The Archaeological Survey of India, established in 1861 is an attached office under the Ministry of Culture dedicated to the protection, preservation and conservation of the national monuments. It is a multidisciplinary organization including exploration and excavation, chemical conservation, Horticultural operation, Museum, underwater archaeology, Pre-History Branch, Epigraphy, Publication etc. With the expansion of the Survey, the scope and sphere of the activities of all the branches increased rapidly. As on today, there are 3667 centrally protected monuments including 22 World Heritage Monuments/Sites.
The Archaeological Survey of India took over the archaeological monuments of national importance at Goa from 1968 onwards. The office of the Conservation Assistant was formed under the control of Aurangabad Circle in the year 1964. There are 21 monuments under Goa Circle where preservation and conservation works are being carried out. In 1984, the Mini Circle, Goa was created headed by a Dy. Superintending Archaeologist.
The Archaeological Museum in Old Goa was set up in the Convent of St. Francis of Assisi in 1964. In 1981-82 the Museum was completely rearranged and reorganized before the common wealth head of the state meet in 1983. From 01.04.1998, the Archaeological Museum at Old Goa was merged with the Mini Circle, Goa. The Dy. Superintending Archaeologist, Mini Circle was also the Head of office for the Archaeological Museum, Old Goa. Again it was on 01.04.2010, the Archaeological Museum at Old Goa was made an independent office and Deputy Superintending Archaeologist has been made as an independent officer looking after the museums under western zone.
The Horticulture Branch is also located at Old Goa, maintaining the lawns and landscaping of the Churches and Convents to enhance its ambience. However, the Science Branch located at Aurangabad is still looking after preservation work in Goa.
Finally in December 2005 the Mini Circle, Goa was upgraded into a full-fledged Goa Circle with the Superintending Archaeologist as head of office. Goa State measuring an area of 3702 Sq km contains 21 centrally protected Monuments.