Last terrapins – first turkeys – humans out of place

500 years of building history mirrored by rubble layers, artefacts, bones and documents It started with a rescue excavation of a few weeks in 2004, when the centre of the Nationalpark Donauauen was established in one of the most unique of our Renaissance castles; 17 years later, and coordinated by Nikolaus Hofer from the  Federal Monuments Authority Austria, a team of historians, art historians, archaeologists, stratigraphers and osteologists together assemble a colourful picture, mutually benefitting from each others results; for the first time in Austria, the history of a monumental building could be traced over such a long period - inderdisciplinarity more than an out-dated phrase  

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Network Associates Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA)


My research is centered around ancient DNA retrieved from a wide range of samples to better understand pathogen-host-environment interactions across time and to trace back the evolutionary history of pathogens. Furthermore, I also work on ancient genomics of domesticated plants and animals from various time periods as well as on ancient microbiomes.    

Research Areas:
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Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) Team Leaders

Michaela SCHAUER

I’m an archaeologist by training, specialised in the chemical analysis of archaeological and geological materials using portable X-ray fluorescence (p-XRF). Recently, I have finished my PhD on LBK and La Hoguette pottery at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich, and won the LMU Dissertations Prize of Faculty 9. With more than seven years of experience and over 30 p-XRF related research projects under my belt, I will now continue methodological R&D into the p-XRF technique at VIAS in the framework of a three-year FWF ESPRIT fellowship on “Standardising portable X-ray fluorescence for archaeometry”. My main focus will be on experiments to improve our understanding of instrument handling, particularly in relation to environmental conditions. I will also carry out a series of tests on their application to ancient pottery and sediments. I enjoy discussing methods and approaches, as well as being involved in pottery studies and projects around the world.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders


I am a geoarchaeologist and apply microscopic techniques to the sedimentary archaeological record. I view and analyze sediments, deposits and features as archives of paleoenvironments as well as of human behavior. I am particularly interested in how archaeological sites form and preserve over time, in the evolution of human use of fire and in archaeological sediments and speleothems as paleogenetic archives.  

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Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator (VERA) Team Leaders

Peter STEIER  

Peter Steier is assistant professor at the Faculty of Physics and member of the research group Isotope Physics. Working with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) techniques he is interested in very heavy ions (actinides), time-of-flight detectors, energy loss and straggling, isobar identification, the 14C dating for archaeology, and application of Bayesian statistics to calibration.

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The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) Team Leaders

Lyndelle WEBSTER

Based at the Department of Prehistory and WANA Archaeology at the Austrian Archaeological Institute, my research focuses on radiocarbon dating and soil micromorphology. Developing radiocarbon-based chronologies for Neolithic through Iron Age sites across a wide geographic area, from the Levant and Near East to Europe and the Balkans, has enabled me to contribute to key chronological debates. My current FWF ESPRIT project employs an integrated approach using soil micromorphology and other micro-scale techniques, as well as radiocarbon dating, to study earliest settlements along a major corridor for Neolithisation in the central Balkans.  

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members


I am a PhD student at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna. After finishing my bachelor's studies focused on skeletal morphology and paleopathology at Comenius University in Bratislava, I obtained my Master's degree at the University of Vienna, with the main focus on dental anthropology in combination with 3D imaging and geometric morphometrics. In my PhD research, I continue focusing on dental anthropology and morphology of hominids, working by means of virtual anthropology and geometric morphometrics.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) Members


I am an archaeologist and currently a PhD student in Ron Pinhasi's Lab group. My research areas include studying relationships between and within past societies, and I am especially interested in the field of bioarchaeology of children. The main focus of my PhD project is to observe sex-specific variations in subadult health status during Antiquity and Early Medieval times. My work includes aDNA analysis and other bioarchaeological methods where I compare the occurrence of physiological stress indicators, and other paleopathological indicators of bad health, in relation to the biological sex of the studied individuals. This will help me address questions on upbringing, weaning patterns, and overall health of the subadult population in the past.

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