Prof. dr. Claudia Theune

Claudia Theune is Professor of Historical Archaeology at the University of Vienna with a focus on contemporary archaeology, on medieval and post-medieval marginal landscapes and on early medieval funeral and social archaeology.

She studied Prehistoric and Early Medieval Archaeology, Social Anthropology, Christian Archaeology and Geology at the Universities in Marburg and Bonn, Germany (1979-1988). In 1988 she received her PhD at the University of Marburg for her thesis on Early Medieval graves in the western part of the lake Constance published in 1999: Frühmittelalterliche Grabfunde im Hegau (Habelt: Bonn). She did her Habilitation in 2001 on the Changes of structures in the Alamannia on the basis of archaeological sources, published in 2004: Germanen und Romanen in der Alamannia (de Gruyter: Berlin, New York).

In 1994 she became Assistant Professor at the Department of Prehistoric and Medieval Archaeology at the Humboldt-University, Berlin. Since 2007 she is Full Professor of Historical Archaeology at the University of Vienna, Department of Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology.

Main Research Fields:
  • Archaeology of the contemporary past: research projects in the former concentration camps, and sub-camps in Germany and Austria, and others sites of national socialist terror-sites in Europe; the material culture of internment camps.
  • Medieval and post-medieval marginal landscapes.
  • Early medieval funeral and social archaeology.
Esteem factors:
  • President of the European Association: RURALIA The Jean-Marie Pesez Conferences on Medieval Rural Archaeology (since 2014) and National Representative of Austria (since 2010).
  • President of the Austrian Association for Medieval Archaeology (since 2012-2022).
  • Dean of the Faculty Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna (2021-2018)
Member of scientific boards:
  • Deutscher Verband der Archäologen: Committee of experts: Archaeology of Modern times (Fachausschuss Archäologie der Moderne): 2015 – 2018
  • University of Brno: Archaeological committee Pohansko, 2013 – ongoing.
  • Bezirkeshauptmannschaft Perg: Expert advisor for the National Socialist tunnel system in St. Georgen / Gusen „Bergkristall“ – Section Archaeology and Analyses of Aerial Photographs: 2014 – 2015.
Peer reviewing activities for funding organizations:
  • Czech Science Foundation / Grantová Agentura České Republiky; National Science Center Poland / Narodowe Centrum Nauki; Croatian Science Foundation / Hrvatska zaklada za znanost; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; Wissenschaftliche Kommission des Landes Niedersachsen; Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Berlin; Österreichische Nationalbank; National Geographic Society.
  • Peer reviewer for several national and international journals.
International scientific co-operations:
  • Book-Project: Archaeology of Destruction. Investigations at Sóbibor; chapter: Sobibór in relation to archaeological research on sites of terror in a broader perspective and in connection with interdisciplinary scientific research (since 2022)
  • Head of the working group: The Viennese barracks during the National Socialist era – the historical reappraisal of the barracks in the 2nd and 12th districts of Vienna (Heckenast-Burian-Kaserne and Erzherzog-Albrecht-Kaserne) (since 2022)
  • Maly Trostenec, an extermination site in Belarus. Cooperation with the Geschichtswerkstatt Minsk, the University of Osnabrück (financed by Stiftung Erinnerung – Verantwortung – Zukunft) (2021-2023)
  • Project: Archaeology and history of internment camps in the Caribbean: The Five Islands: (Trinidad and Tobago) / Camp Gibraltar (Jamaica). Cooperation with the University of the West Indies, Campus St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago; and Campus Mona, Jamaica (2015-2022)
Recent key publications (see also
  • Cl. Theune, Spuren von Krieg und Terror. Archäologische Forschungen an Tatorten des 20. Jahrhunderts (Böhlau: Wien 2020)
  • J. Haubold-Stolle, Th. Kersting , Cl. Theune, Chr. Glauning, A. Riedle, Fr. Schopper, K. Wagner, A. Drecoll (eds), Exclusion. Archaeology of the Nazi internment camps (be.bra Verlag: Berlin 2020).
  • Cl. Theune, Transformations in the Roman West. The case of the Alamanni. In: S. James / St. Kmnicek (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Roman Germany (Oxford University Press: Oxford 2020)
  • N. Brady / Cl. Theune (eds.), Settlement change across medieval Europe. Old paradigms and new vistas. (Sidestone Press: Leiden 2019)
  • Cl. Theune, Climate change and economic development in the Alps during the Middle Ages and the early modern Period. In: N. Brady / Cl. Theune (eds.), Settlement change across Medieval Europe. Old paradigms and new vistas Ruralia XII. (Sidestone Press: Leiden 2019) 435-444.
  • Cl. Theune, Local and global history on the Five Islands (Trinidad and Tobago): Cooperation between Austria and Trinidad and Tobago. In: The SHA Newsletter 52/3, 2019, 9-11.
  • Cl. Theune, Iris Winkelbauer. Erinnerung an Maximilian I. auf Schloss Hanfelden in der Steiermark. In: Memo 4, 2019: Objekte der Erinnerung.
  • Cl. Theune, A shadow of war (Sidestone Press: Leiden 2018).
  • Chr. Bis-Worch, Cl. Theune, Religion, Cults & Rituals in the medieval rural environment. Ruralia XI (Sidestone Press: Leiden 2017).
  • Th. Kersting / Cl. Theune / A. Drieschner / A. Ley / Th. Lutz, Archäologie und Gedächtnis. NS-Lagerstandorte: Erforschen – Bewahren – Vermitteln. Denkmalpflege in Berlin und Brandenburg, Arbeitsheft 4/2016. (Imhof-Verlag: Petersberg 2016)
  • Cl. Theune, An der Grenze. Die spätmittelalterliche und frühneuzeitliche Burg Klausegg im Lungau. Museumsportal. Zeitschrift des Lungauer Museumsvereins 3 (2012-2014) (Selbstverlag: Tamsweg 2014).
  • Cl. Theune, Archaeology and remembrance: the Contemporary Archaeology of Concentration camps, Prisoner-of-war-camps and Battlefields: In: N. Mehler (ed.), Historical Archaeology in Central Europe. Society of Historical Archaeology Special Publications (SHA: Rockville 2013) 241-260.
  • Cl. Theune, Goldbergbau im Gasteiner Tal. In: Cl. Theune / G. Scharrer-Liška / E. H. Huber / Th. Kühtreiber (Hrsg.), Stadt – Land –Burg. Festschrift für Sabine Felgenhauer-Schmiedt zum 70. Geburtstag. (Marie-Leidorf-Verlag: Rahden / Westf. 2013) 395-404.
  • Cl. Theune, Identity Establishing Heritage Sites? Memory, remembrance and commemoration at monuments and memorials. In: R. O’Ríagáin / C. N. Popa, Archaeology and the (de)construction of national and supra-national polities. Archaeological Review from Cambridge Vol. 27.2 November 2012, 161-177.

External link: Claudia Theune's profile

Books by Claudia Theune

Household goods in the European Medieval and Early Modern Countryside

Edited by Catarina Tente and Claudia Theune | 2023

Although household goods are a well-establish topic in Medieval and Early Modern archaeology, more recent research is overcoming simple typological and technological aspects and pointing to broader approaches, which relates to the understanding of goods’…

Seasonal Settlement in the Medieval and Early Modern Countryside

Edited by Piers Dixon & Claudia Theune | 2021

For the first time seasonality is placed at the centre of the study of rural settlement. Using a Europe-wide approach, it provides a primer of examples, of techniques and of ideas for the identification and…

Settlement change across Medieval Europe

Old paradigms and new vistas

Edited by Niall Brady & Claudia Theune | 2019

The idea that the past was an era with long periods of little or no change is almost certainly false. Change has always affected human society. Some of the catalysts for change were exogenous and…

A Shadow of War

Archaeological approaches to uncovering the darker sides of conflict from the 20th century

Claudia Theune | 2018

This book presents archaeological research from places of war, violence, protest and oppression of the 20th and the 21st centuries; sites where the material relics give a deep insight to fateful events – a shadow…

Religion, cults & rituals in the medieval rural environment

Religion, Kulte und Rituale in der mittelalterlichen bäuerlichen Umgebung | Réligion, cultes et rituels au milieu rural médiéval

Edited by Christiane Bis-Worch & Claudia Theune | 2017

The study of belief, faith and religious practices can provide a deep insight into historical societies, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or pagan. They form a constant of human behaviour. Through religion, cult and rituals, multi-layered…

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