Prähistorie Sammlung Altsteinzeit

Natural History Museum Vienna

Wien | Website

Electronic database / Collection

Short Description

The Palaeolithic collection comprises more than 200.000 objects (600,000 - 10.000 years), among them the world famous "Venus of Willendorf" (29,500 years), the figurine from Stratzing (36,000 years), the engraving of the head of a reindeer from the Gudenushöhle (14,000) and the assemblage of ivory adornments from Grub/Kranawetberg (30,000 years).

The biggest part of the Palaeolithic finds of the collection comes from Upper Palaeolithic sites (36,000 - 10,000 years). The ice age hunter gatherers lived in a loess steppe hunting mammoth, wholly rhino, wild horse and reindeer and gathering. Apart from stone and bone tools from the multilayered site Willendorf spanning more than 20,000 years of cultural development, the famous "Venus from Willendorf" as well as the figurine from Stratzing/Krems Rehberg should be mentioned in particular. The assemblage of ivory beads and pendants from Grub/Kranawetberg is the biggest ivory assemblage in Austria. The site gives evidence of changing climatic conditions and human reactions to it. The engraving of the head of a reindeer from the Gudenushöhle near Hartenstein in Lower Austria is the only animal representation from the Late Upper Palaeolithic in Austria.

Contact Person

Dr. Walpurga Antl-Weiser

Research Services

Support of research and material studies on the palaeolithic period collection. Expertise on Palaeolithic archaeological remains

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

Collection, conservation and research of material remains of human history of the Palaeolithic Period.
Macroscopic and microscopic analysis of the artifacts, interdisciplinary cooperation with other departments, especially the central research laboratories of the NHM Vienna.
Contextualization of the artifacts with the archaeological evidence, studying the documentation of the excavations (images, graphics, excavation documentation, etc.). For artefacts that were excavated in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, historical documents and images from the excavations or collections / acquisitions are to be studied (archives of the prehistoric department).

Allocation to Core Facility

Department of Prehistory, Natural History Museum Vienna

Dr. Walpurga Antl-Weiser
Prähistorische Abteilung
+43 1 52177-280
Appointment necessary.
Work with original artifacts is subject to the Austrian law on the protection of historical monuments.
Sampling of objects is only possible in scientific cooperations.
University Vienna
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Museum Lower Austria
Research at the Palaeolithic camp site at the Kranawetberg in Grub near Stillfried
The "Venus of Willendorf" and Ice Age art
Grömer, K. & Kern, A. (eds.) (2018): Artifacts. Treasures of the Millennia. A Guide through the Prehistoric Collection. Natural History Museum Vienna Exhibition guide. Wien 2018: Verlag des Naturhistorischen Museums.

Antl-Weiser W. 2008: Die Frau von W. Die Venus von Willendorf, ihre Zeit und die Geschichte(n) um ihre Auffindung. Wien.