The American Journal of Archaeology (AJA), the journal of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), is one of the oldest and most widely circulated journals of archaeology in the world. Founded in 1885 as The American Journal of Archaeology and of the History of the Fine Arts, it began its second series in 1897. The scope of the AJA is defined by the Governing Board of the AIA as "the art and archaeology of ancient Europe and the Mediterranean world, including the Near East and Egypt, from prehistoric to Late Antique times." The AJA Editor-in-Chief welcomes the submission of manuscripts on any subject within that definition. Submissions that announce discoveries, present new information, or break new theoretical ground are especially welcome, as are articles that deal with methodological issues, offer theoretical frameworks for interpretation of archaeological data, or explore the symbiosis between field methodology and the analysis of material culture. In addition to articles, the AJA publishes field reports and newsletters on the archaeology of various regions, comprehensive reviews of the state of the discipline, forums, archaeological notes, necrologies, museum exhibition reviews, book reviews, and review articles (see the editorial statements of the Book Review Editors and Museum Review Editor in AJA 116  3–4 and in AJA 112  531; see also Guidelines for Book Reviewers and Guidelines for Museum Reviewers). Awards presented at each annual meeting of the AIA are published in the April issue.
In keeping with the 2004 policy of the AIA, the AJA will not accept any article that serves as the primary publication of any object or archaeological material in a private or public collection after 30 December 1973 unless its existence is documented before that date or it was legally exported from the country of origin. An exception may be made if, in the view of the Editor-in-Chief, the aim of the article is to emphasize the loss of archaeological context. Reviews of exhibitions, catalogues, or publications that do not follow these guidelines should state that the exhibition or publication in question includes material without known archaeological findspot (see N.J. Norman, "Editorial Policy on the Publication of Recently Acquired Antiquities," AJA 109  135–36).
Manuscripts submitted to the AJA are reviewed by appropriate experts without exception. While AJA Advisory Board members often serve as reviewers, manuscripts are also screened by outside experts. Most submissions are read by two scholars in addition to the Editor-in-Chief.