Strategic Area:

The research group URBS is a reference in the field of archeology in Arag贸n, from early history to the present, through the archeology of the Iberian, Celtiberian, Roman and later historical periods. Other singular fields of expertise are underwater archeology, the archeology of other regions within European and Mediterranean areas, Oriental Archaeology (missions in the Middle East) or the Antarctic Continent and the Teaching of Archaeological Heritage. The group pay also attention to areas directly related to Numismatics, Epigraphy or Museography (the latter areas because allow direct connection of field work with their transfer to the society, ultimate goal of all scientific research).
URBS Group was created bringing together relevant researchers in these fields from Aragon, both at the University of Zaragoza and in those centers dedicated to these purposes, such as the Archaeological Service of the City of Zaragoza, the UNED, some museums and Heritage research laboratories from Government of Aragon.

The Group is formed by a group of highly experienced senior researchers in each of the specialized fields, together with young researchers and a significant number of scholars from different sources. The Group also recognizes the need to address a field that currently has a large and growing social demand as the transmission and approach of Heritage to the Society, developing activities of archaeological teaching, museum studies and museology on specific areas of conservation of archaeological materials, pioneering the treatment of organic materials soaked.

The group has addressed a fundamental issue as the progress and internationalization of its research, driven through the exchange of both junior and senior professionals, in different projects and excavations. The results of this internationalization can be seen attending to the origin of our research fellows or trainees, and also by the presence of graduates from our group in many Spanish or foreign universities.

As an interdisciplinary group, we have applied scientific fields to Archeology, with the creation, since the eighties, of new topic of research like petrographic and mineralogical characterization of Roman building materials, dendrochronology, soaked wood treatments (being a reference laboratory in this field), treatment of metallic materials, etc. We have created with the assistance of the City of Calatayud and the Government of Aragon, a Center for Archaeological Research in Bilbilis, Calatayud, at international level, with laboratories, a specialist library and housing for researchers. We have also promoted the creation of several local and regional museums.

Our members often act as consultants to public institutions, ministries, autonomous regions and municipalities as experts in Archeological and Heritage Legislation.

Research topics

The variety of research lines developed by the group URBS is due to the own Archeology identity (this is humanistic science with many links to other sciences) and to the spirit of the members of group, always open to collaborations with other scientific disciplines.

Research Lines:

The variety of research lines developed by the group URBS is due to the own Archeology identity (this is humanistic science with many links to other sciences) and to the spirit of the members of group, always open to collaborations with other scientific disciplines.


Analysis of Roman urbanism model of the cities in the Middle Ebro Valley. This vast territory has Carsaraugusta, Bilbilis and Labitolosa as urban enclaves, and others in which group members are developing their field research as a priority.

Ongoing projects: Archaeological excavations at Bilbilis, Caesaraugusta Labitolosa with projects funded by DGCYT, CONAI & D, Government of Aragon, (Aquitaine, Aragon interregional program), Leader, City of Zaragoza, Calatayud City Council, City of La Puebla de Castro and shires.

Objectives: Verification of urban transformation and establishment of a behavioral model of urban development in antiquity, from the administrative reforms of Augustus and Flavio time. Evolution of habitat from the first millennium up to Roman times. Development and publication of the Atlas of Ancient Cities of the Middle Ebro Valley. Comprehensive study of water supply to the Roman cities, from the example of Bilbilis (archaeological, topographical and hydrological study).


Study of the adaptation process to Roman cultural forms from the powerful indigenous cultures, with great personality and roots in this area. Emergence of the native reality underlying technical and cultural maturity and ability to assimilation, transformation and eventual survival in the transformation process with the new invaders.

Current projects: Excavations at Mediana de Aragon, Valdetaus, Contrebia Leukade. Excavations in the Roman cities La Cabaneta del Burgo de Ebro, La Vispesa. Study of the synthesis of pre-Roman city in Aragon.

Objectives: Development of models for the study of native city transit to the city Romanized in the territory of Ebro valley and its comparison with other areas of the Roman Empire.


The urban development of cities allows, as an immediate consequence, the possibility to deepen some specific aspects of their society and material culture from which the group is especially relevant for their dedication to the following sections: World funerary wall painting Roman craft and industrial production, numismatics, epigraphy.

Current projects: Excavations at funerary monuments and necropolis of Caesaraugusta Tricio, Fabara, Chiprana, and Bilbilis Caesaraugusta Necropolis, study of funerary epigraphy of the three cities. Study of pictorial sets from Bilbilis, Caesaraugusta and other cities in Arag贸n. Consulting and participation in other international projects. Study of pottery production workshops from Caesaraugusta, Bilbilis, Turiaso, Villarroya de la Sierra and its receptors.

Objectives: The world of the dead in the Roman cities of the Ebro Valley and its native鈥檚 precedents. Study of pictorial sets from Bilbili (Domus I to IV), Caesaraugusta private and public environments.


This specialty, one of the youngest of Archaeology, was pioneering in Spain since the early seventies. The University of Zaragoza was the first Spanish university to introduce this subject as formal matter since the early eighties and now the only one who has consolidated it in doctorate studies, serving as a reference for the training of specialists.

Projects: The study of ships, ports, harbors, naval history, coastal fortifications, treatment of soak materials, is engaged to numerous research projects funded in recent years by DIGCYT, TCP (Terminal Cuenca del Plata, Uruguay), City of Laredo, Government of Cantabria, Valencia, National Antarctic Plan, Ministry of Environment, etc.

Objectives: In Progress, publication of the Antarctic campaigns, publication of Laredo campaigns, study of the Port of Montevideo. Accomplished: study of materials in Denia (Alicante). In preparation, study of location of Phoenician and Carthaginian ships in the Western Mediterranean, in collaboration with Dr. Robert Ballard from the University of Rhode Island (USA).


Archaeology and Archaeological Heritage generate high social interest, reflected in the media. Therefore, the research group URBS opened in 2006 a new topic of research to address a growing social demand for the defense and knowledge of cultural, archaeological heritage, which includes not only diffusion but also development of teaching activities of a heritage for all levels of education, and design of didactic action plans in archaeological museums.

Projects: Teaching and diffusion of the Heritage (OTRI-Unizar); Didactic application of digital synthetic images applied to archaeological heritage (Government of Aragon); didactic application of cibermuseology (ARAID-Government of Aragon).

Objective: To give a proper response to the current social awareness in defense of the archaeological heritage through its outreach either directly at the sites, museums and exhibitions or through the scientific literature. To promote the knowledgement of the archaeological heritage among students of all levels of education through the design of materials, workshops and activities that facilitate its understanding. The excavations and discoveries of past cultures, spectacular monuments like the Roman theaters of Bilbilis or Caesaraugusta, the Curia in Labitolosa, Leukade Contrebia fortifications, the unique findings of infant burials in Bilbilis or the excellent sets and furnishings for Arag贸n Median, o Valdetaus Vispesa.


Senior researchers of the Group have a long tradition of research activity in the Spanish University and this contributes to the Group to be recognized internationally for its excavations abroad directed by members of the group or participating with other international teams in major projects. These projects have been carried out in:

  • Italy: In both terrestrial archeology projects (Tusculum. Pompeii) and underwater (Cavoli in Sardinia).
  • Jordan: Amman, Jerash, Wadi Rum Desert, Petra, and the Red Sea, also in terrestrial and underwater archeology.
  • Uruguay: Mar del Plata, Port of Montevideo, both underwater archeology projects and is currently evaluating the possibility of carrying out a new project in the area of Salto.
  • Canada: Labrador Peninsula, terrestrial archeology.
  • Antarctica: Livingston Island, terrestial and underwater archeology in collaboration with the INACH.

In Spain, we have developed projects in the Autonomous Community of Aragon, Andalusia, Canary Islands, Valencia, Galicia, La Rioja, Basque Country, both terrestrial and underwater archeology.
The cultural sphere of those projects led by members of the Group, covers a wide spectrum from the world of early history to the Roman world and later, highlighting interventions in historical archeology, and action in the field of rehabilitation of monuments such as the Palacio Real de Zaragoza Aljafer铆a or interventions in the Antarctic Peninsula and Labrador, developing first underwater archeology on the frozen continent.

Facilities and equipment:

The group URBS have the facilities for the performance of its research that provides the University of Zaragoza from the centers and departments and from the IUCA.

Technological Offer/Services:

Implementation and monitoring of archaeological excavations, including treatment and cataloging of archaeological materials. Consulting for archaeological projects and communication / teaching of archaeological heritage. Evaluation of teaching resources, educational and museum related to archaeological heritage. Preparation of texts related to archeology museums, exhibitions, audiovisual, interactive, curriculum materials, informative magazines, etc.. Design, evaluation and monitoring of action plans for archaeological museums.


Dr. Manuel Mart铆n Bueno
Head of Group

Department of Antiquity Sciences

Faculty of Philosophy