Falko Daim

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Falko Daim (born February 28, 1953 in Vienna ) is an Austrian medieval archaeologist .


Daim grew up in Vienna. After graduating from high school, he studied agriculture at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences and at the same time prehistory and early history as well as medieval and modern history at the University of Vienna . His teachers were mainly Herwig Friesinger (prehistory and early history), Herwig Wolfram and Karl Brunner (history).

In 1976 he received his doctorate with the dissertation "The Avars in Lower Austria". Immediately afterwards he began excavating the Avar burial ground in Leobersdorf , Lower Austria.

In 1978 Daim was appointed contract assistant at the Institute for Prehistory and Protohistory of the University of Vienna, in 1979 he was appointed university assistant, and in 1986 he completed his habilitation with the monograph “The Avar Grave Field of Leobersdorf, Lower Austria” and was given the license to teach “Prehistory and early history with special consideration of the Early history and medieval archeology ”.

In 1992, Daim was appointed associate professor for "Early History and Medieval Archeology", from January 1, 2000 he was professor at his home university, then head of the Institute for Prehistory and Protohistory at the University of Vienna and head of the Interdisciplinary Facility for Archeology (IDEA) 1999, 2000 transferred to the Interdisciplinary Research Institute of the University of Vienna (VIAS Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science) until 2003.

On November 1, 2003, Daim was appointed General Director of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum , a research institute for archeology and a member of the Leibniz Association . On June 1, 2018, he retired due to age.


In 1976, Daim began excavating the Avar burial ground in Leobersdorf (Lower Austria). The evaluation of the small necropolis (152 graves) made it possible to differentiate the chronology of the late Avar finds and - also through the inclusion of anthropological and archaeozoological data (Silke Grefen-Peters, Braunschweig) - to trace the fate of a small community in the Avar Empire. The theory-based Leobersdorf monograph with its interdisciplinary and synthetic approach is still valid. It not only succeeded in documenting the slow change in burial customs from individual graves laid out at greater intervals to a row grave field in the course of the 7th century, but also in refining the typochronology of the Avar finds for the 8th century. An essential approach was the extensive inclusion of technical observations on the found material and chemical analyzes, especially of the non-ferrous metal objects.

From 1985 to 1990, Daim was significantly involved in the research focus of the Austrian Rectors' Conference "New Paths in Early History Research" (headed by Herwig Friesinger and Herwig Wolfram) and led an extensive interdisciplinary project on the history and archeology of the Avars. In the course of this, the excavation of the Zillingtal cemetery (Burgenland) was carried out and a number of publications emerged, especially the history of Walter Pohl and a two-volume compilation.

In the project “The Late Antique Grave Field and the Villa von Halbturn, Burgenland” (1988–2004) all methods of prospecting (aerial archeology, magnetometric prospecting, georadar and systematic field inspection) and the GIS were used for data storage and evaluation. Daim's particular interests include approaches to the history of mentality , inspired by Patrick J. Geary and a number of French authors. In the debates on ethnic interpretations and questions of individuality and group identities in archeology, he clearly positioned himself against hasty “ethnic” ascriptions.

Through his Avar research, Daim came to Byzantine archeology . In the article The Avar Griffin and Byzantine Antiquity , he showed that the griffin, a very popular motif among the Avars in the first half of the 8th century, was adopted from the Byzantine region. He later identified original Byzantine belt components in the Avar and Moravian finds from the 8th century, presumably diplomatic gifts.

With regard to the gold treasure of Sânnicolau Mare (Hungarian: Nagyszentmiklós), which had been found in the Banat (then Kingdom of Hungary) as early as 1799 and was possibly once part of the Avar royal shorts, he led a long-term project for the technical and scientific investigation of the 23 gold vessels contained by, together with Peter Stadler and in cooperation with the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

During his service at the RGZM, Monrepos Castle was renovated, the seat of the RGZM's branch office for research into the Paleolithic in Neuwied since 1988, as well as the Museum of Ancient Shipping. In addition, the first laboratory for experimental archeology in the German-speaking area was built in Mayen . Together with Jörg Drauschke and Benjamin Fourlas as well as a number of cooperation partners at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Daim established a center for interdisciplinary Byzantium research in Mainz (ScienceCampus Mainz “Byzantium Between Orient and Occident”).


Teaching outside of Vienna

  • Visiting professor in Graz 1987/88.
  • Editing in Innsbruck 1992.
  • Visiting professorships in Izevsk (Russia) 1990 and 1992, Ljubljana (Slovenia) 1992, Bratislava (Slovakia) 1993, Los Angeles (USA) 1998, Xi'an (China) 2000, Bucharest (Romania) 2002.

Fonts (selection)

  • with Andreas Lippert : The Avar burial ground of Sommerein in the Leithagebirge, Lower Austria . Vienna 1984.
  • The Avar burial ground in Leobersdorf, Lower Austria . Vienna 1987.
  • The Avars on the edge of the Byzantine world . Innsbruck 2000.
  • with Ernst Lauermann: The early Hungarian equestrian grave of Gnadendorf (Lower Austria) . Mainz 2006.



  • Monographs on early history and medieval archeology , 1 (1994) - 12 (2008).
  • Gennadii Afanas'ev, Falko Daim in collaboration with Dafydd Kidd (Editors): Monographs in Migration Period and Medieval Archeology. Four volumes, Moscow 1993–1994 (in Russian, English summaries).
  • Claus von Carnap-Bornheim, Falko Daim, Peter Ettel, Ursula Warnke (eds.): Interdisciplinary research on ports from the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages in Europe. 1 (2015) - 4 (2017).


  • Living worlds between archeology and history. Festschrift for Falko Daim on his 65th birthday . Mainz 2018, ISBN 978-3-88467-292-1 .

Research projects

  • Excavation of the Avar grave field of Leobersdorf, Lower Austria 1977–1983.
  • Excavation of the Germanic settlement in Zaingrub, Lower Austria, 1981–1985. Lower Austria State Museum and Federal Monuments Office.
  • Excavation of the late medieval fortifications of Walpersbach-Lanzenkirchen 1988–1989 with a follow-up project (Fund for the Promotion of Scientific Research in Austria - “FWF”) 1991–1993. With Thomas Kühtreiber
  • Research focus of the Austrian Rectors' Conference “New Paths in Early History Research” 1985–1990 (directed by Herwig Friesinger and Herwig Wolfram). Head of the sub-project on the history and archeology of the Avars, part of which was:
  • The Avar burial ground (and settlement) of Zillingtal, Burgenland. 1985–2001 (FWF and Burgenland Provincial Government).
  • The late antique burial ground and the villa of Halbturn, Burgenland. 1988–2004 (FWF and Burgenland Provincial Government). With Nives Doneus, Vienna.
  • The treasure trove of Sinnicolau Mare (Nagyszentmiklós). 1994–1996 (FWF, together with Peter Stadler).
  • The wall paintings in the Regnum Maravorum. 1998–2000 (FWF, together with Martina Pippal).
  • The treasure trove of Vrap in Albania. 1998–2000 (FWF, together with Peter Stadler).
  • The Avar burial ground in Frohsdorf, Lower Austria. 2001-2002, 2003-2007. With Gabriele Scharrer, Vienna.
  • The gold treasure of Sânnicolau Mare (Nagyszentmiklós) - Scientific research and cultural-historical evaluation. 2003-2007 (FWF).
  • Transformation and cultural exchange on the edge of the Mediterranean world. The highlands of the Crimea in the early Middle Ages (Pact for Research and Innovation through the Leibniz Association, 2006–2008).
  • Cavalry warriors, castle builders. The early Hungarians and the German Empire from the 9th to the 11th centuries (Pact for Research and Innovation through the Leibniz Association, 2009–2011). With Michael Herdick, Rainer Schreg and Bendeguz Tobias.
  • The Byzantine mill and workshop complex in hillside house 2 of Ephesus (TR). With Stefanie Wefers (Pact for Research and Innovation through the Leibniz Association, from 2006).
  • For salvation and happiness in life: studies of the Byzantine pilgrimage and its roots. With Ina Eichner and Despoina Ariantzi (2014–2016).
  • The short life of an imperial city - everyday life, environment and decline of the early Byzantine Caričin Grad ( Iustiniana Prima ?). With Rainer Schreg .
  • SPP 1630 Ports from the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages. With Claus von Carnap (Schleswig), Ursula Warnke (Oldenburg) and Peter Ettel (Jena) (2012–2018).
  • SPP 1630 Individual project ports on the Balkan coast of the Byzantine Empire.
  • The gold sheets of Tutankhamun - investigations into the cultural communication between Egypt and the Middle East. With Peter Pfälzner (Tübingen) and Stephan Johannes Seidlmayer (DAI Cairo) (2014–2017).
  • The Preslav Treasure from Bulgaria (10th century). With Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie (Gießen) (2017–2019).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Avar burial ground of Leobersdorf, Lower Austria
  2. Walter Pohl: The Avars . 2nd Edition. Beck, 2002.
  3. Falko Daim: Avar research . 1992.
  4. Falko Daim: Archeology, Ethnicity and the Structures of Identification . 1998.
  5. Falko Daim: Byzantine belt buckles of the 8th century. In: Falko Daim (ed.): The Avars on the edge of the Byzantine world. Studies in diplomacy, trade and technology transfer in the early Middle Ages. Wagner, Innsbruck 2000, ISBN 978-3-7030-0349-3 , pp. 74-203 .
  6. Birgit Bühler, Viktor Freiberger: The gold treasure of Sânnicolau Mare (Hungarian: Nagyszentmiklós) . Ed .: Birgit Bühler, Viktor Freiberger: The gold treasure of Sânnicolau Mare (Hungarian: Nagyszentmiklós), ed. by Falko Daim, Kurt Gschwantler, Georg Plattner, Peter Stadler. No. 142 . RGZM monographs, Mainz 2018.