The National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research, INRAP, is the main operator of preventive excavations. The Institute also proposes to bring to light sites of programmed excavations.
Preventive excavations are carried out upstream of development projects with the aim to detect, to conserve and safeguard elements of archaeological heritage through scientific study. When significant remains are found, the project can take on a different scope. The developer can propose technical solutions to ensure the proper conservation of the remains.
Programmed excavations are carried out on sites of great scientific interest. They must correspond to the national archaeological program defined by the National Council for Archaeological Research (CNRA). Aerial, terrestrial and geophysical surveys and studies of buildings are also part of this field of research.
Inrap's mission is also to make the results of archaeological research available to the general public. To do this, the Institute regularly organizes exhibitions in partnership with cultural venues (for example, La Matérialité de l'invisible at 104 (Paris) or ça va laisser des traces) and other events such as the Journées Nationales de l'archéologie in June (open days).
The Inrap headquarters is located in Paris. The institute has 8 regional and interregional departments and 44 archaeological research centers. Inrap in Pantin groups together the following departments : Cher, Essonne, Eure-et-Loir, Hauts-de-Seine, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise, Yvelines.