This has been made possible by an interdisciplinary research project currently underway aimed at the thorough investigation of two early settlements. The project, supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, is expected to produce results that will be of great significance throughout Europe.
The people that established Central Europe’s first farms in the late 6th millennium BC were not behind the times. Indeed, a combination of arable agriculture and animal husbandry was already being operated in this period. However, until now, research on more detailed aspects of day-to-day agricultural practices in Austria has largely been sparse in comparison to work in other European countries.
A current project is set to change all that. Two agricultural settlements are being closely scrutinized in order to create a detailed picture of life as an "early farmer". Over the next two years, a team headed by project manager Doz. Dr. Eva Lenneis from the Institute for Pre- and Protohistory at the University of Vienna will be examining finds such as animal bones, plant remains, pottery and stone tools.
An Archaeological Jigsaw Puzzle
Examining these finds should help to clear up a number of issues, as Dr. Lenneis explains – "our aim is not just to find out the significance of cultivating of crops as opposed to collecting wild plants, or which domesticated animals were being kept. We are also interested in the overarching economic structures and the relations and hierarchies both between and within the settlements." When pieced together, the individual results that are obtained will help to reconstruct an overall picture of early farming life, much like an archaeological jigsaw puzzle.
The project is based on two sites discovered in Lower Austria that are located only a few kilometres apart – Mold and Rosenburg. The four-hectare settlement at Mold has produced finds of extraordinary quality. Finds awaiting examination include some 60 kilos of well-preserved animal bones and an unusually sized dwelling, which is unique in Austria and which has few equals throughout Europe.
Rosenburg presents something of a mystery. Preliminary investigations of this much smaller site reveal it to be quite an unusual settlement. The project now aims to shed light on the purpose of a large number of unusual "slit-pits" and the odd location of the site, in the middle of a wooded area.
Modern-Day Investigative Diversity
Comparing the settlement at Mold with the unusual site at Rosenburg has the potential to uncover a range of exciting new discoveries. However, a purely archaeological/historical approach is out of the question. A precise timeline for both sites can only be established by examining a broad range of samples with C14 radiocarbon dating at the Vienna-based VERA laboratory. Moreover, botanists and zoologists are also working alongside archaeologists to uncover traces of the first farmers.
"At the moment, we are collecting and examining animal bones and plant remains. Pottery finds are being entered into an image database and plans of the buildings are being digitised to enable computer-generated analysis in the next stage", explains Dr. Lenneis.
The completion of individual investigations could soon be providing the first results. The entire investigation project will be completed in summer 2008 and will be the first to reconstruct every aspect of life as a Stone-Age farmer in Austria. Comparative investigation of this kind is rare, even in Europe. The FWF project will then have filled important gaps in research and given modern farmers an insight into how their forebears lived.
Till C. Jelitto | alfa
Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences