The archaeozoology team gets bigger!

We are very glad to welcome Abel Gallego-Valle back to the group, who won our latest postdoctoral call, and will contribute with his expertise to the archaeozoology team at GIAP.

He will contribute with his expertise on the research on animal husbandry and archaezoology in the framework of the GIAP projects. In particular, the dental microwear studies of various faunal assemblages in the geographical area of the Empordà (Catalonia) from the Iberian period to late antiquity. He will also support the dissemination and knowledge transfer in the field of archaeozoology and landscape archeology derived from our projects in the Empordà (Catalonia).

Dr. Gallego-Valle’s short bio

His research focuses on the study from the archaeozoology of the management of herds during Antiquity and the interactions that are generated between this human activity and the environment in which it is carried out. This research made it possible to propose management models for sheep flocks during the Roman era for the Empordà plain (Catalonia).

Phd Thesis

His PhD Thesis, entitled “Animal husbandry in the north-east of Tarraconensis during Late Antiquity (IV-VIII centuries CE): an archaeozoological approach to the exploitation and feeding management of the herd“, enabled the characterisation of the livestock practices carried out in late Roman times and during the Visigoth kingdom in Catalan lands. This characterisation was possible through the osteological analysis of faunal remains from various archaeological sites, together with other previous isolated studies, thus allowing a global view of the period. The study of the diet of the sheep herds was carried out through the analysis of the micro wear present in the tooth enamel, with the innovation of creating a modern reference for be able to compare dental wear models produced by known diets, with the data obtained from the archaeozoological specimens. He defended his thesis in March 2022, obtaining the International Mention and qualified with Cum Laude.

Dental wear analysis sample. Figure 31 of Abel Gallego’s thesis.
Early career

He graduated with a degree in History from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 2011 following the Prehistory, Antiquity and Middle Ages itinerary. During his time at the UAB, he began his training as an archaeozoologist in the Archaeozoology Laboratory of the same institution under the supervision of Doctor Maria Saña (2006-2010). Within archaeozoology, he began his specialization in the dental microwear technique in 2015 under the direction of Doctor Florent Rivals (ICREA). This specialization is included in his Final Master’s Thesis entitled “Dental microwear. The management of sheep flocks and the exploitation of the environment in Ancient times in the Empordà (north-east of the Iberian peninsula)”, co-directed by Dr. Lídia Colominas (ICAC) and Dr. Josep Maria Palet (ICAC), which was evaluated with honours.

During the preparation of the Final Master’s Thesis, he had a 3-month research stay in the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom) in the context of an Erasmus + Internship programme. Supervised by Dr. Umberto Albarella and Dr. Silvia Valenzuela, he began the application of statistical programs in archaeozoology, as well as expanding his general knowledge in this field.

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