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Department of Archaeology



I completed my Degree in Archaeology at the Complutense University of Madrid in 2014, and my MSc in Human Anatomy and Evolution at the Hull York Medical School in 2015. My interest in the bioanthropological field led me to pursue a PhD focused on the study of hominin long bone morphology and biomechanics at the Complutense University of Madrid. After finishing my PhD, I worked as a postdoc researcher at the Universities of Salamanca and of the Basque Country. Now I am a Newton International Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, working on the project entitled “Exploring locomotor and biomechanical diversity in the hominin fossil record based on long bone external morphology”, funded by The British Academy.
I have been member of The Olduvai Paleoanthropological and Palaeoecological Project, working in some of the most renowned Bed I and Bed II Olduvai sites from 2010 to 2021. Currently, I also actively participate in projects in que Basque Country, Cantabria and Ávila including the field season campaigns, the study of the materials and the virtualisation of the discovered remains. 


My work focuses on two parallel but interconnected research lines that rely on the use of state-of-the-art methods such as 3D geometric morphometrics, artificial intelligence and virtual labs to study the archaeological and paleontological fossil record. 

The first one focuses on the analysis of the anatomical adaptations that arose during our evolution and that are tightly linked to our capabilities not only as biological beings but also as social beings. In that line, I am working on the development and application of novel approaches that combine geometric morphometrics, landmark-free methods, and machine learning models to studying key postcranial skeletal adaptations during the different stages of human evolution, with particular focus on long bone biomechanics. 
The second line of research centres on the application of cutting-edge techniques to the study of bone surface modifications to unravel some aspects of human behavioural evolution, as well as human-carnivore interactions at early Pleistocene sites.

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Organista, E., Moclán, A., Aramendi, J., Cobo-Sánchez, L., Egeland, C.P., Uribelarrea, D., Martín-Perea, D., Vegara-Riquelme, M., Hernández-Vivanco, L., Gidna, A., Mabula, A., Baquedano, E., Domínguez-Rodrigo, M. (2023). A taphonomic analysis of PTK (Bed I, Olduvai Gorge) and its bearing on the interpretation of the dietary and eco-spatial behaviors of early humans. Quaternary Science Reviews 300: 107913. (IF = Q1 – 4.112).

Mora, R., Aramendi, J., Courtenay, L.A., González-Aguilera, D., Yravedra, J., Maté-González, M.Á., Prieto-Herráez, D., Vázquez-Rodríguez, J.M., Barja, I. (2022) Ikhnos: A Novel Software to Register and Analyze Bone Surface Modifications Based on Three-Dimensional Documentation. Animals 12: 2861. (IF = Q1 – 3.14).

Stancampiano, L.M., Sistiaga, A., Uribelarrea del Val, D., Aramendi, J., Baquedano, E., Mabulla, A., Domínguez-Rodrigo, M., Magill, C.R. (2022) New site at Olduvai Gorge (AGS, Bed I, 1.84 Mya) widens the range of locations where hominins engaged in butchery. Scientific Reports 12, 9794. (IF = Q2 – 4.54).

Arriaza, M.C., Aramendi, J., Maté-González, M.A., Yravedra, J., Stratford, D. (2021) The Hunted or The Scavenged? Australopith accumulation by Brown hyenas at Sterkfontein (South Africa). Quaternary Science Reviews 273: 107252. (IF = Q1 – 4.112).

Aramendi, J., Arriaza, M.C., Yravedra, J., Maté González, M.A., Ortega, M.C., Courtenay, L.A., González Aguilera, D., Gidna, A., Mabulla, A., Baquedano, E., Domínguez Rodrigo, M. (2019). Who ate OH80 (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania)? A geometric-morphometric analysis of surface bone modifications of a Paranthropus boisei skeleton. Quaternary International 517, 118-130. (IF = Q3 – 2.130).

Domínguez-Rodrigo, M., Cobo-Sánchez, L., Aramendi, J., Gidna, A. (2019). The meta-group social network of early humans: a temporal-spatial assessment of group size at FLK Zinj (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania). Journal of Human Evolution 127, 54-66. (IF = Q1 – 3.895).

Aramendi, J., Maté González, M.A., Yravedra, J., Ortega, M.C., Arriaza, M.C., González Aguilera, D., Baquedano, E., Domínguez Rodrigo, M. (2017) Discerning carnivore agency through the three-dimensional study of tooth pits: Revisiting crocodile feeding behaviour at FLK- Zinj and FLK NN3 (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania). Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 488, 93-102. (IF = Q1 – 3.318).

Aramendi, J., Uribelarrea, D., Arriaza, M.C., Arráiz, H., Barboni, D., Yravedra, J., Ortega, M.C., Gidna, A., Mabulla, A., Baquedano, E., Domínguez Rodrigo, M. (2017) The paleoecology and taphonomy of AMK (Bed I, Olduvai Gorge) and its contributions to the understanding of the “Zinj” paleolandscape. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 488, 35-49. (IF = Q1 – 3.318).

Job Titles

Newton International Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Human Evolution

Contact Details

ja807 [a]
Henry Wellcome Building
Fitzwilliam Street


Person keywords: 
Human Evolution
Virtual Anatomy
Artificial Intelligence
Biological Anthropology
Human Evolutionary Studies
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: