Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien, Serie a 123 (2021)

ISSN 0255-0091, eISSN 2957-4536
ISBN 978-3-903096-52-3

Erscheinungsdatum / Publication date: 08.04.2022

Inhalt / Content

  • Berner, Margit, Eggers, Sabine, Klostermann, Paul, Koger, Robin, and Sauer, Walter: Ovambo human remains in the Natural History Museum Vienna: Viktor Lebzelter’s anthropological collection from Namibia. p. 5-32, 6 figs, 1 tab.
    In recent years, the repatriation of human remains to Namibia has increased. Most of these repatriations have been linked to the genocide, recently acknowledged by the Federal Republic of Germany, that occurred during the time of colonial occupation. In the aftermath of the genocide, many European countries, including Austria, were also involved in collecting human remains from then Southwest Africa.
    This report examines the history and archival documentation of a collection of cranial remains of at least 27 individuals from Ovamboland curated in the Natural History Museum in Vienna. The collection was acquired by Viktor Lebzelter during his research in Southern Africa between 1926 and 1928. Lebzelter documented that these human remains belonged to individuals who had died during a famine in 1916 in an attempt to flee to Hereroland. Their remains were later collected from the bush and transported to the Natural History Museum in Vienna. In order to ascertain if Lebzelter’s narrative on the provenance aligns with the evidence derived from the skeletal remains, a bioarchaeological re-analysis was conducted. This re-analysis highlights the taphonomy and health indicators of the remains.
    While the results of the re-analysis of the osteological examination support Lebzelter’s claim of the post-mortem environment, it can neither be confirmed nor denied that these individuals were associated with the hunger crisis of 1915/1916. Further, it is not clear if Lebzelter collected the remains himself or received them from the South African colonial government. Whether or not he was aware of the wider picture of the gruesome colonial impact which exacerbated the famine, his actions were clearly aimed to profit from the human remains and use them for his research on racialization and classifying human populations.
    Key words: bioarchaeology, taphonomy, provenance research, Namibia, expedition, context of injustice, colonial context, famine.
  • Lambers, Paul H., Berner, Margit, and Kremmler, Katrin: From anatomy to palaeo-raciology: Two Neanderthal reconstructions at the NHMW 1924/25. p. 33-64, 15 figs
    In 1924 and 1925, anthropologist Egon von Eickstedt from the Natural History Museum of Vienna (NHMW), and Austrian/Hungarian artist Erna von Engel-Baiersdorf created two soft tissue reconstructions of the head of a Neanderthal, based on a cast of the skull from La Chapelleaux- Saints, discovered in 1908. Eickstedt was to become a leading racial scientist and representative of German interwar and Nazi anthropology. Engel-Baiersdorf established herself as a scientific sculptor, survived the Holocaust, and reinvented herself as an anthropologist in Canada. The two busts were the first hominin reconstructions at the NHMW and initiated the NHMW’s reconstruction workshop in the 1920s and 1930s. An original copy of the bust from 1924, which was recently rediscovered in the collection of the University Museum Utrecht, allows a detailed comparison with the 1925 bust in the NHMW collection in methodological terms: Eickstedt aimed at introducing a new method for facial reconstructions of fossil man, producing a ‘racial type’ or ‘racial portrait’, adopting and refining the reconstruction method developed by Kollmann & Büchly in 1898. A number of nineteenth and early twentieth century Western scientists discussed Neanderthals and modern Europeans in a triangular relationship with Indigenous peoples from German Pacific colonies. As we will show, the two early NHMW sculptures, as genuine products of German/Austrian interwar palaeo-raciology, combine theories and methods of ethnology, evolutionary and physical anthropology, and anatomy with artistic practices. Thus, they provide interesting new insights for current debates on the entanglements of German colonial history and the interwar/Nazi period.
    Keywords: Neanderthal, Egon von Eickstedt, Erna von Engel-Baiersdorf, facial reconstructions, interwar period, scientific racism, German raciology, colonialism, German Pacific colonies, sensitive collection, contentious heritage.
  • Pomberger, Beate Maria and Mühlhans, Jörg: A portable noise-absorbing recording chamber for sound recordings of archaeological idiophones. p. 65-79, 9 figs
    The article initially deals with the difficulties that can arise when sound recordings of archaeological sound objects are made in museum rooms. In order to reduce these problems as much as possible, a simple but effective, sound-reduced recording chamber has been developed. It is used in the FWF (Austrian Sciences Funds) project “Metallic Idiophones between 800 BC and 800 AD”, which investigates bells, pellet bells, and jewelleries with jingles. The chamber was constructed from 8 mm thick poplar plywood panels. Its isolation consists of a double layer of mineral wool, Rockfon Facett Plano 20 mm. Measurements have shown a reduction of background noise by up to 21.4 dB SPL in various museum rooms. The transportable recording chamber is weighing only 7 kg and is therefore ideally suited for sound recordings in museums and other collections. This article describes shortly the making of the chamber and examines its noise reduction levels by means of a series of measurements.
    Keywords: music archaeology, acoustics, sound recordings, noise-absorbing recording chamber.

    Zusammenfassung
    Der Artikel geht zunächst auf die Schwierigkeiten ein, die bei Tonaufnahmen archäologischer Klangobjekte in Museumsräumen entstehen können. Um diese möglichst zu reduzieren, wurde eine einfache aber effektive, schallreduzierte Aufnahmekammer entwickelt, die im Rahmen des FWF (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung)-Projektes „Metallic Idiophones between 800 BC and 800 AD“, bei dem Glocken, Schellen, und klingender Trachtschmuck untersucht werden, eingesetzt wird. Der Kasten wurde aus 8 mm dicken Pappelsperrholzplatten zusammengesetzt und mit einer Dämmung Steinwollplatten, Rockfon Facett Plano 20 mm, innen beschichtet. Messungen haben eine Reduzierung der Hintergrundgeräusche um bis zu 21,4 dB SPL in den verschiedenen Museumsräumen, aufgezeigt. Der 7 kg schwere transportable Aufnahmeraum eignet sich daher ideal für Tonaufnahmen in Museen und anderen Sammlungen. Der Artikel beschreibt kurz den Bau der schallreduzierten Aufnahmekammer und prüft ihre schallreduzierende Wirkung durch etliche Messungen.
    Schlüsselwörter: Musikarchäologie, Akustik, Tonaufnahmen, schalldämpfende Aufnahmekammer.
  • Daxner-Höck, Gudrun, Cernanský, Andrej, Flynn, Lawrence J., and Wessels, Wilma: Fossil vertebrates from the late Miocene of Builstyn Khudag (Valley of Lakes, Central Mongolia). p. 81-135, 15 figs, 7 tabs
    Cenozoic sediments of the Taatsiin Tsagaan Nuur region in the Valley of Lakes are known for their exceptional fossil content of the Oligocene and early Miocene, whereas, until now, middle and late Miocene records are very poor. Here, we report the late Miocene vertebrate fauna of Builstyn Khudag. Wet screening of large samples from the upper part of section BUK-A (from BUK-A/12 +14) display a rich fossil collection, comprising three lizard and five snake taxa, and sixteen small mammal species in nine families: Ochotonidae, Erinaceidae, Soricidae, Sciuridae, Eomyidae, Cricetidae, Zapodidae, Dipodidae and Gerbillidae. Surface findings of bones and teeth of large mammal families, Rhinocerotidae and Gomphotheriidae, complete the collection. The structures and the included fossils assume floodplain environments with locally dense vegetation and laterally dry open areas.
    Stratigraphically, we correlate the Builstyn Khudag fauna with the early late Miocene, specifically with the early part of the Asian Bahean LMS/A and with the European Mammal Zone MN9 of the early Vallesian.
    Key words: Reptilia, Mammalia, Environment, Miocene, Bahean, Vallesian.

    Zusammenfassung
    Känozoische Sedimente aus der Taatsiin Tsagaan Nuur Region im Tal der Gobiseen sind für ihren außergewöhnlichen Reichtum an oligozänen und untermiozänen Fossilien bekannt, während mittel- und obermiozäne Nachweise bisher selten sind. Hier berichten wir über die obermiozäne Wirbeltierfauna von Builstyn Khudag. Durch nass sieben der Großprobe BUK-A/12+14 aus dem oberen Teil des Profils BUK-A wurde eine reiche Fossilsammlung gewonnen. Sie umfasst 3 Echsenarten, 5 Schlangenarten und 16 Kleinsäugetierarten von 9 Familien: Ochotonidae, Erinaceidae, Soricidae, Sciuridae, Eomyidae, Cricetidae, Zapodidae, Dipodidae und Gerbillidae. Oberflächenfunde von Knochen und Zähnen der Großsäugerfamilien Rhinocerotidae und Gomphotheriidae komplettieren die Sammlung. Sedimentstrukturen und Fossilien weisen auf Aulandschaften mit dichter Vegetation hin und auch auf trockene offene Bereiche abseits des Flusses. Zeitlich korrelieren wir die Fauna mit dem frühen Obermiozän, genauer, mit dem Asiatischen unteren Bahean (LMS/A) und mit der Europäischen Säugetierzone MN9 des frühen Vallesium.
    Schlüsselwörter: Reptilien, Säugetiere, Lebensraum, Miozän, Bahean, Vallesium
  • Erbajeva, Margarita A., Flynn, Lawrence J., Daxner-Höck, Gudrun: The Lagomorpha genus Bohlinotona (Ochotonidae) from the late Oligocene of Mongolia. p. 137-155, 5 figs, 3 tabs
    Bohlinotona represents the oldest genus of the family Ochotonidae. Bohlinotona ranged throughout most of the late Oligocene, its earliest evidence being the species Bohlinotona pusilla (Teilhard de Chardin, 1926) from the locality Saint-Jacques in China. Today, the record of the genus in Mongolia is ~ 300 specimens, distributed among two species from seven localities. The rather primitive species, B. pusilla, is known from two Valley of Lakes localities in central Mongolia and one site in the Khaliun Basin in southwestern Mongolia. The species was first evidenced from the beginning of the late Oligocene at about 28 Ma and disappeared about one million years later when the second species, Bohlinotona mongolica nov. spec. had its first appearance. The latter species ranged from 27 Ma to ~ 24.5 Ma and is known from five localities in the Valley of Lakes.
    Keywords: Ochotonidae, late Oligocene, Valley of Lakes, Khaliun Basin, Mongolia.

    Kurzfassung
    Bohlinotona ist die älteste Gattung der Familie Ochotonidae und überdauerte fast das gesamte Oberoligozän. Die Gattung wurde erstmals durch die Art Bohlinotona pusilla (Teilhard de Chardin, 1926) von der Lokalität Saint-Jacques in China nachgewiesen. Heute umfasst die Gattung in der Mongolei ~ 300 Funde, verteilt auf zwei Arten von sieben Lokalitäten. Die eher ursprüngliche Art Bohlinotona pusilla wurde von zwei Lokalitäten aus dem Tal der Gobiseen in der zentralen Mongolei und von einer Lokalität im Khaliun Becken der südwestlichen Mongolei bekannt. Sie tauchte zu Beginn des Oberoligozän, vor etwa 28 Millionen Jahren auf und verschwand eine Million Jahre später, als die zweite Art, Bohlinotona mongolica nov. spec., erstmals erschien. Letztere überdauerte den Zeitraum von 27 bis ~ 24.5 Millionen Jahren. Sie wurde aus fünf Lokalitäten im Tal der Gobiseen nachgewiesen.
    Schlüsselwörter: Ochotonidae, Oberoligozän, Tal der Gobiseen, Khaliun Becken, Mongolei.
  • [Werbung]. p. 156-160

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  • Editors-in-chief:
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