Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology (OREA)

Evaluation and establishment as a permanent institute

The three-year pilot phase of the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology led to an evaluation by an international scientific committee. The new tenured status of the institute as decided by the “Akademierat” of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in June 2016 is the result of this highly successful evaluation. The OREA team is proud of the accomplished mission to be integrated as a permanent institute at the Austrian Academy of Sciences!

OREA is the only archaeological institution in Austria holding highly competitive grants. Altogether 4 ERC Grants (3 Starter, 1 Advanced) and 4 FWF START prizes mark OREA as one of the leading institutes in the international field of archaeology.

Mission Statement

The Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology (OREA), founded in 2013 and going back to the 19th century Commissions (for former Kommissionen see Retrospect), covers essential prehistoric and early historical cultural developments from the Orient to Europe. This mission is reflected in research ranging from Europe, North Africa, as well as the Middle East in the context of World Archaeology. The orient and occident are frequently understood as counterpoints in different worlds and explored separately. In this research institute, these areas are deliberately considered a common cultural bracket for crucial advances of human (pre)history and are therefore explored together. The focus of basic research lies in the time horizon from the Quaternary, about 2.6 million years ago, to the transformation of societies into historical epochs in the 1st millennium BC.

Research methods include archaeological field work (excavations and surveys), material culture studies with diverse archaeometric methods, and interdisciplinary cooperations with a range of different disciplines, including archaeozoology, archaeobotanics, anthracology, biological anthropology, palaeogenetics, climatology, geoarchaeology and landscape modelling. The basic analysis and interpretation of early cultures lies at the core of research efforts, which aim to include all possible sources. The study of chronologies, art and early writing as well as a broad socio-cultural spectrum including religion, ideologies and identities compliment research at the institute.

OREA researchers cover a wide range of disciplines from Prehistoric Archaeology, Egyptology, Sudanese Archaeology, Near/Middle Eastern and early Greek Archaeology to various philologies, anthropology and raw material studies.

Targeted research on different priorities is concentrated in research groups spanning broad regions and designed to be trans-regional and diachronic. Research groups are constantly being initiated and developed to pick up new trends in the research landscape and provide new impetus.

For ongoing national and international quality assurance as well as additional research funding, the Institute strives for success in competitive external funding. Current financial support is provided by the Austrian Research Fund (FWF), the ERC, the EU Marie Curie programme and INSTAP as well as by the Austrian National Bank (ÖNB), the White Levy Fund, the City of Vienna, the County of Lower Austria and various private foundations.

The Institute publishes six publication series and two international journals. The publications reflect the core research areas and comply with the highest scientific standards through international evaluation procedures and advisory boards.


Archaeologia Austriaca. Zeitschrift zur Archäologie Europas / Journal on the Archaeology of Europe


Ägypten und Levante / Egypt and the Levant. Internationale Zeitschrift für ägyptische Archäologie und deren Nachbargebiete / International Journal for Egyptian Archaeology and Related Disciplines


Mitteilungen der Prähistorischen Kommission


Oriental and European Archaeology


Mykenische Studien


Archaeology of Egypt, Sudan and the Levant


Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium BC


Untersuchungen der Zweigstelle Kairo des Österreichischen Archäologischen Instituts