João Cascalheira

Assistant Researcher

Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behaviour (ICArEHB)
Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais
Universidade do Algarve
Campus de Gambelas
8005-139 Faro

  (+351) 289 800 988


Research Interests

I am an archaeologist interested in prehistoric hunter-gatherer adaptations, specifically in how these are related to processes of climate and environmental change. I focus on the study of lithic technological organization and its correlation with various aspects of ecological dynamics and human behavior. Geographically, my research focus on Western Europe and Southeast Africa. I am also interested in computer and quantitative applications in archaeological practice, mostly in the use and development of new digital methods and tools to collect and analyze data in the field and in the laboratory.

Short Bio

I completed my Ph.D. in 2013, at the University of Algarve, where I am presently a Post-Doctoral researcher at ICArEHB and a Visitor Assistant Professor. Since the beginning of my Ph.D. I have been involved in a great number of multidisciplinary projects, both in Iberia and in Mozambique, in which I have been responsible for the design and management of field and laboratory work, as well as for the lithic and spatial analysis. Projects in Iberia include the excavation of Middle and Upper Paleolithic open-air and cave sites, as well as highly complex stratified Mesolithic shell middens. In Mozambique, I have participated in several field survey seasons and found and tested Stone Age sites in several regions across the country. My publication record counts with 4 books/edited volumes, 22 publications in peer-review journals and more than 30 other publications as first author or in collaboration. I have also more than 100 public presentations at international professional conferences and invited seminars.

For my complete CV please click HERE

Key Publications

• Cascalheira, J. and Picin, A. (eds.) (2020). Short term occupations in Paleolithic archaeology. Interdisciplinary contributions in Archaeology series, Springer. Link

• Cascalheira, J. (2019). Territoriality and the organization of technology during the Last Glacial Maximum in southwestern Europe. PLOS ONE e0225828. Link

• Horta, P., Cascalheira, J. and Bicho, N. (2019). The Role of Lithic Bipolar Technology in Western Iberia’s Upper Paleolithic: the Case of Vale Boi (Southern Portugal). Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology 2(2): 134-159. Link

• Schmidt, I, Cascalheira, J., Bicho, N. and Weniger, G.-Ch. (eds.) (2019). Human adaptations to the Last Glacial Maximum: the Solutrean and its neighbors. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Link

• Cascalheira, J. and Bicho, N. (eds.) (2018). The impact of drastic environmental changes in prehistoric hunter-gatherer adaptations. Special issue in Journal of Quaternary Science 33(3). Link

• Cascalheira, J. and Bicho, N. (2018). Testing the impact of environmental change on hunter-gatherer settlement organization during the Upper Paleolithic in Western Iberia. Journal of Quaternary Science 33(3): 323-334. Link

• Bicho, N. and Cascalheira, J. (2018). Global perspectives on the impact of drastic environmental changes in hunter-gatherer technologies. Journal of Quaternary Science 33(3): 255-260. Link

• Gonçalves, C., Cascalheira, J., Costa, C., Bárbara, S., Matias, R. and Bicho, N. (2018). Detecting single events in large shell mounds: A GIS approach to Cabeço da Amoreira, Muge, Central Portugal. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 18: 1000-1010.  Link

• Cascalheira, J., Bicho, N., and Gonçalves, C. (2017). A Google-based freeware solution for Archaeological survey and on-site artifact analysis. Advances in Archaeological Practice, 5(4): 328-339.  Link

• Cascalheira, J., Bicho, N., Manne, T. and Horta, P. (2017) Cross-scale adaptive behaviors during the Upper Paleolithic in Iberia: The example of Vale Boi (Southwestern Portugal). Quaternary International, 446: 17-30.  Link

• Bicho, N., Cascalheira, J., and Gonçalves, C. (2017). Early Upper Paleolithic colonization across Europe: time and mode of the Gravettian diffusion. PlosOne, 12(5): e0178506.  Link

• Bicho, N., Cascalheira, J., Gonçalves, C., Umbelino, C., Rivero, D. and André, L. (2017). Resilience, replacement and acculturation in the Mesolithic/Neolithic transition: the case of Muge, central Portugal. Quaternary International, 446: 31-42.  Link

• Bicho, N., Cascalheira, J., Marreiros, J. and Pereira, P. (2017). Rapid climatic events and long term cultural change: the case of the Portuguese Upper Paleolithic. Quaternary International, 428, Part B: 3-16.  Link

• Pereira, T., Bicho, N., Cascalheira, J., Infantini, L., Marreiros, J., Paixão, E. and Terradas, X. (2016). Territory and abiotic resources between 33 and 15,6 ka at Vale Boi (SW Portugal). Quaternary International, 412 Part A: 124-134.  Link

• Bicho, N., Haws, J., Raja, M., Madime, O., Gonçalves, C., Cascalheira, J., Benedetti, M., Pereira, T. and Aldeias, V. (2016). Middle and Late Stone Age of the Niassa region, northern Mozambique. Preliminary results. Quaternary International, 404 Part B: 87-99.  Link

• Gonçalves, C., Raja, M., Madime, O., Cascalheira, J., Matos, D. and Bicho, N. (2016). Mapping the Stone Age of Mozambique. African Archaeological Review, 33: 1.  Link

• Cascalheira, J. and Bicho, N. (2015). On the chronological structure of the Solutrean in Southern Iberia. PLoS ONE, 10(9): e0137308.  Link

• Bicho, N., Marreiros, J., Cascalheira, J., Pereira, T. and Haws, J. (2014). Bayesian modeling and the Chronology of the Portuguese Gravettian. Quaternary International, 359-360: 499-509.  Link

• Marreiros, J., Bicho, N., Gibaja, J., Pereira, T. and Cascalheira, J. (2014). Lithic technology from the Gravettian of Vale Boi: new insights to the Early Upper Paleolithic human behavior in Southern Iberian Peninsula. Quaternary International, 359-360: 479-498.  Link

• Gonçalves, C., Cascalheira, J. and Bicho, N. (2014). Shellmiddens as landmarks: visibility studies in the Mesolithic of the Muge valley (Central Portugal). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 36: 130-139.  Link

• Tátá, F., Cascalheira, J., Marreiros, J., Pereira, T. and Bicho, N. (2013). Shell bead production in the Upper Paleolithic of Vale Boi (SW Portugal): an experimental perspective. Journal of Archaeological Science, 42: 29-41.  Link

• Cascalheira, J. and Bicho, N. (2013). Hunter-gatherer ecodynamics and the impact of the Heinrich Event 2 in Central and Southern Portugal. Quaternary International, 318: 117-127.  Link

• Bicho, N., Manne, T., Marreiros, J., Cascalheira, J., Pereira, T., Tátá, F., Évora, M., Gonçalves and Infantini, L. (2013). The ecodynamics of the first modern humans in Southwestern Iberia: the case of Vale Boi, Portugal. Quaternary International, 318: 102-116.  Link

• Bicho, N., Pereira, T., Cascalheira, J., Marreiros, J., Gonçalves, C. and Dias, R. (2013). The chronology of the Mesolithic occupation of the Muge valley, central Portugal: the case of Cabeço da Amoreira. Quaternary International, 308-309: 130-139.  Link

• Cascalheira, J., Bicho, N., Marreiros, J., Pereira, T., Évora, M., Cortés, M., Gibaja, J., Manne, T., Regala, F., Gonçalves, C. and Monteiro, P. (2012). Vale Boi (Algarve, Portugal) and the Solutrean in Southwestern Iberia. Espacio, Tiempo y Forma, 5: 455-467.  Link

• Pereira, T., Cascalheira, J., Marreiros, J., Almeida, F. and Bicho, N. (2012). Variation in quartzite exploitation during the Upper Palaeolithic of Southwest Iberian Peninsula. Trabajos de Prehistoria, 69(2): 232-256.  Link

• Manne, T., Cascalheira, J., Évora, M., Marreiros, J. and Bicho, N. (2012). Intensive subsistence practices at Vale Boi, an Upper Paleolithic site in southwestern Portugal, 264: 83-99.  Link



• 2020: Neanderthals and Early Modern Humans at the Escoural cave (Southern Portugal). PI (Funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation).
• 2017: Middle and Late Stone Archaeology in Machampane Valley, Limpopo River basin, southern Mozambique. Lithic analysis (Funded by the National Geographic Society)
• Since 2016: At the turning of the tide: the last hunter-gatherers and the first farming communities and of Muge (Central Portugal) (Co-PI with Célia Gonçalves, Lino André, and Nuno Bicho). Earthwatch program
• Since 2016: Stone Age Vilankulos: Modern Human Origins Research south of the Rio Save, Mozambique (PI: Jonathan Haws). Field manager and lithic analysis. Funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation
• Since 2016: The Dehesilla cave project (PI: Daniel García Rivero). Field recording methods (Funded by Junta de Andalucia, Spain)
• 2013-2015: Middle Stone Age archaeology and the origins of modern humans in Southern Mozambique. (PI: Nuno Bicho). Field manager and lithic analysis (Funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation)
• 2013-2015: GIS predictive modeling for the discovery of new Mesolithic sites in Central Portugal. (PI: Célia Gonçalves). Survey manager and lithic analysis (Funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation)
• 2012-2014: The last Neanderthals and the emergence of Modern Humans in Southwestern Iberia. (PI: Nuno Bicho). Field manager and lithic analysis (Funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation and Wenner-Gren Foundation)
• 2012-2014: The last hunter-gatherers of Muge (Portugal): the origins of social complexity. (PI: Nuno Bicho). Field manager and lithic analysis (Funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation)


Grants & Fellowships

• 2020: Neanderthals and Early Modern Humans at the Escoural Cave (Southern Portugal)  (19000$)
• 2014: Portuguese National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship (107,280€ - 6 years)
• 2010 - 2013: Portuguese National Science Foundation Ph.D. Fellowship (47,040€ - 4 years)
• 2012: COST Action TD0902 – Submerged Prehistoric Archaeology and Landscapes of the Continental Shelf. Short-Term Scientific Mission: The Mediterranean influence in the social networks of the Final Solutrean of Iberia: the cave of Parpalló (1200€)