The Prehistoric Collection of the Wien Museum is sorted by topographical criteria and includes some 8,000 objects. The artefacts originate not only from Vienna itself but also from the environs of the city, the area that comprised “Greater Vienna” from 1938 to 1946/54 (including Schwechat, Mödling, Vösendorf, Perchtoldsdorf, Gross-Enzersdorf).
The basis of the prehistoric collection originates from the late 19th century. Major earthworks (brick works, sandpits) and building projects revealed chance or single finds. The first systematic research was carried out on behalf of the City of Vienna in the 1920s and 1930s. Thus in 1924 a large Copper Age settlement was uncovered on the Gemeindeberg (today’s 13th district); numerous ceramic finds, stone artefacts and animal bone remains offered new insight into human life in the late Early Neolithic Age.
Excavation finds that were revealed during construction of the Vienna Höhenstrasse on the Leopoldsberg (19th district) in 1935 prove that Vienna’s local mountain was settled during the Urn Field Period and also preferred as a place to live by the Celtic population. Both everyday objects and more significant burial artefacts were discovered there. Important collection objects come from Vösendorf too, which was populated from the late Neolithic Age up until the late Celtic Period. Of particular interest is a cemetery from the Urn Field Period including some extraordinary animal-shaped vessels.
Larger connected groups of finds originate from Aspern and Leopoldau (21st and 22nd districts, Urn Field and Hallstatt Period settlements) as well as from Simmering (11th district, Urn Field Period graves). Outstanding here is the hoard of coins from the Celtic Period discovered in the Simmering Hauptstrasse. The 3rd district, the location of significant settlement remains from the very late Celtic Period, also attracts much attention on the part of archaeologists.