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Zwei Mal traf sich die 3A mit Frau Mag. Gaisbauer von der Stadtarchäologie Wien – und es hätten ruhig noch mehr Treffen sein können, denn Archäologie ist ein spannendes Berufsfeld, und in einer Stadt wie Wien gibt es immer etwas zu entdecken.

Wenn Sie sich jetzt wundern, warum der Artikel auf Englisch verfasst wurde, dann können wir Ihnen dazu nur sagen: There is no reason other than English is great fun and we love it! (Miss. D.)

Institute for Urban Archeology of Vienna
An article autored by Ana Bilic, Sofie Aleksiev, Annabell Stütz, Milica Stanisic and Emilia Kerbler

First and most of all we, the 3A and Miss D, are very thankful to Mag. Gaisbauer that she took the time to meet with us twice and taught us so many interesting things about her job and the history and archeology of Vienna. In January we visited her in her office at the Institute for Urban Archeology of Vienna. There she first told us about the Roman and medieval settlements in Vienna, then details about the job of an archeologist and last about her most absurd and mysterious discoveries.

From the 1st to the 5th century the Romans settled in Vienna. Their fortress was located in the center of the 1st district and some of Vienna’s roads still follow the Roman layout to this very day. After the Romans it became quiet in Vienna. Langobardic tribes crossed through the area but there is no proof there were settlers in Vienna. Then in the 9th and 10th century people started to live again in Vienna, for example around the church of St. Ruprecht. When the Babenberger came to Vienna in the 13th century the city started to grow bigger and bigger and hasn’t stopped until today.

Mag. Gaisbauer then told us more about the job and the basics an archeologist must know. For example, did you know there is a difference between finds and findings? Finds are things you can pick up and take away. Findings are something that you can’t take away from the archeological site, like a wall for example. She also showed us boxes full of finds, such as pottery and glass, that she is working on in her office.

Last she told us about some of the interesting discoveries she has made. Once the archeologists found a skeleton which was buried face down. Why, you may ask? People were afraid that the person who was buried would come back to haunt them. Now, people who have risen from the dead are not very smart and the first thing they do is start digging to get out of their graves. If you put them face down, they will start digging in the wrong direction and go deeper and deeper instead of up to the surface. As we learned so many new and interesting things we wanted to hear more after this presentation.

So we met again. This time Mag. Gaisbauer took us on a walk through the city. First we took a look at the church of St. Ruprecht, which was built on a plateau because of the river that often flooded the area around Schwedenplatz. The church was built next to the river so that salt merchants could pray to Saint Ruprecht, who is their patron. Before the church was built this plateau was already the location of the Roman fortress Vindobona.

Then we went to St. Stephan’s Cathedral where Mag. Gaisbauer told us about four skeletons which had been found outside of the old cemetery during the road works. The archeologists are now speculating about the reason why these people were buried outside the cemetery. Do you have any idea? Mag. Gaisbauer told us that they are going to have a C14 dating done to know how old the skeletons are. Then they will know if the skeletons are maybe older than the cemetery and were buried long before the church was there.

After that we walked to the Tuchlauben and visited a house that was built in Medieval times, changed during Baroque and renovated in the 1970s. During the renovations they found wall paintings from around 1400 in one of the flats and turned the room into a little museum. Unfortunately, some of the paintings were destroyed during the changes made in the 17th century. The paintings depict several scenes of the minnesinger Neidhart of Reuental. That is why they are named Neidhart Fresken.
Then, sadly, our journey through Vienna’s history was over. We hope we will do this again next year and learn more about Vienna’s history.

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