From its earliest days, the Society has been fortunate to attract distinguished and talented members, willing to take fresh approaches to the problems and opportunities they encountered in the study of history. They included:
- the pioneer archaeologist Sir John Evans, who joined the society in 1845 aged 22, and developed methods of illustrating pottery finds that formed the model for later generations of archaeologists, as well as contributing to the concept of 'treasure trove' in which the finding of the Park Street Hoard in 1886 played a part; and
- Dr Norman Davey (see below), who developed new techniques for raising intact plaster wall decorations, thus enabling the preservation of the wonderful wall plaster found in Shepherd Frere's 1950s excavations at Bluehouse Hill.
Other innovations championed by the Society include those used to find out more about archaeological features in large open spaces without the need for intrusive and expensive excavations, such as aerial photography and remote sensing.