leusen.
Recently, new field projects have been launched in the southern Argolid (Greece; directed by prof. Sofia Voutsaki) and in the Near East, with field surveys in Kurdistan (Iraq) under the co-direction of Dr Lidewijde de Jong.