African Archaeology and Human Evolution
Africa has a special place in our understanding of human origins as the continent where the split between humans and other apes took place. Current research indicates that both the appearance of anatomically modern humans and the behavioral repertoire of our species is likely to have emerged in Africa during the last several million years, namely Modern Human Behavior (DNA studies have noted a close relation between the present Khoisan and the earliest Homo sapiens sapiens, making these populations the best ethnographic proxy for the earliest Modern human populations).
Prehistoric Coastal Adaptations
Coastal areas are dynamic zones of cultural interaction and social change. The Prehistoric Coastal Adaptations group at ICArEHB seeks to understand the role of coastlines, riverine and lake environments in human cultural and biological evolution, including settlement and dietary strategies. Our overarching goal is to reconstruct how humans have explored and adapted to changing coastal environments through time.
Development of Complex Societies
Combining modern technical and methodological procedures with solid grounded theoretical approaches, the group aims to study, characterize, and interpret the socio-historical and anthropological dynamics of Complex Societies. Research will take place both in Iberia and Africa. Particular attention will be addressed to the emergence and development of domestication in a narrow sense (of animal and plants), but also in a broader one, relating to the “domestication” of space through architecture and landscape building, or through funerary practices and human mobility studies.
History of Archaeological Science
Research on the History of Archeology has focused on the study of its main actors and the institutions to which they have been linked. However, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that, in addition to the immediate and objective realities that have determined the progress of research, such studies have always been guided by ideas and concepts that change over time, depending on the progress of knowledge.
This research group deals with the history of archeological science research developed during the 19th and 20th centuries, with a special focus on Western Europe. We seek to contextualize inherent ideas and concepts that structured the archaeological thought presiding over the presentation of the results obtained in each period. Research developed over time has led, thus, to the accumulation of a rich, diversified, and heterogeneous set of information, which can only be understood through a critical and structured historical interpretation.