Platform History of Archaeology 


A fictional meeting of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna with numerous representatives of the antiquities, inter alia L. Reinisch, J. v. Karabacek, F. v. Kenner, E. Reisch and E. Bormann. Oil painting by Olga Prager (detail), 1912 (© ÖAW)

The history of scholarship has been given little attention in the humanities, a fact which is in marked contrast to the natural sciences. It is only in the last few years that we are increasingly dedicated to the history of our disciplines. Here not only the recent past has to be taken into consideration, but also research and researchers of former centuries.

Members of staff of the three Kommissionen, which were unified in the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology in 2013, already had studied aspects of their respective disciplines. The establishment of the institute stimulated their networking. While the Prähistorische and the Ägyptische Kommission were among the oldest Kommissionen of the Academy (founded in 1878 and 1907 respectively), the Mykenische Kommission, created only in 1971, looked back on a comparatively short history. Accordingly, research is devoted not only to institutional history, but also to the history of the respective disciplines in general, to biographies of individual scholars or to interdisciplinary topics.

Gregorio Guglielmi, The philosophical sciences, ceiling fresco (detail) in the festive hall of the ÖAW (© ÖAW)

The platform not only enables members of staff of OREA to exchange information and collaborate on issues related to the history of scholarship. The contact to colleagues from other institutes and institutions will be promoted and developed by means of lectures and workshops.

From spring 2017 onwards it is planned to organise lectures in co-operation with the scientific association “Egypt and Austria”.