As of the new year, the Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAI) has united the three previous Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) institutes in the field of archaeology and ancient studies under one roof.
Archaeology and classical studies have a long tradition at the OeAW with basic research on cultural heritage being conducted at the Academy for more than 140 years. During this time, not only have numerous accents been set for the international development of the two disciplines, but a unique temporal, geographical, and thematic diversity in research has also been created.
This great potential is to be used even more effectively in the future to gain new insights into the history of our ancestors. For this reason, the three previously existing institutes of the OeAW have now been bundled into a single research institution. Since the beginning of 2021, the OeAI has combined its previous research areas with those of the Institute for the Cultural History of Antiquity (IKAnt) and the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology (OREA).
Thanks to the merger of the institutes, the current research activities will be even more strongly interlinked both reciprocally and internationally and the further establishment of innovative research fields will be advanced.
“As we all know, together we are stronger. By bringing together basic research in archaeology and ancient history, we are creating a new ‘knowledge hub’ at the Academy with around 180 staff members, which is unparalleled in this field in Austria and Europe,” said OeAW President Anton Zeilinger.
This is especially true in the field of natural scientific archaeology, where researchers at the OeAW have been able to acquire comprehensive expertise in recent years. With the merger of the institutes, the existing specialized laboratories will be further expanded in order to be able to play a decisive role in shaping the increasing integration of archaeology and the natural sciences in the future. The new OeAI should thus advance to become a central point of contact in the field of bioarchaeological and geoarchaeological as well as archaeometric research in Austria.
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