Austrian Quaternary Sites (AQS)

Quaternary Archaeology database project


The requirement for an identification, assessment, classification and evaluation of Palaeolithic sites in Austria was recognized in 1998. Data collection commenced within the framework of the FWF project “Studies in Palaeolithic Industries” (P-13780; 2000–2004). Progressively, a database was developed that not only includes archaeological sites, but also takes into account relevant Quaternary profiles and findings, as well as raw material sources. The result is an interdisciplinary collection of source data, in which all information is linked to the respective sites.

Starting with the Krems-Wachtberg excavations in 2005, the AQS database was fundamentally expanded and placed on a MySQL platform. This means that the most up-to-date data is always available to all staff members and external cooperators. The large quantities of data that have been produced over the course of fieldwork at different sites as well as by registering and recording finds and samples now constitute the vast majority of the database (currently totalling more than half a million datasets). AQS is used not only for managing fieldwork, processing and evaluating data, but also for data input (artefact morphology, raw material and faunal determination, entry of sample measurements etc.) and serves as base for further applications like compilation of find inventories for authorities, spatial evaluation and modelling of processes.

There are three levels of the database

  1. Tables for sites, measures, literature

  2. Site-specific tables for field data, findings, layers, photos, artefact morphology, lithic raw material, fauna, charcoal, samples, etc.

  3. Service tables: Attribute lists for specific fields of certain tables

In addition, some tables serve the administration of the database itself. Here, users and their access rights are administrated.