Archaeology is an extremely exciting field of research, not only for studied academics - quite the opposite: Since the beginning of the discipline in the 19th century, most sites and many finds have been discovered by Citizen Scientists (although the term had not been invented yet)!
With support of the "Gesellschaft für Forschungsförderung Niederösterreich", we take up this tradition within our project “United by Crisis?”. We invite interested parties to participate in our archaeological fieldwork. You will get to know selected methods and practices of the profession. In return, we use your time and your ideas for our project!
In what research activities can I participate?
In archaeological field surveys, searching for Neolithic sites and finds in the vicinity of Asparn/Zaya in the Lower Austrian Weinviertel
In cleaning and post-processing of the finds discovered in the MAMUZ museum in Asparn/Zaya
In interpreting the results in a joint workshop at MAMUZ Mistelbach (probably in autumn 2024)
When is my participation needed?
Field surveys: spring & autumn 2023, possibly also spring 2024. The surveys take place both during the week and on weekends. We therefore ask you to indicate your temporal availability when registering.
Cleaning and post-processing of finds: summer 2023 to summer 2024, mostly during the week.
Who is invited?
All people who are interested in archaeology and are willing to participate in research in the project region for several days!
Archaeological experience is not a requirement. However, since we would prefer to work with a balanced mix of interested people with and without previous experience, we ask that you indicate your experience when registering.
What are the requirements for participation?
Field surveys: Sufficient fitness to walk across fields for several hours at a time; sufficient visual acuity and ability to concentrate to recognize finds; patience, perseverance and a certain resistance to cold (start of the surveys in February).
As recognizing scattered archaeological finds requires a lot of practice, we are especially happy about people who are able to work with us for a certain minimum number of days (1-day training workshop & 5 days of survey work).
Cleaning and post-processing of the finds: Diligence and concentration!
If you should enjoy technical drawing, we would also ask you to help with the graphical documentation of the finds!
Traveling in the project region
Field surveys: As the sites are located in the northern Weinviertel and cannot be reached by public transport, it would be advantageous to have your own car. If you can offer a ride, or if you are looking for one, we ask you to let us know when registering for an easier coordination of travel logistics.
Cleaning and post-processing of finds: MAMUZ Schloss Asparn can be reached by car or public transport (bus stop “Asparn/Zaya Hauptplatz”, by bus from Mistelbach, Stronsdorf, etc.).
Alternatively, you can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, in which case we would ask you to provide the necessary data in a reply email.
The project aims to explore the surroundings of the famous Neolithic settlement of Asparn/Schletz (Lower Austria). Numerous human remains suggest a violent attack on this site in the Late Linear Pottery Culture, approx. 7.000 years ago. Due to its size and earthworks, we assume that Schletz was the central site of a cluster of smaller settlements in surrounding region. By researching these settlements, we hope, among other things, to increase our knowledge on the background of the massacre and on the origin of the people who died in Schletz.
In the project, we search for Neolithic finds (pottery, stone tools, etc.) at known or suspected sites near Asparn/Schletz together with Citizen Scientists. During our surveys, done with a method called “line walking”, we go over the fields at regular intervals and map the finds that we discover. Later on, we clean the finds and create a scientific documentation and evaluation.
An overview of the project activities can be found under work packages. In addition to research in literature and archaeological depots, analyses is also done on the human skeletons from Asparn/Schletz. As part of a cooperation with a local middle school, students will take soil samples for the project for the creation of an isotope map of the region. This is particularly important, as it should allow an assessment of the possible origin of the people who died in Schletz!
To train the Citizen Scientists and to ensure a high quality of the results, the archaeological research is organized and guided by two UWK-scientists and begins with a one-day training workshop. The Citizen Scientists have the opportunity to take part in a scientific research project on an archaeological site that is famous throughout Europe. In a final workshop, they participate in the interpretation of the project results – we consider it likely that this leads to exciting new ideas “out-of-the-box"!
Middle school students of the NMS Asparn will take soil samples and analyse them under the supervision of BOKU scientists. By examining life in the Neolithic together, we want to get the students excited about scientific research & STEM!
We attach great importance to an intensive cooperation with the Citizen Scientists and to a good mentoring relationship. Therefore, only a limited number of people can take part in the field research. If it should happen that too many people want to participate in the project, we would to make a selection that is as fair as possible based on the available data (time of application, arrival logistics, availability, balanced composition of people with and without previous experience, etc.). If people are unable to attend due to capacity reasons, we can offer you to put you on a waiting list, if you wish.
Please note the data protection declaration for information on the handling of personal data in connection with the functions of the website or the application as a Citizen Scientist. We will ask the Citizen Scientists actually participating in the archaeological parts of the project to sign a data protection and consent declaration during the first activity on site (in particular concerning the use of data for the implementation of the research project, for scientific purposes, for the use of image data and for mentioning in acknowledgments).