Bernhard Neutsch

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Bernhard Neutsch (born March 5, 1913 in Weimar ; † August 8, 2002 in Innsbruck ) was a German classical archaeologist .

Bernhard Neutsch was shaped for the rest of his life by his homeland, the "Goethe City Weimar". He majored in Classical Archeology at the University of Jena , as well as Ancient History , Classical Philology , Art History and Philosophy . In 1939 he was there with the dissertation The painter Nikias of Athens. A contribution to Greek artistic history and Pompeian wall painting is doing his doctorate. This was not followed by a scientific career as planned, but by participating as a soldier in World War II and the ensuing imprisonment. After his release, he became an employee at the Art History Institute of the University of Marburg and was then involved in the reconstruction of the Archaeological Institute of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and in particular the reorganization of its archaeological collection from 1946 to 1948 . In 1948 he organized the first post-war exhibition of ancient art with The World of the Greeks in Images of the Originals from the Heidelberg University Collection. In 1949 he completed his habilitation in Heidelberg with the thesis Studies on Pre-Anagräischattischen Koroplastik . For his work, Neutsch was awarded the first travel grant from the German Archaeological Institute for the period 1949/50, alongside Herbert von Buttlar , after he had already been awarded it for his dissertation in 1941/1942; grants between 1939/1940 and 1949/1950 did not start due to the war could become. He traveled to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt on a scholarship. In 1951 he married. He and his wife had four sons.

Remains of Herakleia and Siris in the Policoro Archaeological Park

After the end of the travel grant, Neutsch stayed at the German Archaeological Institute in Rome until 1956 , where he participated in the reconstruction of the oldest department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). At times he was the second director of the department. His tasks included editing work, maintaining external contacts, but also archaeological tours. The time in Italy shaped Neutsch. He maintained contacts to the Istituto di Storia Antica at the University of Padua throughout his life. They were not limited to superficial contacts, but also expressed themselves by giving lectures or co-supervising dissertations. He followed the post-war excavations very closely , especially in southern Italy, and reported on this to Germany , in particular on the Magna Graecia research. In 1956 he began researching necropolises in Palinuro and Vallo di Diano . In Policoro he was involved in the discovery of large parts of the Greek colony of Herakleia and its famous Demeter sanctuary . The archaic predecessor settlement Siris could also be located.

Since 1956 Neutsch had his professional life center back in Germany. In 1956 he initially represented Roland Hampe on his chair in Heidelberg. In 1965 he was appointed academic councilor and professor there. Since 1968 Neutsch was entrusted with the establishment of an archaeological institute at the University of Mannheim . Here he remained as an academic councilor until 1972. Only his successor Wolfgang Schiering achieved the conversion of the council position into a professorship in 1981. In 1968 he was made an honorary professor in Mannheim, which he remained after he left. 1970/1971 he was dean in Mannheim. In 1972 Neutsch was appointed to succeed Alfons Wotschitzky as full university professor and head of the Archaeological Institute and its museum at the University of Innsbruck , where he taught until his retirement ten years later. He was followed by Elisabeth Walde, the first woman in this position. In 1974 he stayed as a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo , where he also dealt with the ancient Japanese shrines. In 1978 he also became an honorary professor at the University of Karlsruhe . During his time in Innsbruck, he continued the excavation work he had begun in Mannheim in the planting town of Ionian Greeks Elea in conjunction with the Innsbruck Institute. He worked closely with the Innsbruck building researcher Johannes Daum and the soprintendent of the archaeological region, Mario Napoli . This commitment, which always included the students in the annual excavation campaigns, led to the establishment of a Magna Graecia research center at the Innsbruck archaeological institute and has helped shape the direction of the institute to this day. Neutsch's student Brinna Otto directed the excavations in Herakleia for many years . In 1979 he initiated with Johannes B. Trentini the Archaeological Society Innsbruck , in 1981 he served with thumb, the annual meeting of the Koldewey Society in Innsbruck. After his retirement in 1983, he took up his retirement home at his last academic place of work in Innsbruck, where he lived until his death in 2002.

Neutsch received numerous honors for his work. In addition to two honorary professorships, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Italian Republic in 1973 . In 1983 he received the Great Silver Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria . He had been an honorary citizen of Policoro since 1967, and in 1987 he was also awarded the Premio della Siritide award. He was a member of the German and Austrian Archaeological Institute and the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Venice . In 1980 the Festschrift Forschungen und Funde was dedicated to him, to which 60 former students and international scholars contributed. In 1984 the concise speaker was allowed to give the opening speech of the 26th Magna Graecia Congress in Taranto : L'incontro di Goethe con le antichità della Magna Graecia .

The central research focus of Neutsch 'was the research on Magna Graecia. Here he took part in field research in Elea, Herakleia and Paestum. But he researched far beyond that: on the Minoan palace culture, ancient wall and vase painting (for example on Exekias ) through to the reception of antiquity, in particular on Goethe's relationship to antiquity.


  • Publisher: The world of the Greeks in the picture of the originals of the Heidelberg university collection. Catalog of the anniversary exhibition for the 100th anniversary of the collections of the Archaeological Institute Heidelberg in the summer semester of 1948. Kerle, Heidelberg 1948.
  • Sport in the Picture of Greek Art ( Der Kunstspiegel ). Scherer Verlag Willsbach, Heidelberg 1949.
    • Japanese edition: Girishia geijutsu to supôtsu. Yôtoku-sha, Tôkyô 1965.
  • Studies on pre-Anagraic-Attic coroplasty. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1952.
  • Tas nunphas emi iaron. To the underground sanctuary of Paestum (= treatises of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, Philosophical-Historical Class. Born 1957, treatise 2). Winter, Heidelberg 1957.
  • with Rudolf Naumann : Palinuro. Volume 2: Necropolis, terrace zone and individual finds (= communications from the German Archaeological Institute, Roman Department . Supplement 4). Kerle, Heidelberg 1960.
  • Editor: Herakleiastudien (= communications from the German Archaeological Institute, Roman Department. Supplement 11; = Archaeological Research in Lucania. Volume 2). Kerle, Heidelberg 1961.


  • Friedrich Krinzinger (Ed.): Research and Finds. Festschrift Bernhard Neutsch (= Innsbruck contributions to cultural studies. Volume 21). Institute for Linguistics, Innsbruck 1980, ISBN 3-85124-074-X .
  • Michaela F. Rossini: "Semper Apertus". Bernhard Neutsch - a hiker in the footsteps of antiquity. In: Ancient World . Volume 30, 1999, pp. 89-90.
  • Annual books of the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Vienna. Volume 72, 2003, pp. 13-15.