The mission of the San Diego Archaeological Center is to preserve archaeological collections and promote their educational, scientific and cultural use to benefit a diverse public.

In 1998, the Center took on a formidable task: resolving The Curation Crisis. Excavated artifacts that had been neglected for over 30 years needed to be returned to the status of cultural resources. The Center was purpose-built to effectively preserve, manage and use archaeological collections and is considered a model institution at the local, state and national level.

Our vision is to sustain an archaeological center where artifacts will not only be cared for in a state-of-the-art environment, but where scientific research can be facilitated and the public can enjoy learning about the prehistory and history of the San Diego region through educational programs and museum quality exhibits. The Center’s greatest contribution to the community is providing tangible history. The Center recognizes and respects the cultural diversity of the community we serve—past, present and future. We strive to offer a balanced interpretation of history using artifacts as visual and tactile evidence of the people of San Diego and our common humanity.