Sabine Ladstätter (1968–2024)

Sabine Ladstätter (© OeAW-OeAI/Niki Gail)

It is with deep sadness that we have to announce the death of Priv. Doz. Dr. Sabine Ladstätter. After a serious illness that was endured with great dignity, our dear colleague, friend and former Managing Director passed away on June 3 surrounded by her loved ones.

Sabine Ladstätter was born on November 22, 1968 in Klagenfurt/Carinthia. She studied Classical Archaeology and Classical Studies at the Universities of Graz and Vienna and received her doctorate summa cum laude in 1997 with Franz Glaser and Friedrich Krinzinger on »Von Mediterraneum zur provincia Slaborum«. She was awarded the venia docendi at the University of Vienna in 2007 with her habilitation thesis »Studien zur ephesischen Keramik von späthellenistischer bis spätantiker Zeit«.

As a research associate and soon Deputy Director of the Institute for the Study of Ancient Culture at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, her scientific interest in, but above all her great love for Ephesos, the ancient Metropolis Asiae, began in 1995 and was to shape her entire life. In 2009, Sabine Ladstätter succeeded Johannes Koder as Director of the Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAI). A year later, she became head of the excavations in Ephesos. She not only succeeded in further establishing the Ephesos excavation as an international research platform, but above all, thanks to her respectful and cordial relationship with the host country, the reputation of Austrian research in Turkey also grew. Following her personal interests, she dealt with questions about the late antique Byzantine city, thereby significantly expanding our understanding of this epoch. In addition to her research and, above all, management activities in Ephesos, she remained connected to the Carinthian Hemmaberg throughout her life, which was not only the origin of her career aspirations, but whose exploration was a matter close to her heart.

With the integration of the Austrian Archaeological Institute into the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the merger of all three institutes focussing on archaeology and classics housed there, Sabine Ladstätter was appointed Managing Director of the 'new OeAI' at the beginning of 2021. She planned and implemented the relocation of the institute to its new location in 2023 with tireless dedication for as long as her health allowed. A modern laboratory landscape, which documents the importance she attached to scientific expertise early on, now bears witness to her forward-looking ideas.

Despite all the burdens that her many management tasks entailed, teaching and promoting young academics were a priority for her. Whether as a visiting professor at Stanford University (2019), at the École normale supérieure de Paris (2016), as a supervisor of academic theses or 'just' as a lecturer at schools or in community halls throughout Austria and beyond – no distance was too far, no appointment too inconvenient for her to want to convey her enthusiasm for archaeology in general and Ephesos in particular.

Her numerous awards and appointments, the last of which – her admission to the circle of full members of the Austrian Academy of Sciences – filled her with particular pride, are impressive proof that we are losing an internationally highly esteemed and outstanding scientist. But above all, we have lost a dear colleague and good friend.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family, our thoughts are with Sabine and her beloved daughter Hemma.
We will not forget Sabine Ladstätter, and the Austrian Archaeological Institute will always hold her memory in the highest honor.


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