Karin Wiltschke-Schrotta

Head of department
  • Research
  • Curation of the osteological collection (national)
  • Planning and coordination of exhibitions
  • Outreach projects
Karin Wiltschke-Schrottas ORCID record:
Phone: +43 1 52177-570

The Laténe Period population of Dürrnberg/Hallein /Salzburg, Austria. A Center of Celtic culture in the northern part of the Austrian Alps. The analysis of the Celtic population living 500 to 300 BC in the Northern Alps is the aim of this investigation. More than 350 burials with over 650 human remains are recovered until now. The graves showed exceptional grave goods. How did these people life? What can we say about their work load and their diseases? They had the skills for performing trephinations. Several traces of long survived skull operations were found. This is an ongoing study where each year new interesting finds are presented. The research is being done together with the head of Archaeology at the Keltenmuseum Hallein, Dr. Wendling.

Human and animal depositions. Sacrificial cult in Stillfried?
FWF-Project byDr. Irmtraud Hellerschmid P22755. Investigation of the human remains.

SYNTHESYS I, II, III. SYNTHESYS is an EC-funded project creating an integrated European infrastructure for natural history collections (2004-2017) with the aim to improve collections management, enhancing accessibility and conserving the unique value of European natural history collections. I am an active participant especially involved in the creation of a self-assessment tool to enable all museums and herbaria to measure themselves against the SYNTHESYS benchmark. The network activities will also provide resources to help raise standards e.g. delivering universal performance indicators and collection management policies enabling infrastructures to maximise use of their existing resources and avoid duplication of effort within Europe.

The Endneolithikum of the Lower Traisen valley. FWF-Projekt P18131 2005-2008 (Head of Project Daniela Kern) The human remains from nearly 130 burials dating to the final Neolithic period derived from continuing rescue excavations in the Lower Traisen valley of Lower Austria are investigated. Analysis and interpretation of the Unteren Traisental material enlarges our understanding of the period from 2900 to 2200 B.C. in the eastern part of Austria, and is of significant help in reconstructing prehistoric society and culture at the end of the Neolithic period, insofar as this is possible from exclusively mortuary evidence. The different anthropological investigations are in cooperation with Dr. Margit Berner. Specific topics are covered by Univ. Prof. Dr. Maria Teschler-Nicola and Mag. Doris Pany-Kucera.

The Avar Cemetary of Frohsdorf. The Avar time cemetary from Frohsdorf/Lower Austria are scientifically investigated by an FWF- Project P16593 (Head of project Falko Daim 2003-2007) and the follow up project of Gabriele Scharrer (FWF P21181 2009-2012). The human remains of Frohsdorf are anthropologically investigated. Remains from 239 individuals from 277 graves are examined. A combined presentation of the archaeological and anthropological results is in preparation.

The Avar Population from Mödling-Goldene Stiege Lower Austria. The Avar period (650-800 AC) burial site of Mödling-Goldene Stiege, Austria includes the human remains of 550 burials. The excavation was done 1967-1973. The anthropological data are collected. A general publication of this site including physical anthropology, archaeology, archaeozoology etc. is in preparation. This work is being done together with Dr. Berner, Dr. Daim, DDr. Stadler and Dr. Distelberger.

Human remains on display. Fellowship 1999/2000 in Museum Practice, Smithsonian Institution, Washington. How can human remains be displayed in a manner which both respects and reflects their humanity? Whenever we as curators put human remains on display in a museum, we are faced with this question, and with a range of overlapping and often conflicting concerns. While we display human remains for their scientific and educational value, and as a way of satisfying the natural curiosity of the visiting public, which wishes to know more about its own species, we surely know that human curiosity takes many forms, ranging from the coolly scientific to the frankly morbid. We know too that different cultures, and religious groups within one culture, hold different belief systems related to the human body, both in life and in death, and have different ideas of what it means to treat human remains with proper respect. This situation as a whole creates a significant problem for curators and organizers of exhibits all over the world in which human remains are on display, and it often also creates a problem for the viewing public.

  • 1979 - 1988 University of Vienna: Human Biology (Physical Anthropology)/ Zoology (1979 - 1988)
  • 03.02.1989 Graduation from University of Vienna in Human Biology; Thesis: Das frühbronze-zeitliche Gräberfeld von Franzhausen I - Analyse der morphologischen Merkmale mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der epigenetischen Varianten
  • 1991 + 1992 Palaeopathology - course held by DDr. M. Schultz for graduate anthropologists, Department of Anatomy, University of Göttingen, Germany
  • 1994 exchange grant for working with Dr. Brendan Boyce. Laboratory for Bone Metabolism Dept. of Pathology, Univ. of Texas Health Science Centre San Antonio, USA                    
  • 1999 - 2000 Fellowship in Museum Practice "Human remains on Display", Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA
  • 2007 Advanced training "Collection Care and Management" 23.-27.04.2007 Stockholm SYNTHESYS
  • since 2016 acting director of the department of anthropology


Osteology, population studies, palaeopathology, museology


  • Coordination and Co-Conception of the special exhibit "Pathways of Pathogenes" 2022-2023
  • Conception of the special exhibits "Insights" in the lunatic tower 2021-2022
  • Coordination and Co-Conception of the new permanent exhibit of the pathologic-anatomical Collection in the lunatic tower 2019-2020
  • the evolution of man - permanent anthropology exhibition (part of the team)
  • adaption, enrichment, translation, coordination and curation of special exhibits in the NHMW:

„Dein Gehirn kann mehr als du denkst"

  • Experimentarium Kopenhagen (22.09.1999 - 13.02.2000)

„Alle verwandt, alle verschieden"

  •  Museé de l´Homme, Paris (05.11.1997 - 03.07.1998)

„Der Zweite Blick - 100 Jahre Röntgentechnologie"

  • Technical Museum, Vienna (02.10.1996 - 16.02.1997)


Berner Margit
staff scientist, curator
Eggers Sabine
staff scientist, curator of the international osteological collection
Fruhmann Nina
freelancer science communication
Hofecker Verena
collection manager PaSiN (on leave)
Hofmann Gerhard
Hrovath Magdalena
freelancer science communication
Hrovath Theresa
freelancer science communication
Kaiser Martin
freelancer science communication
Klostermann Paul
PhD student
Knoll Anna
freelancer science communication
Koger Robin
associate scientist
Krauss Florentin
science communication PaSiN
Kreindl Katharina
freelancer science communication
Lafranco Gabriel
freelancer science communication
Lick Laura
freelancer science communication
Lindner Johanna
freelancer science communication
Luftensteiner Katharina
project researcher "HistoGenes"
Marschler Maria
Scientific assistant LDDL, Synthesys+ AT-TAF Administrator, VA Coordinator
Nazemi Karen
Museum educator / PASiN
Novotny Friederike
project researcher
Pany-Kucera Doris
staff scientist, co-curator and scientist in the ERC Synergy Grant HistoGenes (OEAW)
Patzak Anatole
PaSiN / Kassa
Philips Christoph
freelancer science communication
Roiban Bianca-Seridan
Supervision PASiN
Sawa Martina
Guard PaSiN
Scheuba Andreas
freelancer science communication
Spannagl-Steiner Ute Michaela
scientific assistant Austrian Academy of Science
Stadlmayr Andrea
collection management, outreach coordinator, staff scientist LDDL
Steinkellner Judith
Cash desk & administration PaSiN
Strondl Liesa
associate scientist
Voglsinger Bettina
administrative assistant/library
Walch August
Winter Eduard
custodian PaSiN