The society was founded in 1951 by Prof. Dr. Lothar F. Zotz as a non-commercial association. The society's task is to advance the interests of the Quaternary science with special focus on the research on Paleolithic man, his environment and cultures.
At the moment the society consists of ca. 250 single members and institutions coming from many countries in Europe and from different fields such as prehistory, geology, geography, palaeontology, palaeobotany, palaeoclimatology, anthropology and ethnology.
The aim of the Society is to cultivate and promote the interests and concerns of Quaternary research, especially with regard to the study of Stone Age human, his environment and his cultures. Priority shall always be given to work in the intellectual tradition of Hugo Obermaier's work. The following points are mentioned as aims in the statutes:
- Holding of conferences,
- Cultivation of relations with foreign Quaternary and Stone Age researchers,
- support and publication of the Quaternary Yearbook,
- support of archaeological excavations and research projects.