The Museum was established in 1923-1928. In 1923 the Ministry of Religious Denominations and Public Education issued an Organisational Order which provided the legal basis for activities of the Museum during its initial stage. In 1928 the Museum was fully enacted by the Polish President I. Mościcki and received the status of a national institution of science and research. Its statutory tasks included the study of prehistory of Poland, conservation of prehistoric finds on Polish territory, and promoting knowledge of prehistoric archaeology through collecting, interpretation and publication of scientific studies. The Museum gained a specialist library and a scientific archive. The Friends of the State Archaeological Museum Society was also established.
When Warsaw was occupied by nazi armies in 1939 the Museum was renamed as Staatliches Archäologisches Museum.
After the war the Museum resumed its activities in archaeological research, education, conservation and fieldwork, housed from that time in the fine historic building of the Warsaw Arsenal. The Archaeological Rescue Unit of the Museum was created in 1963. The Museum Board was established in 1968. In 1976 the courtyard of the Arsenal was excavated for the first time ever. A research catalogue of the Museum started to be developed in 1979. In 1991 the Museum became a member of the Polish Museums Association.
A project of digitalising the Museum collections was launched in 1988. The Museum Data Management Team was established in 1995 and the Fibula project was started.
In 1998 the Museum was entered into the National Museum Register (DM – IV/PRM/98).
January 1999 brought new changes in administrative status. The Museum became an institution of culture with legal entity status.
• 1926 – former Officer-Cadet School in Royal Łazienki Park, ul. Agrykola 9,
• 1940 r. – National Museum building in Warsaw,
• 1950 r. - ul. Chocimska 18,
• 1957 r. – Arsenal, ul. Długa 52.
STATE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM DIRECTORS
• Roman Jakimowicz – (1929 – 1939)
• Konrad Jażdżewski – manager during World War II
• Ludwik Sawicki - (1945 – 1949)
• prof. dr Zdzisław Adam Rajewski – (1949 – 1974)
• Jerzy Halicki – (in charge as director 1 July to 31 October 1974)
• Krzysztof Dąbrowski – (1974 – 1979)
• Jan Jaskanis – (1980 – 2001)
• Wojciech Brzeziński – (2001 - ).
STATE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM BRANCH UNITS
• Nowa Huta [1953 - 1955].
• Biskupin [1956 - 2000].
• Krzemionki Opatowskie [1968 - 1979].
• Rybno [1964 -]