The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) is a non-profit 501 (c)3 organization that supports and encourages the study of the peoples and cultures of the Near East, from the earliest times to the present. ASOR is apolitical and has no religious affiliation. ASOR was founded in 1900 by twenty one institutions—including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia. Over a century later, ASOR has more than 90 consortium institutions, including universities, seminaries, museums, foundations, and libraries. In addition, ASOR has more than 1,550 individual members. ASOR's mission lies in initiating, encouraging and supporting research into the cultures of the Near East from the earliest times, and helping the public to understand the findings of that research. ASOR fosters original research, archaeological excavations and explorations; encourages scholarship in the Near East’s basic languages, cultural histories and traditions; builds support for Near Eastern studies, and advocates high academic standards. ASOR also offers educational opportunities in Near Eastern history and archaeology to students from all over the world, and through outreach activities to the public.