Ollé Cañellas, Andreu


Phone: (+34) 607 982 137


Sponsor: IPHES


Ph.D. in History, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona. I became an associate professor of the International Master's Degree in Quaternary Archaeology and Human Evolution (URV) in 2001, and a researcher at IPHES in 2005.

I have been a member of the Atapuerca Research Team since 1990, as a field archaeologist, specialist in Lithic Technology and, more specifically, in Microwear Analysis of stone tools. My Ph.D. dissertation (2003) dealt with the functional study of three Acheulean lithic assemblages by means of Scanning Electron Microscopy (

My postdoctoral research activity has focused on the Early Palaeolithic stone tools (raw materials, knapping processes, and techno-typological features of Oldowan and Acheulean assemblages), on the function of the stone tools (use-wear and residue analyses, experimental archaeology), on the general application of the microscopic analysis to archaeological materials, and on how all that can help to improve our knowledge about the early human settlement of Europe.

My academic activity at URV, by teaching the courses on Experimental Archaeology (2001-02), Microscopic Analysis in Archaeology (since 2001) and Lithic Technology (since 2002), entailed the development of wide experimental programs as well as a fruitful training activity. This has been translated in the supervision of 17 Master Thesis and 10 Doctoral Thesis.

In terms of fieldwork, I'm currently sharing the coordination of the Gran Dolina site excavation in Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). My second ongoing field project is focused on the early human settlement in the Tarragona region (Spain), where I'm the co-director of the excavations in La Cansaladeta site and the coordinator of the technological studies in Barranc de la Boella site. International fieldwork currently includes investigation in the south Caucasus (Kura-Arax depression and Vorotan River Valley), as well as the shared coordination of the excavation in the Late Pleistocene - Holocene site of Vallone Inferno (Palermo, Italy).

My main current research efforts are concentrated on developing an integrative, multi-technique and multi-scale approach for the functional analysis of prehistoric stone tools made of different raw materials. Such an approach involves the use of different microscopic techniques (Reflected and Transmitted Light, Scanning Electron, Digital 3D, and Confocal Microscopies) for a proper monitoring and quantification of tool microwear. This functional perspective takes also into account the study of the residues of contact materials adhered to the surface of the stone tools. Such residues are chemically characterised by means of Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy, Micro X-Ray Diffraction, and vibrational techniques as Raman and Fourier-transform Infrared spectroscopy.

This integrative functional approach is being experimentally developed and simultaneously applied to several archaeological assemblages from European, Asian and African Palaeolithic sites, and is framed in a collaborative research web, among which the University of Bradford, the British Museum (UK), the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (France), the University of Calgary (Canada), the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre Evolución Humana and the Catalan Institute of Photonic Sciences (Spain), and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing) are outstanding institutions.

Active research projects:

  • 2020-2023. NEANDROOTS - Understanding a threshold in Human evolution at 450-350 ka through the roots of Neanderthal behaviour. Agence Nationale Recherche (FR) ANR-19-CE27-0011-01. PI: M-H. Moncel (MNHN, UMR 7194 Paris). International collaborator.
  • 2020-2021. Social, Cultural and Biological Evolution during the Pleistocene (StEP). URV PFR2019 (2019PFR-URV-91). PI: A. Ollé (URV-IPHES). 
  • 2019-2021. Searching for the Pleistocene Hominin Occupation in the Kura-Arax depression and in the Vorotan River Valley (South Caucasus). F. Palarq / F. Atapuerca. PI: L. Asryan, A. Ollé (IPHES-URV).
  • 2019-2020 (ext.2021). Hunting Only? Testing the Middle Paleolithic task specific hypothesis through traceology. Irene Levi-Sala CARE Archaeological Foundation (Israel). PI: G. Sharon (Tel-Hai College), A. Ollé (IPHES-URV).
  • 2019-2021. Comportamiento ecosocial de los homínidos de la Sierra de Atapuerca durante el Cuaternario V. Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (-PGC2018-093925-B-C32). PI: E. Carbonell, M. Mosquera (URV-IPHES). Researcher.
  • 2018-2021. Evolució paleoambiental i poblament prehistòric a les conques dels rius Francolí, Gaià, Siurana i rieres del camp de Tarragona. DGABMP (CLT009/18/00053). PI: J.M. Vergès (IPHES-URV). Researcher.
  • 2017-2021. Social, Cultural and Biological Evolution during the Pleistocene (StEP). AGAUR SGR2017 (SGR20171040). PI: A. Ollé (IPHES / URV).



WoS Researcher ID: D-6837-2013
SCOPUS Author ID: 6602728872