The Digital Archaeology and Classics (DAC) unit is located at the interface between Archaeology/Classical Studies and Information Technology/Computer Science. Its scope is directed both internally, i.e. within the institute itself, and externally as a link to national and international partners in the field of Computational Archaeology. The institute sees itself as a proficient focal point for all activities in the overlap of Archaeology/Classical Studies and Computer Science.

This area of responsibility includes both theoretical and practical fields of activity throughout the entire research data cycle. The field of theoretical foundational research includes projects that deal with fundamental problems of the structure and analysis of data from archaeology and classical antiquity. Previous focus in this regard at the ÖAW included work on the creation of vocabularies and the general structuring of excavation data.

The development of administration, management and archiving solutions for various data collections is of great importance for research practice. This is provided via close cooperation with the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage (ACDH-CH) of the OeAW. An additional major challenge is the development of research infrastructures that can be used to make archaeological and classical data available to the scientific community, for example via open web platforms. Fundamental for this are, if nothing else, well-founded skills at the conceptual level in order to help shape international standards and developments, such as linked open data, the use of metadata standards and ontologies, etc., as well as to be able to take these standards into account and integrate them into institute projects.