The main aim of the current reference research group, Primeros Pobladores del Valle del Ebro (‘First Settlers of the Ebro Basin’) (formed from the merger of the previous H-07 PPVE and H-09 Urbs) is the discovery, study, knowledge and dissemination of the archaeological cultural heritage from prehistory to the end of the Roman world, above all within the region of Aragon.

By applying the methods and techniques characteristic of archaeological research, we are able to study our rich archaeological assets and reconstruct the life forms of the past. This heritage today represents a significant engine of development in areas that are often economically disadvantaged, bringing together natural attractions and historical and archaeological remains. This favours their inclusion in development programmes based on cultural tourism.

The work team is made up of 19 regular researchers (18 of whom are associated with the University of Zaragoza) and 7 collaborative members (belonging to other research organisms and/or universities). All of these are active (or training) specialists belonging to various fields of archaeological investigation, making progress possible on the basis of a team-based, multidisciplinary approach.


Lines of investigation

  1. Ancient prehistory.- focusing specifically on the Neanderthal population, the final gatherers and the first agricultural and livestock societies, and the study of cave art.
  2. Recent prehistory.- with special emphasis on the study and cataloguing of sepulchral caves, the sites of the Early and Middle Bronze Age, and the origin and configuration of the societies of the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age.
  3. Pre-Roman and Roman archaeology.- with special interest in the transition from indigenous societies to the Roman world in urbanism, society and the material culture of the Roman era, as well as in subaquatic archaeology.
  4. Palaeoenvironmental reconstructions of Pleistocene and Holocene contexts on the basis of geoarchaeological records, applied to all the above chrono-cultural realms.
  5. Cross-cutting specialities applicable to various epochs, developed in particular by the new researchers in training: studies of physical anthropology, of anthracology and carpology, of lithic raw materials and traceology, of ceramic technology, of archaeozoology, of pigments (analytical), of the geometric documentation of heritage items, of museology and the highlighting of the archaeological heritage.

Projects undertaken

  • HAR2017-85023-P: Gaps and Sites. Vacíos y ocupaciones en la Prehistoria de la Cuenca del Ebro. (Gaps and Sites: Gaps and occupations in the prehistory of the Ebro Basin) 01/01/18-31/12/20 (CI, chief investigator: Carlos Mazo; CI2: Rafael Domingo)
  • HAR2015-65620-P: Paisaje y sociedad. El valle medio del Ebro entre el 6000 y el 500 Cal ANE. (Landscape and society: the middle Ebro Valley between 6000 and 500 cal BP) 01/01/16-31/12/18 (CI: J.M. Rodanés)
  • HAR2015-64017-P: Teledetección y Territorium: estudio y análisis integral de la incidencia de la presa romana de Muel en el Territorium de Caesaraugusta. (Remote sensing and territory: study and integrated analysis of the incidence of Muel Roman Dam in the territory of Caesaraugusta) 01/01/16-31/12/18 (CI: M.A. Magallón)
  • HAR2014-59042-P: Transiciones climáticas y adaptaciones sociales en la Prehistoria de la Cuenca del Ebro. (Climate transitions and social adaptations in the prehistory of the Ebro Basin) 01/01/15-31/12/17 (CI: P. Utrilla; CI2: Carlos Mazo)
  • HAR2012-36967: Dinámica de la ocupación prehistórica del valle medio del Ebro durante el Holoceno superior. (Dynamics of the prehistoric occupation of the middle Ebro Valley in the Upper Holocene) 01/01/13-31/12/15 (CI: J. Picazo)
  • HAR2011-26364: Las comunidades humanas de la Alta Cuenca del Ebro en la transición Pleistoceno-Holoceno. (Human communities of the Upper Ebro Basin in the Pleistocene-Holocene transition) 01/01/12-31/12/14 (CI: A. Alday)
  • HAR2011-27197: Repensando viejos yacimientos ampliando nuevos horizontes en la Prehistoria del Valle Medio del Ebro. (Rethinking old sites broadening new horizons in the prehistory of the middle Ebro Valley) 01/01/12-31/12/14 (CI: P. Utrilla)
  • HAR2009-13866: En el camino de la complejidad. Las comunidades de la Edad de bronce y Primera Edad del Hierro en el Valle Medio del Ebro. (En route to complexity: the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age communities of the middle Ebro Valley) 01/01/10 – 31/12/12 (CI: J.M. Rodanés)
  • HAR2008-05451: La movilidad en el Valle Medio del Ebro: del Paleolítico superior al Neolítico. (Mobility in the middle Ebro Valley: from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic) 01/01/09-31/12/11 (CI: Utrilla)


    Laboratory of Prehistory and Archaeology:

  • Leica (100-500x) incident/transmitted light microscope
  • Reference collection of prehistoric lithic industry
  • Reference collection of pre- and protohistoric and Roman ceramics
  • Reference collection of wild and domestic fauna (Pleistocene-Holocene)
  • Comparative collection of fossil human crania
  • ‘Dirty’ work area (for washing material) and ‘clean’ work area (inventory and classification)
  • Ultrasonic box

Flotation machine (washing and separation of sediments for the recovery of seeds, charcoals, microfauna…).  

Excavation material (topographic apparatus, tools)


Technological Offer/Services

Archaeological excavations and prospections (prehistory, protohistory, classical archaeology)

Evaluations and cataloguing of heritage

    Specialized studies:

  • Prehistoric lithic and bone typology
  • Functional analysis of lithic tools
  • Taxonomy and taphonomy of wild and domestic faunas
  • Physical anthropology
  • Anthracology and carpology
  • Studies of prehistoric and Roman ceramics
  • Numismatics and epigraphy
  • Drawing of materials and archaeological structures

Noticias del Grupo



Chief Investigator:

Mª Lourdes Montes Ramírez