The in 2008 issued call for proposals for the foundation of new Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes (LBI) resulted in 47 proposals being submitted to the Austrian Ludwig Boltzmann Society in January 2009. After international peer review ten candidates were invited to prepare detailed concepts of the initially presented proposals for examination by an expert panel. Currently the LBG is able to raise in total 18 million Euro for three LBIs covering a seven year term. New foundations will be a LBI for Lung Vascular Research in Graz, a LBI for Neo-Latin Studies in Innsbruck and a new LBI for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology placed at the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics and Vienna University.
The objective of the new Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology is the realisation of interdisciplinary research programmes for the development of large scale, efficient methods and technologies fort he non-destructive detection, documentation, visualisation and interpretation of the archaeological cultural heritage.
„Non-destructive documentation of the cultural heritage buried in the ground is one of the greatest challenges of our time regarding the preservation of archaeological and historical monuments. This task can only be accomplished by using the latest technology for archaeological prospection. It requires the combination of large-scale application of airborne laser scanners together with leading-edge magnetometer and georadar systems on the ground, both mapping the terrain as well as underground remains of archaeological sites with centimetre accuracy in order to visualise the hidden structures after thousands of years on computer monitors. The new LBI offers us outstanding possibilities to advance the necessary fundamental research and technological developments in order to map entire archaeological landscapes covering square kilometres“, says the director of the LBI, archaeologist Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Neubauer.
The intended technological as well as methodological developments of the new LBI will not only take place at the desk and in the laboratory, but will be directly connected to a series of large-scale field studies in Lower Austria, Great Britain, Sweden, Germany and Norway, including the landscapes and world cultural heritage sites Stonehenge and the Viking age town Birka near Stockholm.
The international consortium of partner organisations of the new LBI with location in Vienna are the University of Vienna, the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, Vienna University of Technology, the office of the provincial government of Lower Austria, the Roman-Germanic Central Museum in Mainz, the University of Birmingham (VISTA), the Central Swedish National Heritage Board (RAÄ) and the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU).