When the Lithuanian Academy of sciences’ Institute of History and Archaeology was established in April 1941 Dr Jonas Puzinas contributed much to organise the Archaeology Department and transfer to the Academy the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum of Vilnius University. Until 1943 J. Puzinas continued to draft documents for the Archaeological section of the Academy’s Institute of History.
After the war Pranas Kulikauskas worked in the Institute, organising archaeological work. After the Institute was merged with the Law Institute in 1952 an Archaeological-Ethnographic Sector was set up under Dr Pranas Kulikauskas. A separate Archaeological Sector was formed in October 1962 under Dr Adolfas Tautavičius, who headed it until 1987. Between 1987 and 1994 the Archaeological Department was headed by Dr Vytautas Kazakevičius, who was succeeded by Dr Gintautas Zabiela (until 1999), Algirdas Girininkas (until 2005). The current head of department is Dr Valdemaras Šimėnas.
Department members have made considerable contributions to Lithuanian archaeology.