Dr Idoia Grau SologestoaIdoia Grau Sologestoa

Post-doctoral fellow funded by the Basque Government

PhD in Zooarchaeology (2014, University of the Basque Country)
D.E.A. (Certificate of Advanced Studies, equivalent to a MSc) in Medieval Archaeology (2009, University of the Basque Country)
BA in History (2006, University of the Basque Country)

Email address: i.grau-sologestoa@sheffield.ac.uk

Department address:

Department of Archaeology
University of Sheffield
Northgate House
West Street
Sheffield S1 4ET
United Kingdom



I have a first Bachelor degree in History (2006) and a D.E.A. in Medieval Archaeology (2009) from the University of the Basque Country, where I also did my PhD (2014), on the Zooarchaeology of northern Spain during the Middle Ages. I have been involved in fieldwork in Spain and Italy, in archaeological sites such as Zornoztegi, Zaballa, Aistra, Los Husos or Cugnano, spaning from the Calcolithic to the Modern period. I collaborate with various Basque archaeological companies as a freelance zooarchaeologist. After completing my PhD, I briefly worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Nottingham, in the project "Cultural and scientific perceptions of human-chicken interactions" in 2014. I now hold a post-doctoral fellowship funded by the Government of the Basque Country (2015-2017) for working on a project investigating changes in animal husbandry between the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period in England and in the Basque Country.

Professional Roles

Member of the ICAZ (International Council for Archaeozoology) since 2008.
Member of the EAA (European Association of Archaeologists) since 2011.
Member of the SPMA (Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology) since 2016.
Member of Sociedad de Ciencias Aranzadi since 2008.


Research interests

My research is mainly focused on animal husbandry, social differentiation through diet and taphonomy. For my current research project, I am investigating the innovations introduced in animal husbandry during the period between the Late Middle Ages and the Early Post-Medieval times, both in England and in the Basque Country. For this research, I am analysing domesticate mammal and bird remains. I am particularly interested in looking at size and shape changes of animal remains through time.

Previously, my research dealt with faunal remains of historical periods from the Iberian Peninsula, particularly from the Middle Ages. My studies were mainly focused on the comparison between urban, rural and high-status sites and on landscape transformations and animal use in the north of Spain, from the end of the Late Roman period to the Post-Medieval times.

I also love communicating archaeological research to the general public. I participate in public engagement activities whenever I have the chance, and I am very active in different forms of social media for myself and for the research groups and projects that I am part of.

Also, I am the Assistant Editor of the ICAZ Newsletter (the newsletter for the International Council for Archaeozoology).

My main areas of interest include:

  • Animal husbandry
  • Social differentiation through diet
  • Biometry
  • Exploitation of birds
  • Taphonomy
  • Worked bone and antler

Research projects / collaborations

  • 2014: Postdoctoral Research Affiliate at the AHRC funded project "Changing Scientific and Cultural Perspectives on Human-Chicken Interactions", Dpt. Of Archaeology, U. of Nottingham, United Kingdom.
  • “EICAM-Estudo Interdisciplinar sobre Comunidades Alto Medievais - séculos V a XI", funded by the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, and directed by C. Tente (Universidade Nova de Lisboa). http://www.eicam-iem.fcsh.unl.pt/
  • “Desigualdad en los paisajes medievales del norte peninsular: los marcadores arqueológicos”, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, directed by J.A. Quirós Castillo (U. País Vasco).
  • “La génesis del paisaje medieval en el Norte Peninsular: Arqueología de las aldeas de los siglos V al XII”, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, directed by J.A. Quirós Castillo (U. País Vasco).
  • “La formación de los paisajes medievales en el Norte Peninsular y en Europa: Agricultura y Ganadería, los siglos V al XII”, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, directed by J.A. Quirós Castillo (U. País Vasco).

Fellowships and Grants

  • 01/01/2015 – today: Postdoctoral fellow funded by the Basque Government at the Dpt. de Geografía, Prehistoria y Arqueología at the U. País Vasco, Spain.
  • October 2014: Runner-up award of the IX Premio de Historia Agraria given by the SEHA (Spanish Society for Agrarian History), in October 2014. This paper is an extract of the PhD thesis.
  • 01/09/2007 – 31/08/2011: Formación del Personal Investigador doctoral fellowship funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, Dpt. de Geografía, Prehistoria y Arqueología at the U. País Vasco, Spain.
  • 01/06/2007-30/06/2007: Personal Investigador en Formación doctoral fellowship funded by the University of the Basque Country, Dpt. de Geografía, Prehistoria y Arqueología at the U. País Vasco, Spain.
  • 01/01/2006 – 30/06/2006: Undergraduate collaboration fellowship, funded by the Basque Government, Departamento de Geografía, Prehistoria y Arqueología at the U. País Vasco, Spain.

Selected publications

Grau-Sologestoa, I., Albarella, U. and Quirós Castillo, J.A., 2016. “Urban medieval and post-medieval zooarchaeology in the Basque Country: meat supply and consumption", Quaternary International 399, p. 1-12.

Grau-Sologestoa, I., 2016. "Socio-economic status and religious identity in medieval Iberia: the zooarchaeological evidence", Environmental Archaeology (available online).

Grau-Sologestoa, I. and Quirós Castillo, J.A., in press, “Peasant economy in Late Roman Álava: zooarchaeology of the Zornoztegi farmstead”, Archaeofauna- International Journal of Archaeozoology.

Grau-Sologestoa, I., in press, "La ganadería en el País Vasco entre los siglos VI y X: evidencia zooarqueológica", which will be published in a book with the proceedings of the conference "XV Jornadas de Arqueología Medieval", held in Granada (Spain) in June 2014.

Grau-Sologestoa, I. 2015. “Livestock management in Spain from Roman times to the post-medieval period: biometrical analysis of cattle, sheep/goat and pig”, Journal of Archaeological Science 54, pp. 123-134

Quirós Castillo, J.A., García Collado, M.I., Ricci, P., Grau-Sologestoa, I. and Lubritto, C. 2015. "A Bayesian approach to reconstruct occupational sequence of Northern Iberia Medieval villages", 1st International Conference on Metrology for Archaeology, Benevento, pp. 259-264.

Grau-Sologestoa, I., 2015. The Zooarchaeology of Medieval Alava in its Iberian Context, BAR International Series. ISBN: 9781407314457.

Jervis, B., Broderick, L. and Grau-Sologestoa, I. (Eds) 2015. Objects, Environment, and Everyday Life in Medieval Europe, Brepols: Turnhout. ISBN: 978-2-503-55503-4.

Grau-Sologestoa, I., 2014. "La economía campesina a la luz del registro zooarqueológico: la ganadería medieval de la Península Ibérica". Took the runner-up award of the IX Premio de Historia Agraria given by the SEHA (Spanish Society for Agrarian History), in October 2014.

Grau-Sologestoa, I. 2014. “Waste management at early medieval rural sites in northern Spain: taphonomic issues for interpreting faunal remains", Quaternary International 330, pp. 97-108.

Sirignano, C., Grau-Sologestoa, I., Ricci, P., García-Collado, M.I., Altieri, S., Quirós Castillo, J.A., Lubritto, C., 2014. “Animal husbandry during Early and High Middle Ages in the Basque Country (Spain)”, Quaternary International 346, pp. 138-148.

Grau-Sologestoa, I. & Valenzuela-Lamas, S. 2014: "Zooarchaeology today-Spain", ICAZ Newsletter 15 (1), spring 2014, pp. 5-6.

Grau-Sologestoa, I. 2014. "Informe zooarqueológico de las termas de Arcaya", in Loza Lengaran, R., Loza Iriarte, M. & Niso Lorenzo, J., Las termas romanas de Arcaya / Suestatium (Arkaia. Vitoria-Gasteiz), Memoria de las intervenciones arqueológicas en Otazibarra (1976-1982), Memorias de yacimientos alaveses 13, Vitoria-Gasteiz: Diputación Foral de Álava, pp. 398-403.

Grau-Sologestoa, I. 2013. “El registro faunístico de los asentamientos rurales altomedievales”, en Quirós Castillo, J.A. (ed.), El poblamiento rural de época visigoda en Hispania. Arqueología del campesinado en el interior peninsular, Documentos de Arqueología Medieval 6, Bilbao.

Grau-Sologestoa, I. 2013. “Zooarqueología de las aldeas y villas vascas: actividad ganadera en la Edad Media”, Debates de Arqueología Medieval.

Grau-Sologestoa, I. 2012. “Estudio zooarqueológico: los restos de mamíferos y aves”, en Quirós Castillo, J.A. (dir.), Arqueología del campesinado medieval: la aldea de Zaballa, Documentos de Arqueología Medieval 3, Bilbao: Universidad del País Vasco, pp. 419-452.

Grau-Sologestoa, I. 2012. “¿El zooarqueólogo, una especie en vías de extinción? Los estudios de fauna en la universidad y en las empresas de Arqueología”, en las actas de las IV Jornadas de Jóvenes en Investigación Arqueológica – JIA 2011, celebradas en la Universidad de Algarve (Faro, Portugal), en mayo de 2011, pp. 299-304.

Grau-Sologestoa, I., Hernández Beloqui, B. and Sopelana Salcedo, I. 2012. “Muestreo bioarqueológico para un equipo interdisciplinar”, en Castro Correa, A. et al. (ed.), Estudiar el pasado: aspectos metodológicos de la investigación en Ciencias de la Antigüedad y de la Edad Media, Proceedings of the First Postgraduate Conference on Studies of Antiquity and Middle Ages, U. Autònoma de Barcelona, 26-28th October 2010, BAR International Series, pp. 181-188.

Grau-Sologestoa, I. 2012. “Agriculture and ironwork in the Middle Ages: new evidence of bone anvils in Spain”, Munibe Atropología-Arqueología 63, pp. 305-319.

Grau-Sologestoa, I. 2009. “Ganadería en la Alta Edad Media. Estudio comparativo de los yacimientos alaveses de Zornoztegi, Zaballa y Salvatierra-Agurain”, en Munibe Atropología-Arqueología, 60, pp. 253-280.