For decades, the former Archeometry Department has had its main focus on provenance research dealing with archaeological ceramic objects. Led by Professors Bernhard Pichler and Roman Sauer, this predominantly consisted of mineral analysis for determining the origin of ceramic finds from various archeological excavations, especially Ephesus.

Today the spectrum of our ceramic investigations has shifted somewhat to the characterization of ancient or historical pottery and brick products with regard to their structural properties. A wide variety of material-relevant characteristics that can contribute significantly to the knowledge of the production-related or petrophysical properties of ceramics are obtainable by light and scanning electron microscopic examinations of broken fragments or polished pieces, such as:

Body texture - Porosity - Firing or sintering degree - Type and proportion of temper and grog - Matrix chemistry - Slips, glazes and other surface coatings - Secondary products

Relevant Dissertations:

Mag. phil. Dr. rer. nat. Jessica Reiter, BA MA: Cookware from Ephesos. Archaeometric characterisation of kitchenware from selected finds of late Hellenistic to late Antiquity Dissertation 2018.  Award of Excellence 2019

ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. phil. Johannes Weber
Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr.in Sabine Ladstätter, ÖAI director


  • Documentation of shard fracture and porosity of various ceramic products - from prehistoric pottery to modern hard porcelain - by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

J. Weber in cooperation with B. Pichler and M. Wiala (Ceramics Studio of the University of Applied Arts)

  • Petrographic and petrophysical characterisation of historical roof tiles and facing bricks from the old building stock of Vienna and Dubrovnik for the purpose of the production of historically appropriate replacements

J. Weber in cooperation with the Association for the Advancement of Monument Preservation, Ceramics University of Dubrovnik (K. Kojan Goluža) and other partners

  • A Material-scientific characterization of glazed stove tiles of the company Sommerhuber GmbH

J. Weber in cooperation with B. Pichler, M. Wiala (Ceramics Studio of Applied Arts) and R. Sauer