Miguel Ángel Cau

Miguel Ángel Cau

Universitat de Barcelona


I am an archaeologist focused on the Roman and Late Antique Mediterranean and on the 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

- Kaniewski D, Marriner N, Cheddadi R, Morhange C, Cau Ontiveros MÁ, Fornós JJ, Giaime M, Trichon V, Otto TL, Frédéric Van Campo E 2020, 'Anthropogenic climate change has transgressed natural Holocene variability on the Balearic Islands', Anthropocene 32, 100268.

- Mas Florit C; Cau Ontiveros MÁ, Alcaide S. 2020, 'Buildings of faith: Early Christianity in the countryside of the Balearic Islands', Journal of Roman Archaeology, 33, 271 - 290.

- Rick T, Cau Ontiveros MÁ, Jerardino A, Mariotti A, Mendez C, Williams AN 2020, 'Human-environmental interactions in Mediterranean climate regions from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene', Anthropocene, 31, 100253.

- Riutort J, Fantuzzi L, Cau Ontiveros, MA 2020, 'Cooking and common wares in the Late Antique rural site of Placa Major de Castellar del Valles (Catalonia, Spain): archaeometric characterization', Archaeological And Anthropological Sciences, 12, 5, 106,

Selected research activities

PI of the project Archaeology, Remote Sensing, and Archaeometry: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Landscapes and Ceramics from the Roman to the Medieval Period in Mallorca (Balearic Islands) (ARCHREMOTELANDS)

Co-director of the archaeological excavations at the Roman and Late Antique city of Pollentia (Alcúdia, Mallorca) and at the early Christian complex of Son Peretó (Manacor, Mallorca).

Coordinator of the Commission for the Promotion of the Institut d'Arqueologia de la Universitat de Barcelona (IAUB), approved by the Universitat de Barcelona 7th October 2021.