The Austrian Archaeological Institute in Athens was founded in 1898 and, together with the French (1846), German (1874), American (1881), British (1886) and Italian (1909) Archaeological Institutes or Schools, is one of the 6 oldest foreign institutions of its kind in Athens. Today it is part of a thriving research environment that includes 19 foreign schools and active partners of the Greek Ministry of Culture, as well as a variety of Greek research institutions.
A Representative Building in the Centre of Athens
The building of the OeAI was constructed according to plans by the architect Ernst Ziller on a plot of land dedicated for this purpose by the Greek state on Leoforos Alexandras near the Greek National Museum and opened in 1908. Today, in addition to office space, it also houses a flat for guests and scholarship holders, as well as a specialist library, which is open to colleagues for study. At present, two archaeologists and two sur-place staff (office management, library, translations) are permanently employed, three people are employed in third-party funded projects. In addition, there are currently three visiting scholars at the institute.
Representation to the Greek Authorities & Research Partner
The Athens branch of the Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAI) serves the research of the cultural heritage of Greece and the Aegean, which in many respects has become formative for Europe and the world. It forms the central interface between Greece and Austria in the field of archaeological, historical and philological research. The OeAI represents Austrian applications for excavations, surveys, geophysical work, study permits, material autopsies, analyses of material samples to the Greek museums, ephorates and directorates of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The OeAI Athens also carries out its own research projects in Greece: It provides a base for scientists and doctoral students of the OeAI and other Austrian research institutions and is a partner for their research and studies.
The Institute has a library with over 20,000 volumes, which is open to the scientific public. Although the library is comparatively small, it has some old editions and special sections that serve the research foci of the Institute. In addition, the aim is to present Austrian archaeological and historical publications as completely as possible.
ARETE publication series
The new publication series ARETE serves to publish the results of Austrian research projects in Greece, be it excavations, surveys, material studies or conferences. This will contribute to a better visibility of Austrian archaeological and historical research in Greece.
With a GO.INVESTIGATIO scholarship to Athens
The Austrian Academy of Sciences awards scholarships for highly qualified young researchers, which offer the possibility of a research stay at the OeAI in Athens, one of the world's best locations for archaeological research in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Fellows profit from the OeAI research infrastructure, but also from the numerous offers at the many other foreign institutes in Athens.
Each year, the OeAI presents the official annual report on its work at a public event followed by a keynote lecture on a special topic. In addition, the institute organises a lecture series reflecting current work and research, and regularly organises international symposia and workshops.
Excavations & Research Projects
The Greek Ministry of Culture grants a maximum of 6 permits per year for Austrian excavations and field research projects, of which 3 are national individual permits and the other three are granted to Greek-Austrian cooperations.
The excavations of the OeAI in Greece have a long tradition and are located in Lousoi and Aigeira in the northern Peloponnese. There are cooperations of the OeAI with the Greek Archaeological Service in Leontion and Kleidi-Samikon, where a new 5-year project was approved in 2022. The OeAI also organises approvals for projects carried out by Austrian universities, such as the Aigina project of the University of Salzburg and the Pheneos excavations carried out by the University of Graz in 2011–2015.