About us

“To those who know how to read it “aright”, [the landscape] is the richest historical record we possess”

W.G. Hoskins

The Landscape Archaeology Research Group (Grup d’Investigació en Arqueologia del Paisatge, GIAP) at the Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology (ICAC) is co-directed by Josep M. Palet, director of ICAC, and Hector A. Orengo, Ramón y Cajal researcher.

GIAP was founded in 2004, and in 2009 was recognised as an official SGR of the Generalitat de Catalunya. The group stems from the interest of several founding members (including the current directors) in landscape archaeology, palaeoenvironment and computational methods.

The group has a strong focus on advanced postgraduate training and has an excellent record of successful PhDs with 8 completed PhDs from 2008 to 2018. Six of these PhDs have gained postdoctoral positions outside Spain and 4 remain active in research. Researchers trained at ICAC have been awarded prestigious postdoctoral fellowships and positions, such as Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships, Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology fellowships at the State University of New York, Ramón y Cajal positions and Chargé de Recherche in the French CNRS.

GIAP has been growing rapidly and since 2018 GIAP’s senior members have been successful in obtaining competitive research funds amounting to over 2 million euros. GIAP is currently among the largest European research groups focusing on landscape archaeology. It includes an international team with 3 senior researchers, two of them Ramón y Cajal fellows; 6 postdoctoral researchers (4 Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows, 1 Juan de la Cierva, and 2 more ICAC-funded posts); 1 technician; and 7 PhD students. It is an international research group, including researchers of 5 different nationalities.

GIAP aims to study long-term human-environment interactions through the physical and biological imprints left on the landscape by its past inhabitants. In order to do so, GIAP has a strong interdisciplinary focus, which includes bioarchaeology and palaeoenvironment, geoarchaeology, survey, archaeomorphological analysis and computational approaches, including GIS, remote sensing and machine learning.

GIAP is well-recognised internationally for its research on mountain archaeology and pastoralism, studies on field systems based on archaeomorphological analysis, and computational archaeology, including remote sensing and geosciences. Its members currently direct projects in Catalonia, Greece, Turkey and India and participate in projects in Italy, the UK and Iran. Our network of regular collaborators includes teams and researchers from all the previously mentioned countries plus the United States and France.

GIAP is now in a consolidation phase and is expanding its strengths to environmental archaeology including archaeobotany and zooarchaeology. The ultimate objective is to complete GIAP’s multidisciplinary scope and provide the team with full independence for the planning and execution of all types of landscape-related projects.