Dr Ana Polo-Diaz
Department of Archaeology
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow
I graduated in History with a focus in Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), where I also completed a M.A. in Environment and cultural adaptations during Prehistory, followed by a PhD in Geoarchaeology that explored the occupation modes of rock-shelter sites by early farming groups in Northern Iberia.
Between 2011 and 2012 I was granted a postdoctoral position at Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling (UK) by the Basque Government. Thereafter I returned to the University of the Basque Country as a Postdoctoral Fellow and geoarchaeologist.
In early 2017 I joined the Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES) in Tarragona as a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Geoarchaeology Coordinator in the Project PALEODEM (ERC-2015- CoG – GA 683018, PI: Javier Fernández López de Pablo).
In 2019 I was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship (MSCA-IF) at the University of Sheffield, where I currently work with Professor Paul Halstead.
- Research interests
I investigate the anthropic and natural dynamics involved in the accumulation, alteration and preservation of sediments in archaeological deposits. I use geoarchaeology as a methodological approach and micromorphology and thin section analysis as a core tool to provide direct evidence of behaviour, settlement patterns and palaeoenvironments of prehistoric groups.
The end goal of my work is the reconstruction of human activities and the understanding of how past climates impacted cultural adaptation and transitions. The main geographical focus of my work is the Iberian Peninsula, although I also maintain research interests and collaborations in the Near East.
I have conducted fieldwork and investigated the formation processes of a wide range of Late Pleistocene and Holocene archaeological contexts including Middle Palaeolithic and Upper Palaeolithic sites as well as Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age deposits.
My research activity in Sheffield revolves around the project GeoFodder: The scale and significance of early animal husbandry in SW Europe: development of an interdisciplinary high-resolution approach to the investigation of livestock diets and herding practices.
This work examines herding practices, management of natural resources and the relative importance of crops and livestock in early farming through the integration of archaeological, ethnographic and experimental data for recognition of fodder and the assessment of the preservation degree of different plant types.
- Selected Publications
- Burguet-Coca, A., Polo-Díaz A., Martínez-Moreno, J; Benito-Calvo, A., Allué, E., Mora, R., Cabanes, D., 2020. Pen management and livestock activities based on phytoliths, dung spherulites and minerals from Cova Gran de Santa Linya (Southeastern Pre-Pyrenees) Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 12, 148.
- Mora, R., Martínez-Moreno, J., Roy Sunyer, M., Benito Calvo, A., Polo-Díaz, A., Samper Carro, S., 2018. Contextual, technological and chronometric data from Cova Gran: Their contribution to discussion of the Middle-to-Upper Paleolithic transition in northeastern Iberia. Quaternary International 474, 30-43.
- Gea, J.,Sampedro, M.C., Vallejo, A., Polo‐Díaz, A., Goicolea, M.A., Fernández‐Eraso, J., Barrio, R.J., 2017. Characterization of ancient lipids in prehistoric organic residues: Chemical evidence of livestock‐pens in rock‐shelters since Early Neolithic to Bronze Age. Journal of Separation Science 40, 4549-4562.
- Mora, R., Martínez Moreno, J., Vega Bolívar, S., Roy, M., Benito Calvo, A., Polo-Díaz, A., 2017. Cova Gran: a home to humans for 50.000 years. Current World Archaeology 84, 22-25.
- Polo-Díaz, A., Benito-Calvo, A., Martinez-Moreno, J.A., Mora, R., 2016. Formation processes and stratigraphic integrity of sediments at the contact of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic occupation levels in Cova Gran de Santa Linya (Spanish Pyrenees). Quaternary International 417, pp. 16 - 38.
- Polo-Díaz, A., Alonso Eguíluz, M., Ruiz, M., Pérez, S., Mújika, J., Albert, R.M., Fernández Eraso, J., 2016. Management of residues and natural resources at San Cristobal rock-shelter: Contribution to the characterisation of chalcolithic agropastoral groups in the Iberian Peninsula. Quaternary International 414, 202-225.
- Fernández-Eraso, J., Mújika-Alustiza, J., Zapata-Peña, L., Iriarte-Chiapuso, M-J., Polo-Díaz, A., Castaños, P., Tarriño-Vinagre, A., Sesma-Sesma, J., García-Gazólaz, J., 2015. Beginnings, settlement and consolidation of the production economy in the Basque region. Quaternary International 364, 162-171.
- García Moreno, A., Cubas Morera, M., Marín Arroyo, A.B., Ríos Garaizar, J., Ortiz, J.E., de Torres, T., López Dóriga, I., Polo-Díaz, A., San Emeterio Gómez, A., Gárate Maidagan, D., 2015. El Neolitico de la Cueva del Niño (Ayna, Albacete) y la neolitización de la Sierra del Segura. Complutum, 26, 91- 11.
- Quirós Castillo, J.A., Nicosia, C., Polo-Díaz, A., Ruiz del Arbol M., 2014. Agrarian archaeology in Northern Iberia: geoarchaeology and Early Medieval land use. Quaternary International 346, 56-68.
- Polo-Díaz, A., Martínez-Moreno, J.A., Benito-Calvo, A., Mora, R., 2014. Prehistoric herding facilities: site formation processes and archaeological dynamics in Cova Gran de Santa Linya (Southeastern Pre-Pyrenees, Iberia). Journal of Archaeological Science 41, 784-800.
- Kourampas, N., Simpson, I.A., Polo-Díaz, A., Perera, N., Deraniyagala, S.U., 2012. Geoarchaeological reconnaissance of Pleistocene sites in Southern Sri Lanka: Fahien-lena rockshelter and tool-bearing sediments of the Iranamadu Formation. Ancient Ceylon 23, 1-26.
- Polo-Díaz, A., Fernández Eraso, J., 2010. Same anthropogenic activity, different taphonomic processes: A comparison of sediments from two neighboring prehistoric rockshelter deposits (Los Husos I and Los Husos II, Upper Ebro Basin, Spain). Quaternary International 214, 82-97.