Univ.- Prof. Dr. Claudia Theune


  • University of Vienna - Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology
    Franz-Klein-Gasse 1, A-1190 Vienna, Austria
  • Email: claudia.theune@univie.ac.at
  • Phone: +43-1-4277-40453
  • Office hours: by appointment (Room A3.13)

Teaching at the University of Vienna

Supervised MA and PhD theses



Claudia Theune is Professor of Historical Archaeology, specialising in medieval archaeology and contemporary archaeology. The dense record of a multitude of material, visual and word-based sources from the late Middle Ages and the modern period offers a significant opportunity to investigate research questions on a broad basis of different source genres, each with different perspectives. The informative potential of such sources can complement each other, overlap or contradict each other, the reasons for which have to be analysed.
Claudia Theune specialises in research into 20th century conflict archaeology, particularly in former so-called 'Zwangslager' and extermination sites of the Nazi dictatorship, one of the newest branches of archaeology.
In addition to numerous archaeological projects in former concentration camps and their satellite camps in Germany (Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrück) and Austria (Mauthausen), current research is also focusing on extermination centres such as former Nazi euthanasia killing facilities (Hartheim) and extermination centres in present-day Poland. The focus here is on the different contexts of the found assemblages. A discourse on the culture of remembrance is incorporated in each case.


Key Research Topics

  • Conflict-Archaeology in the 20th century (Archaeology at Sites of Nazi-Terror)
  • Life and economy in remote landscapes (Alpine Region)
  • Identities and forms of representation
  • History of science


Current Research Projects

Fieldwork, collection analysis, public outreach etc. projects
  • The archaeological remains in National Socialist concentration camps and extermination sites (The contextualisation of the finds)
  • Finds of perpetrators and victims from the Nazi euthanasia killing centre Hartheim (Upper Austria)
  • Hanfelden Castle: The history of a castle from the Middle Ages to the 20th century


Completed Projects

Contemporary archaeology
  • Virtual tour for the multi-perspective exploration of the Maljy Trostenz memorial site
  • Ive Islands (Trinidad and Tobago)
History and Archaeology
  • Missing in Action: Crash Sites of WW2
  • Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and Soviet Special Camp: Archaeology and Contemporary History
  • Mauthausen Concentration Camp: Archaeology and Contemporary History
Medieval Archaeology
  • Boundary stones from the Lainzer Tiergarten
  • The use of the Alps in the Middle Ages
  • The late medieval and early modern Klausegg castle in Lungau
  • Space and structure in the medieval town: archaeological research in Tulln
  • Borderland and contact zone: The region on the River March in the Middle Ages
  • The medieval silver treasure find from Judengasse 10 in Salzburg
  • The Währing Jewish cemetery - a place of remembrance?
  • Archaeology in Pagram - a medieval village with a variety of crafts just outside the Hanseatic city of Frankfurt (Oder)
Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages
  • Eastern Alpine region revisited - continuity and change from late antiquity to the Middle Ages
  • The early medieval burial ground of Weingarten and the redesign of the Alamanni Museum
  • Equestrian warriors and castle builders. The early Hungarians and the "German Empire" from the 9th to the 11th century
  • A late imperial female grave from Hostivice (Czech Republic)
  • Production techniques and manufacturing workshops of early medieval glass beads based on the colouring components and minerals
  • Structural changes in Alamannia in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
  • Early medieval beads from Dunum
History of Science
  • The establishment of the Prehistory Department at the Philipps University in Marburg




Memberships and Functions

Ruralia: The Jean-Marie Pesez Conferences on Medieval Rural Archaeology, President and National Representative for Austria (flyer)

Österreichische Gesellschaft für Mittelalterarchäologie, Deputy Chair

Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Corresponding Member

Anthropologische Gesellschaft in Wien, Member of the Advisory Board

Österreichische Gesellschaft für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Member of the Advisory Board

Historische Archäologie, Co-editor

Archaeologia Austriaca, Co-editor

Zeitschrift für Archäologie des Mittelalters, Member of the Editorial Board

Slovenska archeologia, Member of the Editorial Board

Forum Kritische Archäologie, Member of the Advisory Board

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ur- und FrühgeschichteMember of the Advisory Board for the journal "Archäologische Informationen"


Curriculum Vitae

Since 2007: Professor of Prehistory and Early Medieval Archaeology with a focus on Historical Archaeology, Institute of Prehistory and Historical Archaeology, University of Vienna

1994-2006: Assistant and senior assistant at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

1988-1994: Various post-doctoral projects at the Philipps University of Marburg, Germany


Academic Education

1988: Promotion (Dr. phil.), Philipps-Universität Marburg, Deutschland


Content: C. Theune, Dezember 2023. Photo © Barbara Mair