Miguel Ángel Cau

Miguel Ángel Cau

Universitat de Barcelona


I am an archaeologist focused on the Roman and Late Antique Mediterranean and on archaeometry. After obtaining my PhD (1998) (University of Barcelona), I was a postdoctoral TMR-EU Research Fellow (1998-2001) at the University of Sheffield (UK). I returned to Catalonia with an AGAUR Return Grant (2001-2002) and as a researcher for the EU project CERAMED (2003). I am ICREA Research Professor since 2003 and director of the Equip de Recerca Arqueològica i Arqueomètrica, University of Barcelona (ERAAUB). I have participated in national and EU projects, such as GEOPRO, CERAMED, and Progetto Classe at the World Heritage site of Ravenna. I have been Visiting Professor at the universities of Cagliari, Sassari (Italy) and Brown (USA). I am a co-founder of the international conference LRCW, and of the series Roman and Late Antique Mediterranean Pottery and Limina/Limites: Archaeologies, histories, islands, and borders in the Mediterranean (365-1556).

Research interests

I am a Mediterranean archaeologist with a major focus on Roman and Late Antique Archaeology, and in pottery studies especially in the analysis of coarse and cooking wares. I have specialised in the study of archaeological ceramics to investigate their provenance, technology, distribution and consumption using physico-chemical, mineralogical and petrographic techniques. I have a broad interest in the analytical study of ceramic materials including the theoretical foundations of the discipline and in the study of living pottery-making traditions. One of my main interests is to investigate the transformation of the Roman world with a particular interest in the Mediterranean islands. I am a scientific director of excavations, surveys, and ceramic ethnoarchaeology expeditions in the Balearics and Sardinia. I am leading the excavations at the Roman and Late Antique city of Pollentia and the Early Christian complex of Son Peretó (Mallorca).

Selected publications

Cau Ontiveros , Fantuzzi L, Albero Santacreu D, Tsantini E, Garcia Rosselló J & Calvo Trias M 2019, ‘Archaeometric characterization of Iron Age indigenous pottery from the staggered turriform of Son Ferrer, Mallorca, Spain’, Geoarchaeology-an International Journal, 34, 2, 149 – 168.

Cau Ontiveros MÁ, Fantuzzi L, Tsantini E, Burriel Alberich JFM, Jiménez Salvador JL, Rosselló Mesquida M 2019, ‘Archaeometric Characterization of Late Antique Cooking and Common Wares from the Rural Settlement of L’Horta Vella (Betera, Valencia)’, Sagvntvm-papeles del Laboratorio de Arqueología de Valencia, 51, 215 – 232.

Cau Ontiveros MÁ & Mas Florit C (eds) 2019, Change and Resilience. The occupation of Mediterranean Islands in Late Antiquity, Joukowsky Institute Publication 9, Oxbow Books, Oxford.

Cau Ontiveros MÁ, Tsantini E, Fantuzzi L & Ramon J 2019, ‘Archaeometric characterization of Late Antique pottery from the rural site of Ses Paisses de Cala d’Hort (Eivissa, Balearic Islands, Spain)’, Archaeological And Anthropological Sciences, 11, 2, 627 – 649.

– Mas Florit C & Cau Ontiveros MÁ 2019, ‘The Occupation of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) in Late Antiquity: Tracing Change and Resilience’, in Cau Ontiveros MÁ & Mas Florit C. (eds.) 2019, Change and Resilience. The occupation of Mediterranean Islands in Late Antiquity, Joukowsky Institute Publication 9, Oxbow Books, Oxford.

– Fantuzzi L & Cau Ontiveros MÁ 2019, ‘Amphora production in the Guadalquivir valley (Spain) during the Late Roman period: petrographic, mineralogical, and chemical characterization of reference groups’, Archaeological And Anthropological Sciences, 11, 6785–6802.

– Tsantini E, Quintana C, Albero D, Cau Ontiveros MÁ 2019, ‘Iberian Amphorae Beyond the Mainland: Imports in Southwestern Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)‘, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11, 5, 1793 – 1812.

Selected research activities

Excavations at the Roman city of Pollentia (Mallorca)

Field survey, project ARCHREMOTELANDS (Mallorca)