Edeltraud Aspöck is a mortuary archaeologist and currently holds a Hertha-Firnberg post-doctoral research fellowship at the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology (OREA) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) in Vienna. She is also ÖAW project leader of ARIADNE (Advanced Research Infrastructure for Archaeological Dataset Networking in Europe) and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Chester.
Edeltraud started working on reopened graves in her Master’s dissertation at the University of Vienna, investigating reopened graves at the 6th c. AD cemetery Brunn am Gebirge in Lower Austria (Graböffnungen im Frühmittelalter und die langobardenzeitlichen Gräber von Brunn am Gebirge, Flur Wolfholz, Niederösterreich, 2002).
Her PhD research at the Department of Archaeology, University of Reading was on the concept of ‘deviant burials’ and on different treatment at death (‘The relativity of normality: an archaeological and anthropological study of deviant burial and different treatment at death’ 2009). A case study where she accidentally came across instances of (so far unrecognized) reopened graves took her back to research in this field. The aim of her post-doc project ‘Microtaphonomy and interpretation of reopened graves’ is to develop a taphonomy-based method for the analysis of reopened graves.
Other than death, burial, decay and reopening of graves she is also interested in digital archaeology and contemporary art and archaeology.