Research

Currently, I focus on arsenical copper and arsenical bronze. The project ‚Chemical and metallurgical aspects of arsenical bronze: the case of arsenic-loss in prehistoric metal production’ is hosted by the University of Bordeaux and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

The last years I focussed on European Bronze Age armour,  and Bronze Age metal finds from the Baltic States to Central and Eastern Europe, studying their manufacture and usage as well as transfer of technology and the development and impact of weaponry for societies in intense collaboration with museums, research institutions and universities. These studies included always multi-disciplinary approaches, mainly concerning the chemical and metallurgical characterisation of metals. The methodological approach includes despite the classical archaeological interpretation and observations a detailed investigation of metal finds, but also anthropological studies on the impact of weaponry. Different analytical methods such as (portable) XRF, SEM-EDXS-EBSD, microstructure analyses (microprobe analyses, metallographic analyses using optical microscopes), hardness measurements and Raman microspectroscopy ) as well as radiography and micro-X-ray Computer Tomography are used. Moreover, non-invasive analyses as PGAA, PIXE, ToF-ND and NRCA contribute significantly to the research topics.

Following my geographical research interest, I focus also on Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Lebanon, particularly its archaeometallurgical importance for the Ancient World: astonishing metal finds, the invention of new metal technologies and a region which is of highest interest for Chalcolithic and Bronze Age metal trading routes and copper connections mainly from and to Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Mediterranean, characterise this area.

 

2015-2017: CuAs-alloys

Project and scientific leader: For information and outcome of my last research project ‘Chemical and metallurgical aspects of arsenical bronze: the case of arsenic-loss in prehistoric metal production’, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, see here. You can follow the project’s blog here.

 

2010-2014: Bronze Age armour

Project and scientific leader: For information and outcome of my last research projects from 2010-2014 on European Bronze Age armour see here.

 

2010: Corrosion on antique bronzes

Different corrosion products on a Bronze Age sword blade.
Different corrosion products on a Bronze Age sword blade.

Project management: The aim of the project ‚Impact and Influence of Restoration:  Analysing the State of Corrosion on Austrian Bronze Age Swords‚, funded by COST-D42, was to analyse corrosion products to reveal information on restoration and find circumstances of ancient bronzes of the Natural History Museum Vienna, using methods as optical metallography, SEM, Raman microspectroscopy, Colorimetry, Impedance Spectroscopy, etc.

Outcome:

  1. Mödlinger, M. – Piccardo, P. 2013. Corrosion on prehistoric Cu-Sn-alloys: the influence of artificial environment and storage. Journal of applied physics A 113/4, 1069-1080 (DOI:10.1007/s00339-013-7750-z).
  2. Mödlinger, M. – Piccardo, P. 2012. Impact and Influence of Restoration: Analysing the State of Corrosion on Bronze Age Swords in the Natural History Museum Vienna. Report of the COST-D42, 139-140.

 

2009: NRCA and ToF-ND

Project and scientific leader: The collaboration with ISIS, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, United Kingdom, as well as with the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) in Geel, Belgium, was resulting in successful non-invasive studies of the mechanical properties and alloy composition on Austrian Bronze Age swords

Outcome:

  1. Postma, H. – Schillebeeckx, P. – Mödlinger, M. 2011. Neutron Resonance Capture Analysis and the Bronze Age, in: Uckelmann, M. – Mödlinger, M. (eds), Warfare in Bronze Age Europe: Manufacture and Use of Weaponry. British Archaeological Reports International Series 2255, 167–174.
  2. Mödlinger, M. – Postma, H. 2010. Nicht-invasive Legierungsbestimmungen mittels Neutronenresonanzabsorption (NRCA) an zwei bronzezeitlichen Schwertern aus dem Joanneum Graz. Schild von Steier 23, 132–137.

2009: workshop on ‚Warfare in Bronze Age Europe‘

Bronze Age warfare workshop: Vienna, November 2009
Bronze Age warfare workshop: Vienna, 11/2009

Organisation and Initiation of the 1st international, interdisciplinary conference on ‘Warfare in Bronze Age Europe’ in Vienna and co-editing of the conference proceedings, both in collaboration with Marion Uckelmann. This conference was the first to tackle a range of innovative methods for analysing Bronze Age metal finds.

Outcome:

  1. Uckelmann, M. – Mödlinger, M. (eds). 2011. Warfare in Bronze Age Europe: Manufacture and Use of Weaponry. British Archaeological Reports International Series 2255. Oxbow books
  2. Mödlinger, M. 2011. Ritual object or powerful weapon – the usage of Central Europe Bronze Age swords, in: Uckelmann, M. – Mödlinger, M. (ed). Warfare in Bronze Age Europe: Manufacture and Use of Weaponry. British Archaeological Reports International Series 2255, 153–166.
  3. Postma, H. – Schillebeeckx, P. – Mödlinger, M. 2011. Neutron Resonance Capture Analysis and the Bronze Age, in: Uckelmann, M. – Mödlinger, M. (eds), Warfare in Bronze Age Europe: Manufacture and Use of Weaponry. British Archaeological Reports International Series 2255, 167–174.

 

2007–2008: Tools and Weapons from the Baltic Bronze Age

traces of manufacture and casting defects on Bronze Age Baltic tools
Traces of manufacture and casting defects on Bronze Age Baltic tools

Project and scientific leader: Research fellowship ‚MOEL-Plus‚ (funding: ÖFG) and ‚Forschungsstipendium auf dem Gebiet der Archäologie‚ (funding: BMWFW): Archaeological documentation and analyses of Bronze Age objects in Lithuania, Latvia and the Oblast Kaliningrad. The position involved research on the topic ‚production, trade and usage of Bronze Age Bronzes in the Baltic area‚, including literature review, data collection and analyses (alloy composition, X-ray, surface examinations) from published sources as well as primary study of material in various museum collections; publishing and presenting the research outcomes. I also established inter-sectoral contacts between museums, archaeologists, material scientists and industrial companies in the Oblast Kaliningrad, Latvia and Lithuania as well as Austria and the United Kingdom.

Outcome:

  1. Mödlinger, M. 2010. Zur Dokumentation bronzezeitlicher Waffen und Werkzeuge aus dem ehemaligen Ostpreußen. Acta Praehistorica et Archaeologica 42, 109–153.
  2. Mödlinger, M. – Čivilytė, A. 2010. Rytų Pabaltijo atkraštiniai kirviai: ankstyvojo bronzos amžiaus metalo dirbinių gamybos ir vartojimo problemos. Lietuvos Archeologija 34, 121–152.
  3. Mödlinger, M. 2009. Randleistenbeile in Litauen – erste Ergebnisse zu Produktion und Gebrauch. Archäologie Österreichs 20/1, 27–34.

 

2005 – 2006: European Bronze Age swords

…working conditions and analyses

Project and scientific leader: Archaeometallurgical analyses on Austrian Bronze Age swords (Research fellowship, University of Vienna). The position involved research on the topic `manufacture and usage of Bronze Age swords and the influence on social structure’, including data collection, literature review and analyses (alloy composition, metallographic analyses, 3D-Ct, X-ray, surface examinations) as primary study of material in various museum collections; publishing and presenting the research outcomes.

Outcome:

  1. Mödlinger, M. 2012 (2010). Una potente arma per uccidere: la produzione di spade nell’Europa centrale dell’età del bronzo. Notizie archeologiche bergomensi 18, 83-98.
  2. Mödlinger, M. 2011. Herstellung und Verwendung bronzezeitlicher Schwerter Mitteleuropas. Eine vertiefende Studie zur mittelbronze- und urnenfelderzeitlichen Bewaffnung und Sozialstruktur. Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 193 (Habelt: Bonn).
  3. Mödlinger, M. 2011. Bronze Age Warfare in Eastern Europe: Development, Technology and Usage of Defensive Armour. A short presentation of a forthcoming project. Bulletin de l’Association pour la Promotion des Recherches sur l’Age du Bronze 8, 86–88.
  4. Mödlinger, M. 2011. Ritual object or powerful weapon – the usage of Central Europe Bronze Age swords, in: Uckelmann, M. – Mödlinger, M. (ed). Warfare in Bronze Age Europe: Manufacture and Use of Weaponry. British Archaeological Reports International Series 2255, 153–166.
  5. Blesl, C. – Mödlinger, M. – Ntaflos, T. – Salaberger, D. 2010. Untersuchungen zu Herstellung und Gebrauch eines Schalenknaufschwertes aus Unterradlberg, NÖ. Fundberichte Österreich 48, 47–56.
  6. Mödlinger, M. 2010. Herstellung und Verwendung bronzezeitlicher Schwerter. In: Krenn-Leeb, A. – Beier, H.-J. – Claßen, E. – Finkenstein, F. – Schwenzer, S. (eds). Varia neolithica V. Mobilität, Migration und Kommunikation in Europa während des Neolithikums und der Bronzezeit. Xanten, 6.-8. Juni 2006 (Weißbach), 181–188.
  7. Mödlinger, M. – Ntaflos, T. 2009. Manufacture and Use of Bronze Age Swords. Multidisciplinary Investigation of Austrian Metal Hilted and Organic Hilted Swords. In: Associazione Italiana di Metallurgia (ed). 2nd International Conference of Archaeometallurgy in Europe, 17. – 21. Juni 2007, Aquileia, Italy. Selected Papers (Milano), 191–200.
  8. Trnka, G. – Mödlinger, M. – Ntaflos, T. 2009. Untersuchungen an einem Riegseeschwert aus Gallneukirchen, Oberösterreich. In: Dobiat, C. – Ettel, P. – Fless F. (eds). Zwischen Münchshöfen und Windberg. Gedenkschrift Karl Böhm. Internationale Archäologie, Studia Honoraria 29, 217–226.
  9. Mödlinger, M. – Trnka, G. 2009. Untersuchungen an Riegseeschwertern aus Ostösterreich. In: Kienlin, T. K. – Roberts, B. W. (eds). Metals and Societies. Studies in honour of Barbara S. Ottaway. Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 169 (Bonn), 350–357.
  10. Mödlinger, M. 2008. Mikro-Röntgencomputertomographie in der Archäologie: Analyse eines bronzezeitlichen Schwertes. Proceedings Industrielle Computertomographie, Fachtagung 27. – 28. 2. 2008 Wels/ Austria (Aachen), 219–223.
  11. Mödlinger, M. 2008. Micro-X-ray Computer Tomography in Archaeology: Analyses of a Bronze Age Sword. Insight – Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring 50/5, 323–326.
  12. Mödlinger, M. 2007. Herstellung und Verwendung mittel- und spätbronzezeitlicher Schwerter aus Österreich. Das Altertum 52, 101–130.
  13. Mödlinger, M. – Grömer, K. 2005. Metallographische und textilkundliche Untersuchungen an einem urnenfelderzeitlichen Schwert aus Nordböhmen. Archäologie Österreichs 16/2, 51–55.

 

1999 – 2006: Metallographic analyses of archaeological objects

fig-g-micrograph-dagger-aoe-jpg
Microstructure of an early Bronze Age dagger from lower Austria.

Scientific leader: Archaeometallurgical analyses on selected bronzes from the Early Bronze Age up to medieval finds. The research was carried out at the VIAS, University of Vienna. My responsibilities on included preparation and metallographic interpretation of samples of various bronzes as well as project coordination, publishing and presenting the research outcomes.

Outcome:

  1. Mödlinger, M. – Leusch, V. 2008. Gräberfeld Haid, Oberösterreich. Archäologische Auswertung der Röntgenfluoreszenzanalyse: Eine Interpretation zu Zusammensetzung, Rohmaterial und Lagerstätte. In: M. Reitberger, Das frühbronzezeitliche Gräberfeld von Haid, Oberösterreich. Studien zur Kulturgeschichte von Oberösterreich 18, 40–48.
  2. Mödlinger, M. – Pfisterer, M. 2005. Kontermarken und Abschrotspuren: Metallographische Analyse zweier römischer Gussmünzen. Mitteilungen der Österr. Numismatischen Gesellschaft 45/1, 16-23.
  3. Mödlinger, M. 2004. Metallographisch-analytische Untersuchungen an einem frühbronzezeitlichen Dolch aus Niederfellabrunn, Niederösterreich. Archäologie Österreichs 15/2, 26–28.
  4. Mödlinger, M. 2003. An Early Middle-Age Trove of a Smith’s Findings. In: Associazione Italiana di Metallurgia (ed), International Conference. Archaeometallurgy in Europe, 24-25-26 September 2003, Milan, Italy, Vol. 1, 339–349.

 

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