The OeAI is home to extensive collections that are also available to external specialists by arrangement with the expert in charge.
A collection of pottery fragments, raw material samples, as well as thin sections has been built up for comparative studies but also for the application of analyses of the natural sciences. The emphasis has been placed on the eastern Mediterranean and the provinces in the Alps; the time frame extends from the Anatolian Neolithic to the modern period. The collection of clay and pottery from Ephesos is unique and during a raw material survey the entire region was sampled and reference materials were also extracted from various excavation sites. The materials can be studied in specially equipped labs and the relevant databases are also accessible.
Animal bone collection
The collection acquired from the University of Veterinary Medicine contains both original material as well as replicas that are essential for the identification of animal bones. Furthermore, the OeAI has also archived various exported animal bones from excavations in the Mediterranean. For study purposes the material from Austrian excavations is stored in suitable work spaces.
A core element of every archaeobotanical lab is a reference collection of modern plant parts. It was created through a close cooperation and exchange agreements with the universities of Innsbruck, Vienna, Hohenheim, the BOKU Vienna, and the KU Leuven and now looks back on a collection history of about 15 years. The bulk of the collection is made up of 3,000 specimens of seeds and fruits that mainly come from central European and Mediterranean plants. These are complemented by special collections of woods (around 200 specimens) and mosses (about 100 accessions). Another emphasis is currently being built up and consists of the archiving of archaeobotanical remains from excavations in Austria and beyond.