New release & much progress in Vienna

Wow – what a week already! We’ve been busy working on the photogrammetric processing of digital images from Sai and generating 3D data. Thanks to the kind support of OREA, Cajetan Geiger can not only use our two fieldwork laptops, but also a PowerPC workstation here in Vienna. It’s simply amazing how much faster the processing is with this and we’re making great progress.

Our current focus is on generating maps and 3D models from Tomb 26, especially from the various situations in Chamber 5 and Trench 4. Cajetan is also doing his best in fulfilling my last-minute wishes for illustrations to be used at the conference next week in Munich!

Being already perfectly happy with all of this progress and productive atmosphere, this Viennese success week was yesterday topped by the release of AcrossBorders first monograph! After all of the work we invested in this volume, I am very proud to have the finished product now in my hands. Many thanks go to all who were deeply involved in this book – first of all Florence Doyen, Meg Gundlach and Oliver Frank Stephan.

AcrossBorders I is dedicated to SAV1 North, the sector situated along the northern enclosure wall. It was excavated between 2008 and 2012 by the Sai Island Archaeological Mission (directed in the field by Florence Doyen) and processed within the framework of AcrossBorders. The principal focus of the book is the physical remains of SAV1 North: the architecture and material culture, with emphasis on the pottery and small finds.

Timing of both the new publication and our data processing here in Vienna is just perfect, especially in regards of the upcoming conference!

AcrossBorders goes school: Junior Science Club 2014

Lectures and workshops of a very special kind kept us busy in the last days: AcrossBorders participates in the current programme of the Vienna School Board (Stadtschulrat Wien) entitled “Junior Science Club”, aiming to communicate scientific research to school kids! Summarizing our project, key working steps, methods and general aspects of archaeology in an understandable and appealing way was quite challenging – but also very instructive and enjoyable!

P1020156Today, we had the great pleasure to welcome a class of students in our office rooms and to provide them with some ideas what is behind archaeological research. A full programme was carried out, focusing on documentation work during archaeological excavations and its main principles.


Illustrating the importance of accurate labelling of finds during excavation.


Sherds, scarabs and shabtis were to discover in our “trench”!

Four working stations were open to the participants after a short general introduction: 1) A sand box where hidden finds had to be traced, exposed and labelled; 2) another sand box holding a small “foundation deposit” which had to be photographed; 3) a modified fish tank illustrating main principles of stratigraphy and 4) a poster summarizing the most important working steps of archaeologists from the excavation until publication and museum/archive.

We really enjoyed this morning session and hope that our young visitors did so as well! With two more Junior Science Club workshops coming up in June (on ceramics and hieroglyphs), we will be able to profit again from further encounters with pupils!

I am especially grateful to Jördis, Elke and Daniela for all of their efforts and enthusiasm – and to Johanna Novak (Stadtschulrat Wien) for joining us and for taking nice souvenir pictures!