Rooms 11 to 13 have been renovated in 2015 and re-opened on September 29th 2015. Two more small rooms have been added, one for the archaeological gold finds and one for our museum’s two oldest ladies: the Venus of Willendorf and “Fanny” the dancing figurine discovered in Stratzing.

In line with the founding idea behind the NHM Vienna, the Department of Prehistory evolved, in this case by showcasing man’s cultural evolution from the Ice Age through to the end of the Early Middle Ages.

Room 11 shows finds from the Early Stone Age, the Late Stone Age and the early period of the Bronze Age using specially designed display cases with selected objects. The middle of the room is reserved for the highlights of the collection. Visitors are able to pay a virtual visit to Paleolithic caves and admire the magnificent paintings within. There is also a large display about the unique world of pile dwellings, which have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011. Recent finds from Grub an der March and Brunn am Gebirge show the results of ongoing digs currently being carried out by the Department of Prehistory.

In room 12 visitors are able to trace the 7000-year history of salt mining during the Late Stone Age in Hallstatt. The exhibition will focus on salt production and mining starting from the Late Stone Age, including the large salt mines of the Bronze Age and Iron Age all the way through to the modern era. Original finds from these periods are combined with information films and animated videos. A 3D model with modern projection technology gives visitors fascinating insights into the history of the high valley around Hallstatt, while a transparent side wall provides an overview of the salt mines which existed in prehistoric times. Other objects on display include grave gifts found in the 19th century at the famous cemetery in Hallstatt as well as a selection of other items found more recently in the graves at this site.

Room 13 is dedicated to the late Bronze Age, the early and late Iron Age and the first millennium AD. A large screen takes visitors on an interactive journey through time from the foundation of Rome to the Babenberg period, which marks the end of the Early Middle Ages in Austria. Among the items on show are sensational finds and research results from the Celtic settlement in Roseldorf (NÖ) and early medieval finds from Brunn am Gebirge.

In rooms 11 and 13 the original display cases are kept and renovated. The original wall display cases in room 12 also continue to be used. New display cases are added near the window areas and in the central section of the Hallstatt room.