Reacting to, and actively engaging in, the dynamics of current developments in archaeology, the OeAW established a competence centre for Archaeological Sciences, which focuses on science-oriented applications in the archaeology. For the OeAI this means intensifying the following fields of research:
- Archaeometry with current emphases on pottery, stone resources and mineral pigments,
- Bioarchaeology including anthropology, archaeozoology and archaeobotany, as well as
- Geoarchaeology with a planned focus on core drilling, sedimentology and micromorphology.
In the future, it is planned to continuously expand this spectrum.
Specialised laboratories housing equipment for state-of-the-art analytical methods form the basis for the scientific areas of research and additional analytical techniques are available through cooperation with our national and international partners.
Our reference collections constitute an additional important component, which include stone collections (lithics and marble), animal bones, botanical material, as well as pottery/clay in the form of ceramic samples and thin sections. These are predominantly intended for comparative research studies, and our goal is to make these collections available to partner institutes for research purposes.
The ›Archaeological Sciences‹ unit interacts with many research groups of the three OeAI departments, as well as with Transfer Research, and we maintain a close synergy with ›Heritage Sciences‹ in the area of material analyses. We additionally develop independent projects and actively contribute to the promotion of young scholars via the supervision of academic studies. An exceptional strength, as well as an international unique characteristic of our unit, is the range of scientific expertise with specialists trained in and actively researching a variety of subjects. Amongst these are, for example, lithic- and marble studies, ceramic archaeometry, as well as research on fish remains and processes of fermentation.
Due to the available high-grade facilities, as well as our scientific expertise, the centre for Archaeological Sciences at the OeAW is highly attractive for both the recruitment of international experts and for the training of young scholars, and as such a close cooperation with a wide variety of Austrian universities is planned. The expansion of the OeAW Archaeological Sciences brings together an exceptionally broad range of expertise that substantially strengthens the research at the OeAW.