Dr. Ing. Mathias Mehofer

ORCID: 0000-0002-2044-1810


  • Archaeometallurgy of copper, bronze and precious metals, metallurgy of iron
  • Mining archaeology (Europe, Eurasia)
  • Beginning and spread of metallurgy
  • Bronze Age, Iron Age, Medieval Ages
  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDS), Metallography

Since the year 2000 I conduct intensive research on the use of metals for nearby all periods. My research on the EBA site Cukurici Höyük, TR revealed not only arsenical copper smelting, but also the alloying of tin with copper to bronze is attested. Both results are unique for the (Western) Anatolian region during that time. The archaeometallurgical research on the spread of the so called “Urnfield bronzes” from Europe to the Mediterranean showed, that bronze weapons and personal implements, made in Northern Italy with copper from the Trentino were exported to the Aegean. This results allow for the first time, to base the decades lasting discussion on the spread of these weaponry (and dress ornaments) on analytical grounds. I carried out archaeometallurgical examinations on the copper exchange in the western and central Balkan during the MBA–LBA. The results surprisingly showed that the copper supply in these regions is also dominated by the Trentino mining regions, a fact completely unknown before. I was also involved in the examination of the famous gold hoard from Valchitran, BG, one of the largest gold hoards of the LBA in Europe.  Furthermore, my SEM-analyses of the early medieval gold hoard of Nagyszentmiklos – the largest gold hoard from that period in Europe should be listed. The publication of the examination so called “Holy lance” presents numerous technical changes of the object, connected to its function within the treasury of the medieval emporers of the “Holy Roman Empire of German Nation”.


since 2023            Associated member : Research center HIMaT, University Innsbruck

since 2016               Editorial board of the journal “Journal of World Prehistory – JWP”

since 11 / 2013      Editorial board of the journal “Archäologie Österreichs”

since 03 / 2013      Board member of the Austrian Society for Early- and Prehistory

2006 ­– 2013            Vice-Chairman of the Austrian Society for Early- and Prehistory

2006 – 2008           Chairmanship of the working group Interdisziplinärer Arbeitskreis Frühmittelalter

2000 – 2006            Chairmanship of the working Group Experimental Archaeology of the Austrian Society for Pre- and Early History


Various international grant and science foundations (e.g. DFG-Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft)

  • Journal of Archaeological Science
  • Journal of World Prehistory
  • Etc.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE (University Vienna, University Brno (CZ)

since 2003               yearly lectures in Archaeometallurgy and Natural sciences in Archaeology: Archaeometry at the University Vienna

since 1999               yearly lectures in Experimental Archaeology: Theory and practice at the Universities Vienna and Brno


Vienna 2021, International Conference

ALPENKUPFER III – Alpine Copper in the Vinschgau (28.5.-19.5.2021)

Organised by: Th. Koch Waldner, DBM Bochum and M. Mehofer, VIAS, Universität Wien

Vienna 2019, International Conference

Bronze Age Metallurgy production – consumption – exchange (22.5–24.5. 2019)
Organised by:  M. Mehofer, Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science, University Vienna; M. Gavranovic, OREA – Austrian Academy of Sciences


2017      director of the excavation “Der mittelalterliche Burgstall von Neudegg, NÖ”

2000       Field director at the excavation “Unterpullendorf / Burgenland” La Tène period, Iron ore mining field

since 1996 regular participation at numerous excavations


since 2023 Associated member : Research center HIMaT, University Innsbruck

08/2015                Invitation to the appointment procedure for the direction of the department of Archaeometallurgy at the Bergbaumuseum Bochum (succession Dr. A. Hauptmann).

since 2003             permanent employment at the VIAS, University Vienna

since 01 / 2000    Head of the archaeometallurgical department at the VIAS, University Vienna

since 2000              Employment in many projects as researcher or Principle Investigator (PI) at the VIAS

2000 – 2001          Civil service

Since 01 / 1997   Employment as laboratory assistant at the archaeometallurgical laboratory of VIAS

since 1996              Employment in numerous research projects and excavations