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Department of Archaeology



After a Msc in archaeological research techniques, I started my PhD at the Universitat de València in 2017 and finished in 2020, continuing as a post-doc researcher in the same institution. From 2014 I have been involved in numerous archaeological campaigns ranging different chronologies from the Paleolithic to the Visigoth (Early Middle Age) period, but specializing in the transition from the last hunter-gatherers to the first farmers in the Iberian Peninsula.

Also, during my PhD I have been visiting research scholar at the University College London and the University of Cambridge, while also participating in international archaeological campaigns leaded by the Université de Toulouse.

Currently, I continue to reinforce my research profile by specializing in the application of computer and mathematical modeling to Archaeology.


My research so far has focused in the application of computational and digital archaeology to the understanding of cultural evolution from material culture, particularly focusing on the Neolithic expansion and the morphometry of Mesolithic and Neolithic arrowheads in Western Europe.

From the acknowledgment of the issues posed by lacking information in the archaeological record, I have currently added to my research objectives the attempt to understand how does missing data affect archaeological hypothesis building and how/if research limits can be addressed and quantified in order to build more solid archaeological interpretations.

My research could be summarised in the following topics:

  • European Mesolithic/Neolithic
  • Geometric Microliths
  • Spatial analysis
  • Radiocarbon
  • Archaeological record/missing data

Also, I am interested in archaeological theory/methodology and computational archaeology-related methods.

Key Publications

Key publications: 


Featured publications.

Cortell-Nicolau, A.*, Garcia-Puchol, O., Juan-Cabanilles, J. In press (available online). The Geometric Microliths of Cueva de la Cocina and their significance in the Mesolithic of Eastern Iberia: A morphometric Study. Quaternary International

Cortell-Nicolau, A.*, García-Puchol, O., Barrera-Cruz, M., García-Rivero, D. (2021). “The spread of agriculture in Iberia through Approximate Bayesian Computation and Neolithic Projectile Tools”, PLOSONE, 16(12): e0261813.

Cortell-Nicolau, A.*, García-Puchol O., Shennan, S. (2020). “Cultural continuities and discontinuities at the Neolithic transition in Eastern Iberia: An analysis of the morphometry of geometric microliths”, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 12 (253).

Other publications: 


Full list of publications

A. Publications with peer-reviewed process

A1. García-Puchol, O.*, McClure, S. B., Juan-Cabanilles, J., Cortell-Nicolau, A., Diez-Castillo, A., Pascual-Benito, J. Ll., Pardo-Gordo, S., Gallello, G., Ramacciotti, M., Molina-Balaguer, Ll., López-Montalvo, E., Bernabeu-Abuán, J., Basile, M., Real-Margalef, C., Sanchís-Serra, A., Pérez-Fernández, Á., Orozco-Köhler, T., Carrión-Marco, Y., Pérez-Jordà, G., Barrera-Cruz, M., Escribá-Ruiz, P., Jiménez-Puerto, J. In press: A Multi-Stage Bayesian Modeling for Building the Chronocultural Sequence of the Late Mesolithic at Cueva de la Cocina (València, Eastern Iberia). Quaternary International.

A2. Cortell-Nicolau, A.*, Pardo-Gordó, S. (2023): Presentación [Presentation], Revista Vegueta 23(1), 9-14.

A3. Pardo-Gordó, S.*, Cortell-Nicolau, A. (2023): ¿Falta de concienciación o desconocimiento? La transparencia y reproducibilidad en la Arqueología Computacional [Lack of Awareness or Lack of Knowledge? Transparency and Reproducibility in Computational Archaeology], Revista Vegueta 23(1), 243-263.

A4. Rammaciotti, M.*, García-Puchol, O., Cortell-Nicolau, A., Gallello, G., Morales-Rubio, Á., Pastor, A. (2022). Moving to the land: first archaeometric study of chert procurement at Cueva de la Cocina (Eastern Iberia), Geoarchaeology 37(3), 544-559.

A5. García-Puchol, O.*, Diez-Castillo, A., Pardo-Gordó, S., Bernabeu Aubán, J., Cortell-Nicolau, A. (2021). “Assessing Population Dynamics in the Spread of Agriculture in the Mediterranean Iberia Through Early Warning Signals Metrics”. In S. Pardo-Gordó & S. Bergin (eds). Simulating Transitions to Agriculture in Prehistory. Springer Nature Switzerland, p. 83-103.

A6. Gallello, G.*, Rammaciotti, M., García-Puchol, O., Cortell-Nicolau, A., Chenery, S., Cervera, M. L., Diez-Castillo, A., Pastor, A., McClure, S. B. (2021). “Analysis of stratigrafical sequences at Cocina Cave (Spain) using rare earth elements geochemistry”, Boreas, 50(4), p. 1190-1280.

A7. Cortell-Nicolau, A.*, García-Puchol, O., Barton, C. M., Diez-Castillo, A., Pardo-Gordó, S. (2019). “Wandering through the Mesolithic: An archaeostatistical approach to explore the mobility patterns in Eastern Iberia”, Journal of Archaeological Science: reports, 26, p. 101892.

A8. Cortell-Nicolau, A.* (2019): “Geomeasure: GIS and scripting for measuring morphometric variability”, Lithic Technology, 44 (3), p. 153-165.

A9. Pardo-Gordó, S.*, García-Puchol, O., Diez-Castillo, A., McClure, S. B., Juan Cabanilles, J., Pérez, M., Molina, Ll., Bernabeu, J., Pascual Benito, J. Ll., Kennet, D, Cortell-Nicolau, A., Tsanté, N., Basile, M. (2018). “Taphonomic processes inconsistent with indigenous Mesolithic acculturation during the transition to the Neolithic in the Western Mediterranean”, Quaternary International, 483, p. 136-147.

A10. García-Puchol, O.*, Pardo-Gordó, S., Diez-Castillo, A., Cortell-Nicolau, A., Juan Cabanilles, J., McClure S. B., Ramacciotti, M. (2018). “Actuación arqueológica en los depósitos mesolíticos de Cueva de la Cocina (Dos Aguas, Valencia): valoración preliminar” [Archaeological intervention in the Mesolithic deposits of Cueva de la Cocina (Dos Aguas, València)], Sagvntvm, 50, p. 249-254.

A11. Pardo-Gordó, S.*, García-Puchol, O., Cortell-Nicolau, A., Molina Balaguer, Ll., Diez-Castillo, A., (2017). “Segunda campaña de prospección en el territorio inmediato a Cueva de la Cocina: El Valle del Magre” [Second survey campaign in the territory from Cueva de la Cocina: The Magre Valley], Sagvntvm, 49, p. 187-190.

A12. Cortell-Nicolau, A*. (2017). “Las inscripciones romanas del MAGa (Museo Arqueológico de Gandia)” [The Roman inscriptions from the MAGa (Archaeological Museum from Gandia)], Recerques del Museu d’Alcoi, 26, p. 82-102.

A13. Diez-Castillo, A.*, Cortell-Nicolau, A., García-Puchol, O., Escribá Ruiz, P. (2017). “Entorno 3D para el análisis y la recreación vitual de las excavaciones arqueológicas en Cueva de la Cocina (Dos Aguas, Valencia, España)” [3D Environment for the analysis and virtual recreation of the archaeological excavations in Cueva de la Cocina (Dos Aguas, València, Spain)], Virtual Archaeology Review, 8 (17), p. 75-83. 

A14. García-Puchol*, O., Diez-Castillo, A., McClure, S. B., Juan Cabanilles, J., Pardo-Gordó, S., Cortell-Nicolau, A., Escribá Ruiz, P. (2016). Cueva de la Cocina (Dos Aguas, Valencia) 2016: Intervención, metodología y resultados [Cueva de la Cocina (Dos Aguas, València) 2016: Intervention, methodology and results], Sagvntvm, 48, p. 191-195.

A15. Cortell-Nicolau, A.* (2016): “El ocre en la Prehistoria: entre la funcionalidad y el simbolismo” [Ochre in Prehistory: between functionality and symbolism], Archivo de Prehistoria Levantina, XXXI, p. 187-211.

A16. Pardo-Gordó, S.*, García-Puchol, O., Diez-Castillo, A., Cortell-Nicolau, A., Molina Balaguer, Ll. (2016). “Prospección arqueológica en la Canal de Dos Aguas (Valencia): El territorio inmediato a Cueva de la Cocina” [Archaeological survey at the Canal de Dos Aguas (València): The immediate territory from Cueva de la Cocina], Sagvntvm, 48, p. 197-200.

B. Publications without peer-reviewed process

B1. Cortell-Nicolau, A.* (2023): Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology, Reference Module in Social Sciences.

B2. García-Puchol, O.*, Juan-Cabanilles, J., Cortell-Nicolau, A. (2022). “El análisis tecnológico y morfológico” [Technological and morphological analysis]. In Juan F. Gibaja, Miriam Cubas & Millán Mozota (coords.). Guía para el estudio de la industria lítica [Guide for the study of lithic industry]. Institución Milà i Fontanals de investigación en Humanidades – CSIC. Barcelona, p. 26-46.

B3. Cortell-Nicolau, A.*, García-Puchol, O. (2020). “La industria lítica de los contextos con cerámica impressa en el País Valenciano” [The lithic industry in the contexts with ‘impressa’ decorated pottery in the Valencian Country]. In J. Bernabeu, S. Pardo-Gordó, A. Gómez-Bach & M. Molist (Eds.). La cerámica ‘impressa’ en la Península Ibérica. [The ‘impressa’ decorated pottery in the Iberian Peninsula]. Publicacions de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona.

B4. García-Puchol, O.*, Cortell-Nicolau, A. (2019). “Los hallazgos en piedra tallada de Kelin ¿Evidencias de ocupaciones prehistóricas?” [Findings in knapped Stone in Kelin. Evidence of Prehistoric occupations?] In C. Mata (ed.). De Kelin a Los Villares (Caudete de las Fuentes, València) [From Kelin to Los Villares (Caudete de las Fuentes, València)]. Servicio de Investigación Prehistórica del Museo de Prehistoria de Valencia – Diputación de Valencia. Serie de Trabajos Varios (122), Valencia, p 7-10.

B5. Cortell-Nicolau, A.*, (2016): “Ocre, hematites y óxido de hierro: el problema terminológico” [Ochre, hematite and iron oxides: the terminological problem], Espacio, Tiempo y Forma. Serie I Prehistoria y Arqueología, 9, p. 13-42.

B6. Cortell-Nicolau, A.*, Escribá Ruiz, P., Diez Castillo, A., Bernabeu, J., Orozco Köhler, T., López Melón, S. (2015). “Arqueometría y georreferenciación con gvSIG en un yacimiento al aire libre. Campaña Mas d’Is 2015” [Archaeometry and georeferencing with gvSIG in an open-air site. Mas d’Is campaign 2015], Mapping, 25 (177), p. 12-18.

C. Edited volumes

C1. Cortell-Nicolau, A.*, Pardo-Gordó, S. (eds.) (2023): Modelizaciones computacionales para la comprensión de fenómenos históricos [Computational Modelling for Understanding Historical and Social Phenomena], Revista Vegueta 23(1).

D. Book reviews

D1. Cortell-Nicolau, A* (in press). “De lucha de clases y Prehistoria: un viaje por la configuración estatal” [About Class Struggle and Prehistory: A Journey through State Configuration], Nuestra Historia, 15.



Job Titles

Senior Teaching Associate in Quantitative and Computational Methods in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Artefact Analysis & Technology
Archaeological Theory
Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
Cultural Evolution

Contact Details

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
ac2320 [at]


Person keywords: 
Computational Archaeology
Archaeological record
Science, Technology and Innovation
Material Culture
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: