Gemeinsam mit Citizen Scientists wird auf den Äckern der Region systematisch nach steinzeitlichen Funden gesucht
Together with Citizen Scientists we do systematic “line walking” for the identification of Neolithic sites in the region (Photo: J. Maurer)

Motivation and scope of the project
Logo UBCThe project “United by crisis?” (UBC) aims to explore the surroundings of the famous Neolithic settlement of Asparn/Schletz (Lower Austria). Numerous human remains suggest a violent attack on this site in the Late Linear Pottery Culture (LPC), approx. 7.000 years ago. 
Due to its size and earthworks, we assume that Schletz was the central site of a cluster of smaller settlements in surrounding region. By researching these settlements, we hope, among other things, to increase our knowledge on the background of the massacre and on the origin of the people who died in Schletz. Visit our website for further information & news on the project!

We cordially invite you to work with us as a Citizen Scientist!
In the project, we are searching for Neolithic finds (pottery, stone tools, etc.) at known or suspected sites near Asparn/Schletz together with interested people and collectors. During our surveys, we go over the fields at regular intervals and map the finds that we discover. Later on, we clean them together und create a scientific documentation and evaluation. Here you can find further information on how you can participate as a Citizen Scientist.

In another part of the project, local middle school students extract and process soil samples from the area of the LPC sites to create an isoscape (= isotope landscape). Through a comparison with Sr isotope ratios of the human remains, this will allow a discussion of whether the people that died in the massacre might have grown up locally or not. 

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Die Existenz der bandkeramische Fundstelle Zwentendorf-Hofwiese (Foto: J. Längauer) in der Nähe von Asparn/Schletz ist bereits durch Streufunde aus den 1980er-Jahren bekannt (Foto: Landessammlungen Niederösterreich, UF-229889.699)
The LPC-site Zwentendorf-Hofwiese (Photo: J. Längauer) is known through stray finds from the 1980s (Photo: State Collections of Lower Austria, UF-229889.699)

Aims of the project

  • Localization, dating and classification of early Neolithic sites in the vicinity of the LPC central site of Asparn/Schletz
  • Determination of the bioavailable Sr isotope signals of the central site and the surrounding area
  • Determination of the possible provenance and proportion of non-local individuals in the Schletz find ensemble
  • Gaining knowledge on the social organization and development of the early Neolithic settlement cluster of Asparn/Schletz and its society
  • Assessment of working hypotheses on the context of the Asparn/Schletz massacre, also as a case study for theoretical models on the development of societies and the supposed “crisis-situation” in the late LPC discussed by researchers
  • Enhancing students' motivation and confidence in Science & STEM
  • Promoting public interest in archaeology & knowledge sharing through active participation of members of the general public & collectors

Methods used in the project

  • Systematic archaeological surveys (“line walking”)
  • GIS modelling, research in literature, archaeological archives & find depots
  • Statistical evaluation and dating of finds (typochronology, 14C, etc.)
  • Determination of Sr-isotope ratios of human remains and soil samples (mass spectrometry - MC-ICP-MS)
  • Bioanthropological studies on human remains

Zahnprobe und Masenspektrometer
A tooth sample from excavated human remains of Schletz (Photo: M. Schober) and the mass spectrometer Sapphire from Nu Instruments Ltd located at the Montanuniversität Leoben that is used for the analysis (Photo: J. Irrgeher)

Project Members

Cooperation partners

Funded by



Duration 01/10/2022 - 30/09/2025
Funding Bundesländer (inkl. deren Stiftungen und Einrichtungen)

Department for Arts and Cultural Studies

Center for Museum Collections Management

Principle investigator for the project (University for Continuing Education Krems) Mag. Jakob Maurer
Project members Cornelia Hascher, BA Julia Längauer, MA
Project website



Maurer, Jakob; Längauer, Julia; Hascher, Cornelia; Irrgeher, Johanna; Teschler-Nicola, Maria; Prohaska, Thomas; Puschenreiter, Markus; Schober, Michael; Pieler, Franz (2023). United by Crisis? Eine transdisziplinäre Untersuchung der frühneolithischen Siedlungskammer von Schletz. In: Laussegger, Armin; Sam, Sandra, Im Bestand. Sammlungswissenschaftliche Einblicke. Tätigkeitsbericht 2022 der Landessammlungen Niederösterreich und des Zentrums für Museale Sammlungswissenschaften: 30–33, Landessammlungen Niederösterreich, St. Pölten

Maurer, Jakob (2023). United by Crisis? Dörler, Daniel; Heigl, Florian, Citizen Science Network Austria. Leistungsbericht 2022: 38–39, Wien


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Jahresrückblick 2022 "Archäologie in Niederösterreich", 01/12/2022

Durch die Krise vereint

Mamuz Finissage, 17/11/2022

Interdisziplinäre Entwicklung neuer Methoden zur Digitalisierung & Durch die Krise vereint?

MAMUZ-Finissage, 17/11/2022

United by crisis? A transdisciplinary look at the early Neolithic communities in the Schletz settlement cluster, Austria

28th Annual Meeting of the European Associaton of Archaeologists, 03/09/2022

United by crisis? A transdisciplinary look at the early Neolithic communities in the Schletz settlement cluster, Austria

28th Annual Meeting of the European Associaton of Archaeologists, 03/09/2022

Asparn-Schletz. Die Erforschung einer steinzeitlichen Siedlungslandschaft im Weinviertel

Erlebniswochenende "Archäo Basis: Neu im MAMUZ Schloss Asparn/Zaya", 21/08/2022

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