EARLY CAREER ACHIEVEMENT PRIZE 2022
The Oscar Montelius Foundation (OMF) Trustees,
consisting of Elin Dalen (Chair), Margaret Gowen Larsen and Arkadiusz Marciniak have decided to award the second
Early Career Achievement Prize (ECAP) of the OMF to
Constanze Schattke is awarded the 2022 Early Career Achievement
Prize on the grounds of the social, innovation, interdisciplinarity and
international impact of her early career work.
Constanze Schattke is a young researcher working on osteological
collections in museums. In her newly started PhD research, she is going
to combine bioarchaeology with provenance to investigate violence in the
acquisition contexts of human remains at the Natural History Museum in
Vienna, especially during the period 1857–1935. The timespan represents
a period when many collections of looted humane remains from
Indigenous and other groups were assembled by museums of Europe. The
human remains were collected and studied in former scientific traditions
that are considered inappropriate in recent times.
Ms. Schattke’s Master of Science research involved in-depth provenance
research on collections of humane remains drawn from Indigenous People
from South America. The study of human remains can reveal important
insights into the past and can provide previously unrevealed information
even about each individual studied.
As part of her work, Ms. Schattke has participated in the planning of
the repatriation of human remains to Hawaii in 2022, together with
an associated ceremony. Regarding Indigenous Maori and Moriori
human remains from New Zealand in which she has recommended
the repatriation of a collection of more than 50 remains from people to
their New Zealand community representatives. She is currently involved
preparation of associated repatriation ceremonies.
Her work reveals a person who is inquisitive and fearless as well as
particularly sensitive. This is seen in the manner in which she has
impart the knowledge gained from her research on specific groups to
the descendants of those populations and their communities of origin.
She has demonstrated that she possesses the insightful and ethically
appropriate approach needed in the pursuit of her work and in her
communications with the descendant communities of the collections she
is working with.
Societal impact - Ms. Schattke has established contact with descendant
community organisations, such as the Corporación Selk'nam Chile and
Fundación Hach Saye. She specifically learned and improved her Spanish
in order to communicate directly with the Indigenous descendants of the
human bone collection she has studied. The Selk’nam are currently in
the process of gaining recognition as Indigenous People from the Chilean
state. The knowledge of the descendants and the international community
about the bones of the Selk´nam in Vienna gives them back a part of their
cultural identity and empowers them in their fight against extinction.
Innovative impact: Ms. Schattke was the first person from the Natural
History Museum to pro-actively search for and seek contact with
communities of descendants whose bones are curated in one of the biggest
collections of human remains in Europe.
Interdisciplinary impact: Ms. Schattke’s research is generally
characterised by an interdisciplinary approach. She combines
bioarchaeological and forensic methods with research results from
archival and historical sources within the Vienna Natural History
Museum and in other institutes and libraries in Vienna and abroad. In
doing so, she reconstructs a detailed provenance history and creates an
individual osteobiography of personal details for each individual.