In October 2012, our colleague and friend Kurt Schaller passed away following a severe stroke.
Kurt was born in Linz, where he attended high school. He at first pursued a career as a musician, but in 1988 he decided to begin studying classical archeology at the University of Vienna. He completed his thesis entitled "Zum ‚kretischen Zeus" (On Cretan Zeus) under Fritz Brein and graduated in 1994. Kurt took a keen interest in the internet, which at the time was a newly emerging medium, and soon became a pioneer of "Cultural Heritage Computing". In 2001, together with the Vienna City archaeologists Ortolf Harl, Kurt developed "Ubi Erat Lupa", a database of Roman stone monuments in Austria as well as various Mediterranean and eastern European countries that set new standards in the field of archeological databases and spawned a series of successors such as the "Hispania Epigraphica". In 2005, Kurt played a major role in helping to finally establish a working group at the University of Salzburg on the topic ("CHC= Research Group for Archaeometry and Cultural Heritage Computing"). It was this working group that led to the creation of FACEM.
Kurt was a pioneer in the use of information systems for archaeological research and found his professional calling in the work he enjoyed so much. If it were not for his ability to always lead discussions in a constructive and friendly atmosphere without settling for a compromise, his talent for communication and his openness and willingness to approach others, many of the large projects that have benefited archeology as a whole would have never come into being.
Kurt Schaller will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues, and he will always be remembered for his lasting contributions to the field of archeology.