History and Facilities of the Institute


The origins of prehistory in Europe

The Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology is one of the cradles of European prehistory, as the founder of the institute, Moritz Hoernes, received the first teaching authorization in Europe covering the entire field of "prehistoric archaeology" in 1892. The first "teaching apparatus" soon developed into an extensive study collection and from this the "Prehistoric Institute" in 1917. Hoernes had several famous students, including Oswald Menghin and Hugo Obermaier. Menghin qualified as a professor in 1913 for "prehistory of man" and headed the institute after Hoernes' death from 1917 to 1945. Richard Pittioni, who had qualified as a professor in 1932, headed the institute from 1946 until his retirement in 1976. Since then, Fritz Felgenhauer, Clemens Eibner, Andreas Lippert, Falko Daim, Herwig Friesinger, Otto Urban and Claudia Theune-Vogt have held the office of institute director. The institute is currently headed by Michael Doneus.


The institute today

The Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology moved into its current premises in 1988. The beautiful building, built in 1917 as a business school and long-time main building of the University of World Trade - later the University of Economics - has been completely renovated inside and adapted for the new users. In addition to the Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology, the latter also includes the Institute for Classical Archaeology, the Institute for Numismatics and the Austrian Archaeological Institute. The Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology has two lecture halls, a photo laboratory, two restoration workshops and an X-ray laboratory as well as an excellently equipped aerial photography archive. The specialist library contains over 50,000 volumes, the study collection more than 70,000 objects, mostly originals.