Excavations at the Late Bronze Age Harbour City of Hala Sultan Tekke, Cyprus
Hala Sultan Tekke was one of the most important urban centres of the Eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age. The city is located on the southern coast, on the shore of the present-day Larnaca Salt Lake, which in ancient times was connected to the Mediterranean, thus providing one of the best protected harbours on the island.
Bronze Age Gold Road of the Balkans – Ada Tepe Mining: Producers and Consumers
On the Ada Tepe hill in the Bulgarian Rhodopes a Bronze Age gold mine was exploited since the 15th century BCE, which makes it one of the oldest gold mines in the wider region of Europe. Since the site had been excavated by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and a joint Bulgarian-Austrian project investigated the findings from the site including the settlement, focusing on the reconstruction of life, work and wide ranging interregional connections of that Bronze Age community.
The Mycenaean settlement on the acropolis of Aigeira in Achaia
The Austrian Archaeological Institute has conducted excavations in the area of the acropolis of Aigeira (Northern Peloponnese – Greece) since 1975. The Department of Prehistory & WANA Archaeology has undertaken the publication of the Premycenaean (5th–3rd millennium BC) and of the postpalatial Mycenaean settlement (12th century BC). As a result, the contextual analysis revealed house complexes, which are characterised by storage, production of goods and consumption in the course of feasting. The high social status of the inhabitants is further evidenced by a cult room. During its final phase, a fortification wall separates the acropolis from the houses on the lower terraces and marks it as the most important part of the settlement area.
The Collapse of Bronze Age Societies in the Eastern Mediterranean: Sea Peoples in Cyprus?
The causes for and circumstances of the decline of the Late Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean are the main research aim of this project. The focus lies on Cyprus, the centre of international trade in this region and the main supplier of copper.
Tracing Transformations in the Southern Levant: From Collapse to Consolidation in the Mid-second Millennium BC
›Tracing transformations‹ explores the history and archaeology of the late Middle and early Late Bronze Age in the southern Levant. This period saw the demise of the Middle Bronze Age city-states, the end of the Hyksos Empire in Egypt, and the rising interest and involvement of the Pharaohs in the Levant, culminating in the military campaigns of the Thutmosid period and leading eventually to the ›International Age‹ of the Late Bronze Age Amarna period.
Archaeology of the Levant
The research group »Archaeology of the Levant« examines the development of the societies of the Levant from the beginnings of sedentism in the Neolithic period, the emergence of the first urban centres and the ›first globalisation‹ of trade and the political contacts in the Bronze Age, up until the formation of the Israelite kingdoms in the Iron Age and their dissolution in the great empires (ca. 10,000–586 BC). The Austrian excavations at Tel Lachisch (Israel) form a focal point of the research.
Team Katharina Streit Lyndelle Webster Agnes Woitzuck
Head Felix Höflmayer
Beautiful Kush: Cosmetic substances and utensils in Egyptian New Kingdom Nubia
Within this project the use of cosmetic utensils and substances during the New Kingdom in Nubia will be compared with their use in Egypt. The goal of the project is to investigate how much did the body care in Nubia change after the Egyptian conquest.
Tell el-Dabʿa: The settlement of the late Middle Kingdom in Area A/II
The goal of the project is to obtain a better understanding of the living conditions of people in ancient Egypt during the late Middle Kingdom (ca. 1800–1700 BC). Whereas relatively many facts are known about the realm of the dead, many living conditions remain unstudied.
Tell el-Dabʿa: 13th and 15th Dynasties Tombs from Area F/I
After the abandonment of the large palace-like building of the early 13th dynasty in Area F / I, its ruins were used to bury part of the population of Tell el-Dabʿa within them. In the following phases large villas with intra-mural cemeteries were constructed in this area. More than 400 tombs were found in this area dating from 1st half of the 13th Dynasty to the beginning of the Hyksos period. Although largely robbed, they still provide essential information about the people who lived in Tell el-Dabʿa during a difficult period of the Egyptian history.
Tell el-Dabʿa: sacrificial pit of ʿEzbet Rushdi
Irene Forstner-Müller Manfred Bietak
Joris Peters (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
A sacrificial pit near the modern village of ʿEzbet Ruschdi, once part of the ancient city of Avaris, contained an unusual mixture of complete animal deposits and a large number of vessels of the kind otherwise found only separately at Tell el-Dabʿa. The composition of the vessel forms has also not been documented in this way before. In a detailed analysis, this pit is placed in the context of Tell el-Dabʿa and the zones of influence involved in Egypt and the Levant.
An offering pit with significantly younger content than the rest of the findings in this area was discovered by Manfred Bietak and Josef Dorner during excavations by the Austrian Archaeological Institute at ʿEzbet Rushdi in 1996. It cuts the reinforced entrance wall of the temple of Ezbet Rushdi built in the second half of the 12th Dynasty (19th century BC). The surrounding area is completely destroyed by modern agricultural activities, so that the original context of this pit can no longer be reconstructed.
The offering pit contained pottery vessels as well as the skeletons of two donkeys that were placed over four sheep. The osteological analyses were carried out shortly after the discovery by Angela von den Driesch (†). This type of deposition is known to occur occasionally in the context of graves at Tell el-Dabʿa from as early as the late 12th Dynasty (late 19th century BC) and certainly originates in the Near East. Animal burials in the context of graves, however, contain significantly less pottery depositions than found in this pit.
Of particular interest is the young date of the pit content, which testifies to the continuation of ritual practices into the New Kingdom at this urban site.