The Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (CVA) is an international research project for the research and publication of ancient ceramics. It is the oldest project of the Union Académique Internationale (UAI) and was initiated by the French archaeologist Edmond Pottier who proposed to publish the ancient ceramics in a collective corpus in 1919.
Originally with six partners, the venture has grown to 24 members. The publication of the volumes lies in the responsibility of each member country.


The goal of the CVA publication project is to present antique vessels in a professional manner in uniform publications, which form an important basis and whose images are a source for further research. In the CVA online, the individual volumes and in the Beazley Archive, the published objects can be accessed: 

CVA Austria

Austria joined the CVA Project in 1935, for political reasons it belonged to Germany from 1938–1945. Therefore, the volume of the collection of the University of Vienna is called Deutschland 5. Since 1949 Austria has again been an independent member. The CVA was established as an own commission and was henceforth administrated by the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In 1994 it became part of the »Forschungsstelle Archäologie«, which was transformed into the Institute for the Study of Ancient Culture in 2000.

In 2005 the Austrian CVA work group was founded, which functions as a platform for the scientific exchange on a national and an international level. A first fundamental measure was the declaration of common guidelines for the publications. Guests are invited to the annual meetings and public lectures take place.

Within the current project »Cypriote Iron Age from Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien« the scanning of 145 objects becomes possible in cooperation with the Computer Vision Club and the financial support of the department for Culture and History in Vienna and the Friends of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.


The base of each CVA volume is a documentation of the vase considering all aspects. Condition: The technical attributes and possible antique and modern conservation measures of all objects are recorded and complete measurements are presented; in regard to the current requirements, weight and holding capacity are included as well. The iconography of the depicted images is described in detail, as well as shown in fotos. The shape of the vessel is documented by a drawing. If possible, an attribution to a painter or a workshop is undertaken. 
In cooperation with the Conservation Science Department of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien we started X-ray fluorescence analyses (RFA) on selected objects. The aim of the project is to anlyse the pigments in use.

Principal Investigator

Claudia Lang-Auinger (assoz.)


Elisabeth Trinkl (assoz.)


  • Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
  • Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien
  • Institut für rechnergestützte Automation, Technische Universität Wien, 
  • Gruppe für Mustererkennung und Bildverarbeitung (PRIP)
  • Beazley-Archive
  • Institut für Raumbezogene Informations- und Messtechnik, Hochschule Mainz - University of Applied Sciences
  • Computer Vision Lab