Heritage Sciences is defined as the multi- and interdisciplinary research field of cultural heritage. Archaeology therefore plays a particularly special role here, since on the one hand by its intervention it irretrievably destroys that which has been preserved, yet on the other hand it facilitates the discovery of monuments and objects, the investigation and preservation of which is the purpose of Heritage Sciences.
The numerous excavations of the new ÖAI provide a rich area of application for Heritage Sciences, a subject which extends from conservation sciences over restoration and reconstruction up to sustainable collection management. An interdisciplinary research approach, with an interconnection of humanistic and natural sciences as well as technical documentation methods, is necessary in order remotely to meet the requirements of the complexity of cultural heritage studies. In addition, Heritage Sciences play a role in the history of research, in particular in the colonial heritage of archaeology and classical studies. Yet also in the case of current field research it seems appropriate to bring rapid gain of knowledge and long-term diligence to the object, and to discuss these issues. Ultimately, Heritage Sciences play a role in cultural tourism and the public efficacy of the archaeological cultural heritage.
The working area of Heritage Sciences will operate in the individual ÖAI research groups and will guarantee the development and implementation of standards for dealing with archaeological cultural heritage. A preventative-active involvement in field projects is therefore equally as necessary as a close cooperation with Archaeological Sciences, in particular with archaeometry, but also with the collections and depots of the Institute and its cooperation partners. In close collaboration with the departments of the OeAW, especially with the ACDH-CH as well as other national and international research institutes with similar goals, projects should be developed and realised; here, in particular, European programmes should also be referred to.