Skip to main content
Miguel Ángel Cau

Miguel Ángel Cau

Universitat de Barcelona


I am an archaeologist focused on Roman and Late Antique Mediterranean and archaeometry. After obtaining my Ph.D. (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 an ICREA Research Professor since 2003 and current director of the ERAAUB Research Unit and of the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Barcelona (IAUB). 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 have a major research interest in Roman and Late Antique Archaeology, and in pottery studies especially in the analysis of coarse and cooking wares. I have specialised in the application of physico-chemical, mineralogical and petrographic techniques to the study of ceramics to investigate their provenance, technology, distribution, and consumption. I have a broad interest in the analytical study of ceramics, including the theoretical foundations of the discipline and the study of living pottery-making traditions. One of my main research interests is to investigate the transformation of the Roman world, particularly on Mediterranean islands. I am currently leading excavations at the Roman and Late Antique city of Pollentia and the Early Christian complex of Son Peretó (Mallorca), as well as field surveys, and ceramic ethnoarchaeology expeditions in the Balearics and Sardinia. I am also working at the Roman villa of Llorís (Lleida).

Selected publications

Cau Ontiveros MÁ, Chávez-Álvarez E & Mas Florit C 2021, Pollentia. Una ciudad romana en Alcúdia (Mallorca), Consorci de la ciutat romana de Pol·lèntia, Alcúdia.

Cau Ontiveros MÁ, Fantuzzi L, Quevedo A, Tsantini E & Ronda Femenia AM 2021, ‘A shared pottery-making tradition? Early Roman Ware 1 from Cartagena and Elche (Spain)’, Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, 38, 103007.

– Mas Florit C, Cau Ontiveros MÁ, Meyer C, Sala R, Ortiz H & Rodríguez Simón, P., 2021, ‘Geophysical Survey at the early Christian complex of Son Peretó (Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain)‘, Archaeol Prospect, vol. 28, no. 2, pp 201-219.

– Mas Florit C, Cau Ontiveros MÁ, Van Strydonck M, Boudin M, Cardona F & Munar S 2021, ‘Radiocarbon dating of Late Antique necropolis from Felanitx (Mallorca, Balearic Islands)‘, Radiocarbon 63, 2, 727-739.  

– Riutort J & Cau Ontiveros MÁ 2021, ‘Late Roman coarse wares from the Roman villa of Torre Llauder (Barcelona, Spain): Archaeometric characterisation’, Journal of Archaeological Science-Reports, 35, 102776.

– Soler i Nicolau A, Font Jaume A, Berni Millet P, García Riaza E, Bernal-Casasola D, Cau Ontiveros MÁ, Cardell Perelló J & Munar Llabrés S 2021, ‘El singular conjunto de tituli picti del pecio de Ses Fontanelles (Mallorca, islas Baleares) y su contribución a la epigrafía anfórica tardorromana hispánica’, Cuadernos de Arqueología y Prehistoria de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (CUPAUAM) 47(1), pp. 287-317.

– Rivero-Montero M, Gomez-Paccard M, Pavon-Carrasco FJ, Cau-Ontiveros MÁ, Fantuzzi L, Martin-Hernandez F, Palencia-Ortas A, Aidona E, Tema E, Kondopoulou D, Mas-Florit C & Ramon-Torres J. 2021, ‘Refining geomagnetic field intensity changes in Europe between 200 CE and 1800 CE. New data from the Mediterranean region‘, Phys Earth Planet In 317, 106749.

Selected research activities

– Excavations: Pollentia and Son Peretó (Mallorca); Roman villa of Llorís (Lleida).

– PI of ARCHREMOTELANDS and co-PI of ARQUEOMALLORNAUTA (2021-2023) projects.

ICREA Memoir 2021