A 3-year projected funded by the Austrian Scientific Fund FWF (project P20018-N10) and led by Dr. Mag. Alexander LUKENEDER from the Vienna Natural History Museum began in 2008. It was a cooperation between the Vienna Natural History Museum and the South Tyrol Nature Museum. For this project, 22 scientists in 7 countries are investigating the climate and life in the area that is now the Dolomites during the Cretaceous period.
Findings of fossilised plants in Perm in the southern Alps date back to the 19th century, although individual authors have often complained about their poor state of preservation. In South Tyrol itself, the findings from this period come from the Gröden sandstone in Auer and from the Seiser Alm, however the most famous sites to have been described are Cuecenes (Gröden) and the Bletterbach/Butterloch region.
Early metallurgical sites in South Tyrol: How and where were metallic ores mined in South Tyrol back when “Ötzi,“ the famous Ice Man, and his contemporaries still roamed the world? What is the meaning of the numerous slag heaps found at high altitudes throughout the Alps? Where did the ores originate, and what happened to the metals obtained from them? What evidence can we find today, and what does it tell us? Is there a connection between the mining sites of South Tyrol in Medieval Times and the Early Modern Era? The goal of this project is to answer questions like these concerning early mining activities and metallurgy.
Important finds of fossilized plants have revitalized the field of Paleobotany in the Dolomites. Some of the material – especially finds originating in the lower and upper Mid-Triassic Period (Anis, Ladin) – have been processed, and provide astounding insights in the flora of that era, which appears to be much more variegated than previously held.