HEAS Member Pamela Fragnoli and colleagues from OeAI-OeAW are co-editing a special issue on JAS: reports. For more information and submission details, please click here
Congratulations to HEAS member Verena Schünemann on being awarded the ERC Consolidator Grant for "Revealing evolutionary systems behind epidemic reservoirs of infectious, reemerging diseases'. More information here
HEAS Deputy Head Tom Higham was interviewed by the Austrian state broadcaster ORF about his recent Nature paper on 'A symbolic Neanderthal accumulation of large herbivore crania'. Read full article (in German) here Link to paper
Thomas Einwögerer, HEAS PI and leader of the The Quaternary archeology research group of the Austrian Archaeological Institute (ÖAI) of the Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), spoke to the Austrian newspaper Der Standard about the attempts to interpret Stone Age symbols in Cave Art. Read full article (In German) here
The Institute of Classical Archaeology are hosting two events with Oliver Harris in January 2023. 1. Conceptualising (More-Than-) Human Communities in Archaeology Workshop with Oliver Harris 9 January 2023, 13.15–14.45 | Institute of Classical Archaeology. Discussion OJT Harris_IKA Vienna 2023_poster 2. Evening panel discussion, Monday, January 9th, 2023 05:00–06:30 p.m. with Oliver Harris, Katharina Rebay-Salisbury and Uroš Matić. ! More information here <https://klass-archaeologie.univie.ac.at/news-events/einzelansicht/news/panel-discussion-what-is-the-future-of-archaeological-theory/?tx_news_pi1%5Bcontroller%5D=News&tx_news_pi1%5Baction%5D=detail&cHash=93de03e957a4d495bc0bca2d1c4335f1>
Die archäologischen Institute der Universität Wien sind führend in verschiedenen Feldern der archäologischen Forschung und Praxis – ob nun bei der Erforschung der menschlichen Evolution oder der Untersuchung antiker Bildwerke, ob bei Methoden der archäologischen Prospektion oder der Digitalisierung historischer Sammlungen. Die „Pan-Archaeology Lecture“ soll diese Vielfalt der archäologischen Institute in Wien hochleben lassen. Wir laden Sie herzlich dazu ein, mit uns zu feiern! From investigating human evolution to discovering new works of ancient art, and from high-tech archaeological prospection to innovative work digitalising historic collections, the various archaeological institutes of the University of Vienna are at the cutting edge of archaeological research and practice. The Pan-Archaeology lecture celebrates the diversity of the University of Vienna’s archaeological institutes. We invite you to celebrate with us! Donnerstag, 26. Januar 2023 18:00–19:30 Uhr 1090 Wien, Oscar-Morgenstern-Platz 1, SkyLounge Archäologie und Übersetzen. Grenzen überqueren und Verbindungen herstellen Kerstin P. HOFMANN (Römisch-Germanische Kommission, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut) Archäologie setzt sich mit unterschiedlichen Arten von Grenzen und deren Überquerungen auseinander, dabei kann sie immer wieder Verbindungen aufzeigen oder auch herstellen. Sie profitiert von konstruktiver Zusammenarbeit und agiert auf vielerlei Gebieten als Übersetzerin. Anhand verschiedener aktueller Themen und Forschungen der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission zu sozio-kulturellen Interaktionen, sozial-ökologischen Prozessen sowie der digitalen Transformation sollen damit verknüpfte Fragen nach (Dis-)Konnektivitäten und (Dis-)Kontinuitäten aufgegriffen werden. Als Fallstudien dienen hierfür u. a.…
For decades, textile remains from archaeological contexts have come more and more into the focus of archaeological research. Recently, the book Ancient Textile Production from an Interdisciplinary Approach: Humanities and Natural Sciences Interwoven for our Understanding of Textiles, edited by Agata Ulanowska, Karina Grömer, Ina Vanden Berghe and Magdalena Öhrmann was published in the Springer’s series “Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology” (2022). It derived from a session held at the European Archaeologists Association Conference in Bern 2019. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-92170-5 The motivation of the book is to improve the understanding of the role of textile production and textile products in the history of humankind. Embedding finds and their context information into socio-economical and cultural discourse contributes to a cultural anthropology of textile use. For the pre- and protohistory periods of Central Europe, it is a challenge that textiles are among those organic materials that are rarely preserved due to the prevailing climatic conditions. A wider goal was to present a comprehensive overview of the latest approaches and aims in archaeological textile research. In the last decades, standards have been set in studies on textile fibres, textile structures, dyes and textile tools. New methods for examining textile artefacts and tools have led to new ways of understanding textile craft in prehistoric and historic times – as well as their impact on economy, trade, social…
Tom Higham's inaugural lecture "Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo sapiens: How new science is changing our understanding of human evolution" took place on Monday, December 12, 2022, 5 p.m. in the Great Hall of the University of Vienna. A recording of the lecture is available on the University of Vienna Website here
Ran Barkai will be guest editing a special issue of the open access journal Quaternary entitled "Interdisciplinary Research into Cultural and Biological Transformations in the Paleolithic Period". Hewill be more than happy to advance bold, innovative and outside of the box analyses, hypothesis, data analysis and interpretations. However, any relevant perspective, thought, data presentation or model will be welcomed. All papers will be of course peer reviewed. In some cases he can assist in negotiating the costs of open access publishing, so please do not let that be a major obstacle. The incredibly long Paleolithic period is still considered by some as a stagnant phase in human cultural and biological evolution prior to the appearance of our direct ancestors. However, extensive interdisciplinary research in recent years has clearly demonstrated that this is not the case. Starting from the earliest stages of human presence on the planet some three million years ago, an impressive series of transformations, innovations, modifications and adaptations characterise our lineage. These changes in behaviour and culture took place alongside biological adaptations in human physical properties; faunal turnovers and extinctions as well as climatic fluctuations. This makes the Old Stone Age a hectic, dynamic and lively epoch worthy of investigation both in the diachronic and synchronic levels, in order to decipher the nature of transformations that characterize…
HEAS Members Magdalena Blanz and Doris Jetzinger have been awarded the BAG-Förderpreis, the promotional award of the Bioarchäologische Gesellschaft Österreich, for their PhD thesis and Master thesis, respectively. In the course of the award ceremony they will both give online talks about their thesis topics on Tuesday, December 13th, starting at 18:30. All information on the talks can be found on the BAG events homepage here
An interview with HEAS Head Gerhard Weber has been featured in numerous Austrian publications. Read full articles (in German) here https://www.wienerzeitung.at/nachrichten/wissen/forschung/2165361-Forschungsverbund-der-Uni-Wien-widmet-sich-Evolutionsfragen.html https://www.studium.at/evolution-des-menschen-wie-wien-zum-forschungs-schwergewicht-wurde
HEAS Head Gerhard Weber was honored with the Niederösterreich Wissenschaftspreis (Science Prize from Lower Austria) for his research and in particular his research into the origin of the "Venus von Willendorf", a female fugure which was found in 1908 in Willendorf in the Wachau. Weber and his team examined the figurine's material and their research suggests that Venus may have come from a location near Lake Garda in Italy. The ceremony took place on the 18th October 2022. Read the press reports (in German) https://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_20221019_OTS0035/wissenschaftspreise-2022-hoehepunkt-im-forschungsherbst https://www.noen.at/niederoesterreich/wirtschaft/top-wissenschaft-aus-niederoesterreich-wurde-ausgezeichnet-niederoesterreich-redaktionsfeed-wissenschaftsgala-wissenschaft-johanna-mikl-leitner-redaktion-340206811 More about Gerhard Weber's research here: https://www.heas.at/research/publications/the-microstructure-and-the-origin-of-the-venus-from-willendorf/
HEAS Deputy Head Tom Higham's latest paper has been featured in the Guardian newspaper. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/oct/13/neanderthals-and-modern-humans-may-have-copied-each-others-tools Read the original paper here: Multi-isotopic study of the earliest mediaeval inhabitants of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain) - HEAS
We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to work on a FWF-funded project (1000 ideas programme) at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at University of Vienna. The project will be an investigation of potential preservation of RNA viruses in a range of great ape specimens. Funding is available for 2 years (1.5 years within the FWF project). Candidates with experience in ancient DNA or virus phylogenomics, or related fields are preferred. There will be strong support on all aspects of the project (lab procedures, data analysis) by experts in the Department (Profs. Kuhlwilm, Pinhasi, Schünemann, and their teams). The starting date is earliest 1st January 2023 (but flexible). If you are interested, please send a brief motivation letter and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
HEAS member Robin Golster has offered his congratulations to his colleague Prof. Anton Zeilinger upon the announcement of his Nobel Prize win. "The Faculty of Physics is very happy about this well-deserved award for Anton Zeilinger, who has significantly shaped our research and promotion of young talent since 1999 - as a top researcher, scientific mentor and also as Dean of our faculty. That in Austria as a whole there is a flourishing landscape for the Quantum research is also a great achievement of Anton Zeilinger. With his scientific curiosity and energy, he is an inspiration for all faculty members," congratulates Robin Golser, Dean of the Faculty of Physics at the University of Vienna. Read more here (in German): https://science.apa.at/power-search/3565881263135562463
Austria's national broadcaster covers the latest publication by HEAS Deputy Head Ron Pinhasi and HEAS members Olivia Cheronet and Daniel Fernandes et al. https://science.orf.at/stories/3215387/ Have a look at the article on our publications page: https://www.heas.at/research/publications/the-diverse-genetic-origins-of-a-classical-period-greek-army/
We at HEAS are cordially congratulating our dear colleague Svante Pääbo for this extraordinary recognition of his work which shines a light on the importance of human evolution research. Media: Kurier (paywalled) https://kurier.at/wissen/gesundheit/medizin-nobelpreis-die-hauptbotschaft-ist-wir-alle-sind-verwandt/402168681 Salzburger Nachrichten https://www.sn.at/panorama/wissen/medizin-nobelpreis-fuer-erforschung-von-neandertaler-erbgut-127838470 APA https://science.apa.at/power-search/5134024229287990666
The Department of Evolutionary Anthropology seeks to appoint a University Assistant post-doc with expertise in palaeoproteomics analyses or relevant fields (biochemistry, biology, archaeological science). They will be part of a leading international group of researchers working across the fields of Human Evolution, Archaeological Science and Ancient DNA reporting to, and working with, Assistant Professor Katerina Douka. More information and applications here
The Open Day at the Early Bronze Age rampart at Ratzersdorf/Am Dachsgraben in Lower Austria, which took place on the 28th July 2022, was a great success. HEAS Member Alexandra Krenn-Leeb conducted a guided tour of the site. The Open Day was organised by the Department of Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology, University of Vienna Ratzersdorf_Flyer_2022_EN
This week, André Schmuck from BRUKER gave an intensive two day training course at VIAS on the use of the portable X-Ray Fluorescence (pXRF) spectrometer. The Tracer 5 pXRF will be used for the archaeological analysis of ceramics, metals and geological samples.
BALKAN-ARCHÄOLOGIE IM FOKUS Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, das Österreichische Archäologische Institut der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften lädt Sie sehr herzlich ein zur: Ausstellungseröffnung Balkan-Archäologie im Fokus. Visualisierung neuer Forschungen« 13.Oktober 2022, um 15:00 Uhr Festsaal und Aula Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2, 1010 Wien Die Visualisierung des archäologischen Erbes auf dem Balkan stellt eine Region ins Rampenlicht, die für die Geschichte auf dem europäischen Kontinent in vielerlei Hinsicht grundlegend ist. Südosteuropa ist eine Schlüsselregion für die Menschheitsgeschichte, in der fundamentale kulturelle, soziale und technologische Entwicklungen erstmals auftreten und einen nachhaltigen Einfluss auf Europa und seine Gesellschaften haben. Damit zählt der Balkanraum zu einem der aufregendsten und auch herausforderndsten Gebiete für die archäologische Grundlagenforschung. Die Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften kann auf eine lange Forschungstradition in Südosteuropa zurückblicken, die das Österreichische Archäologische Institut in enger Zusammenarbeit mit Kooperationspartner*innen aus verschiedenen Ländern des Balkans fortführt. Daher freuen wir uns, Sie zur Ausstellungseröffnung gemeinsam mit dem Präsidenten der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Heinz Faßmann und diplomatischen Vertretungen begrüßen zu dürfen, welche den Beginn unserer archäologischen Wanderausstellung markiert. In diesem Rahmen wird auch die Premiere unseres 3D-Animationsfilms "Visualising the Unknown Balkans" stattfinden. Die Eröffnung beginnt um 15:00 Uhr mit anschließendem Empfang im Hauptgebäude der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Doktor-Ignaz-Seipel-Platz 2, 1010 Wien. Ein detailliertes Programm entnehmen Sie bitte dem Anhang. Um Antwort…
HEAS Deputy Head Ron Pinhasi has been nominated for the 'Die Presse Austrian of the Year Award' for his work with ancient DNA which 'shines a light on the prehistory of many regions of the world'. To vote for Ron click here: https://www.diepresse.com/wirtschaft/unternehmen/austriagala22
HEAS Member Mareike Stahlschmidt currently has two open positions within her group to work on microstratified DNA in archaeological contexts. For more information please see below: https://homepage.univie.ac.at/mareike.stahlschmidt/?page_id=36
HEAS head Gerhard Weber's work was recently featured in the Austrian Scientific Magazine Profil Neanderthaler Profil
HEAS member Maria Ivanova-Bieg was appointed as a member of the EAA Scientific Advisory Committee. The European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) is the most important professional association of archaeologists in Europe with over 15.000 members from 60 countries worldwide, working in prehistory, classical, medieval and historical archaeology. The Scientific Advisory Committee serves as a think-tank, assisting the Executive Board and the Statutory Committees of the EAA in strategic decision-making.
Austria's Der Standard published an article on HEAS's own Mathias Mehofer's research on the metallurgy at the Cukurici Höyük. Full Story, in German, below: https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000138691196/das-grosse-netzwerk-der-metallurgen-vom-cukurici-hoeyuek Check out the original research in the Open Access book Çukuriçi Höyük 3 For general information on Mathias Mehofer´s work see: https://vias.univie.ac.at/en/research/archaeometallurgy-and-archaeometry/projects/
The Southern Arc and its lively genetic History Vast paleogenetic study reveals insights on migration patterns, the expansion of farming and language development from the Caucasus over western Asia and Southern Europe from the early Copper Age until the late middle ages In a trio of papers, published simultaneously in the journal Science, Ron Pinhasi from the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology and Human Evolution and Archaeological Sciences (HEAS) at the University of Vienna and Songül Alpaslan-Roodenberg from the University of Vienna and Harvard University, Iosif Lazaridis and David Reich at Harvard University—together with 202 co-authors—report a massive effort of genome-wide sequencing from 727 distinct ancient individuals with which it was possible to test longstanding archaeological, genetic and linguistic hypotheses. They present a systematic picture of the interlinked histories of peoples across the Southern Arc Region from the origins of agriculture, to late medieval times. Read in full here The Southern Arc and its lively genetic History Ancient DNA from Mesopotamia suggests distinct Pre-Pottery and Pottery Neolithic migrations into Anatolia. A genetic probe into the ancient and medieval history of Southern Europe and West Asia. The genetic history of the Southern Arc: A bridge between West Asia and Europe
HEAS's own Tom Higham and Katerina Douka were recently interviewed for the Austrian state broadcaster ORF on their work on Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA and the gene varients which can be found in humans today. Read full story (in German)
HEAS member Martin Kuhlwilm is among 20 researchers awarded a grant in the FWF 1000 Ideas scheme. With this programme, the FWF funds high-risk research projects off the beaten track. In this project, Prof. Kuhlwilm will explore the potential preservation of RNA viruses in historical specimens of great apes. Since it is well-known that zoonotic transmissions of viruses had an impact on humans, studying virus evolution in the past can guide the understanding of the present. However, unlike DNA, RNA is very poorly preserved and more challenging to explore. Read more here (in German)
Archaeologist and HEAS member Maria Ivanova-Bieg was profiled in the University of Vienna magazine, 'Rudolphina' on her work using isotope analyzes to reconstruct the life of the first farmers in Europe. Full article with video (in German) below Read full article
The 10th Radiocarbon and Archaeology conference was held at the ETH Zürich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich), in parallel with the 24th Radiocarbon conference. The meeting got underway on Sunday 11/09, with a series of workshops at the Hönggerberg ETH campus, covering topics such as the Carbon cycle, compound-specific radiocarbon dating, mortar dating and also included lab tours of the ETH facilities. This was followed by an ice-breaker event. The remainder of the conference was held at the main ETH building in central Zurich. Following a welcome from the Rector of the ETH, Prof. Dissertori, Alex Bayliss began the conference by giving an overview of the radiocarbon dating of historic sites in the age of single-year calibration, providing a measure of how far the field of radiocarbon dating and archaeology has come in terms of precision and interdisciplinarity, with dendrochronology and genetics now complementing AMS dating. Aside from two other plenary talks, the remainder of the Archaeology part of the conference was split into two parallel sessions, covering the topics of agriculture/migration/DNA, diet and reservoir effects, archaeological samples for accurate dating, dating at the limit of the method, geoarchaeology, art and cultural heritage and radiocarbon and the protection of cultural heritage. The parallel sessions of the Radiocarbon conference focussed on technical developments and the carbon cycle. As in…
Monograph published by HEAS member Mathias Mehofer HEAS member Mathias Mehofer recently published his monograph “Çukuriçi Höyük 3, Ein frühbronzezeitliches Metallhandwerkerzentrum in Westanatolien, OREA 22, Vienna 2022” on EBA metallurgy found in Western Turkey. The site was investigated within several FWF, START and ERC grants under the direction of HEAS´ co-operationpartner Prof. Dr. Barbara Horejs Austrian Archaeological Institute, Austrian Academy of Science. The book itself focuses on the interdisciplinary examination of the metallurgical remains from Çukuriçi Höyük (western Turkey), which date from the Late Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age (c. 3300–2700 BC). The exceptionally rich ensemble includes almost all parts of the technological chain (chaîne opératoire), from tools, casting moulds, furnaces, ores, raw metal and ingots to finished products, tin bronzes and precious metals (Au, Ag). On the one hand, these remains were classified according to archaeological typological criteria, and on the other hand, they were analysed using various scientific methods (metallography, SEM-EDS, ED-XRF and lead isotope analysis). The arsenical copper production can be regarded as an outstanding result of the research; to date, there are only very few Bronze Age sites where evidence for this is present. The produced As-copper was fed into the East Aegean-West Anatolian networks. Precious metal and weapons additionally demonstrate that not only everyday objects but also prestige goods were produced. The fact that…
»The creative millennia: transition to the Neolithic in the central Zagros« Hojjat Darabi | Austrian Archaeological Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Department of Archaeology, Razi University The central Zagros received pioneering research on the emergence of early agricultural and village life by R. Braidwood in 1959-60. However, later shift of research toward the Levant put it in shadow for several decades until recent investigations have once again highlighted its key place in the Neolithization processes in west Asia. Unlike the Levant, where a protracted change from Epipaleolithic to Neolithic is seen, the border line between these two periods is evidently sharp in the central Zagros suggesting unprecedent features appeared in the first two millennia of the Holocene, a pivotal transitional time severely known in the region. Current evidence gained from the sites of Chogha Golan, Sheikhi Abad, Asiab, Ganj Dareh and a few others suggests that, following an environmental improvement at the end of the Younger Dryas, local communities engaged in short-term inhabitations, collective or communal ceremonies, and an increasing reliance on wild progenitors of early domestic plant and animal species. It is assumed that subsequent longer occupation towards sedentary life not only increased population numbers but also resulted in an environmental depression. This seems to have caused people to widen their diet toward low-level food production and subsequently agricultural village…
HEAS is delighted to welcome the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (NHM) as a new partner in the research network. Gerhard Weber, head of HEAS said “This collaboration will mean that we broaden our expertise and extend our possibilities. We started to bridge between institutions in Vienna (University and Museum), to create an even more effective European hub for human evolution research”
Am 13. Juni 2022 nahm Gerhard Weber, Leiter des HEAS, an einer Podiumsdiskussion im Universitätshauptgebäude der Universität Wien teil. Unser Verhalten hat sich weiterentwickelt: als Mittel zum Überleben. Heute stehen wir kurz davor, mit unserem Verhalten das Überleben zukünftiger Generationen zu gefährden. An der Universität Wien diskutierten Experten aus den unterschiedlichsten Bereichen am Ende unserer aktuellen #SEMESTERFRAGE die Faktoren und Muster, die unser Handeln bestimmen. Podiumsdiskussion: Seit wann gibt es moderne Menschen und was treibt sie an?
An international team led by The University of Vienna and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in collaboration with the National Museum of Korea has successfully sequenced and studied the whole genome of eight 1.700-year-old individuals dated to the Three Kingdoms period of Korea (approx. 57 BC-668 AD). The Team was led by Pere Gelabert and Prof. Ron Pinhasi with Victoria Obbreiter of HEAS together with Prof. Jong Bhak and Asta Blazyte from the UNIST and Prof. Kidong Bae from the National Museum of Korea. These are the first published genomes from this period in Korea and bring key information for the understanding of Korean population history. Links: University of Vienna Website Full article
Traces of human life are not only found in fossils but also in sediments. In the video, doctoral candidate and HEAS member Victoria Oberreiter explains how she develops new methods to retrieve ancient DNA from "dirt" to get a better insight into our past. "Most people would probably associate sediments with the dirt underneath their feet. But what if I tell you that with my research, we are able to extract ancient human DNA from exactly that source?" Victoria Oberreiter, PhD candidate at the Vienna Doctoral School of Ecology and Evolution, says. Her research focuses on extracting ancient DNA from mineralogical sources. VIDEO: Heas Member Victoria Oberreiter explains her research
In this paper, DNA data has been gathered from feces of hundreds of chimpanzee individuals living in Africa. Such genomic data from the wild provides a fine-grained picture of the history of our closest living relatives. During the past tens of thousands of years, differences between regions emerged, but there were also opportunities for gene flow and migration. The local genetic variation can now be used to track the geographic origin of captive and confiscated chimpanzees, which is important for the conservation of threatened species. Read full article
Congratulations to HEAS member Elmira Mohandesan on winning the first prize of the Photo Contest "Pictures of Life (Sciences)", featuring extraordinary and exciting snapshots of research at the Faculty of Life Sciences. Her photograph "Eat the Wind" (credit: Jan Maree Vodanovich) illustrates New Zealand feral Kaimanawa horses being mustered by helicopter, limiting the population size to protect the native ecosystem, in which several endangered species of plants live. The picture will be displayed in the Dean's office, and Elmira will be presented with a professional print of her photo.
At the UK Archaeological Science conference 20-22 April 2022 in Aberdeen, Scotland, Dr Magdalena Blanz and colleagues won the Runnerup Poster Prize for early career researchers. The poster, titled "Ratios of strontium and barium to calcium as complementary palaeodietary indicators of seaweed consumption", it describes research done by Magdalena and colleagues during her doctoral studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland. This research is published now in the Journal of Archaeological Science.