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Pablo Arias Cabal

Catedrático de Prehistoria, Universidad de Cantabria

Pablo Arias is Professor of Prehistory of the University of Cantabria. He was educated in the Universities of Oviedo and Cantabria. In the latter he obtained his doctor degree in 1989. He has been the first director of the International Institute for Prehistoric Research of Cantabria (IIIPC) (2005-2009). He has also been a member of the board of trustees (Consejo Social) of the UC (1986-1990) and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Humanities (1993-1996). He has been visiting scholar in the University of Oxford and fellow of the Wolfson College and invited professor of the National University of Comahue (Argentina). Moreover, he is a member of the Executive Committee of the UISPP (Union Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques) in which he leads the Commission on the Holocene hunter-gatherers of the cirummediterranean and Europe.
His research focuses on the analysis of the late hunter-gatherers’ societies and their transition to the Neolithic in Atlantic Europe and South America. He has directed archaeological research programs in sites such as the caves of Los Canes, Arangas and El Alloru, in Spain, the shell-middens of Poças de São Bento, Cabeço das Amoreiras, Arapouco, Cabeço do Pez and Barrosinha, in Portugal, the Mesolithic cemetery of de Hoedic, in France, and the Arroyo Corral I and II rockshelters in Patagonia (Argentina). However, his most relevant scientific contribution is the direction of the ambitious interdisciplinary program at La Garma (Cantabria). He has also been the PI of ten projects of the R+D+I Spanish National program and has participated in three EU projects. He has supervised twelve PhD dissertations.
He has published more than two hundred papers, many of them in international journals such as Nature, Current Anthropology, J.World Prehistory, J.Arch. Science, Antiquity, Human Evolution, Quaternary Science Reviews, World Archaeology, Current Biology, Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française or Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz. He is the author or the editor of (among others) the books De cazadores a campesinos: La transición al Neolítico en la región cantábrica (Santander, 1991), Marisqueros y agricultores: Los orígenes del Neolítico en la fachada atlántica europea (Santander, 1997), La Garma, un descenso al pasado (Santander, 1999 and 2001) and La Materia del Lenguaje Prehistórico (Santander 2004 and 2005). He has organized several scientific meetings, among them the Eighth International Conference on the Mesolithic on Europe.
In 1999 he was appointed by the Maximilian zu Wied foundation to dictate the prestigious Rudolf Virchow lecture in Neuwied (Germany). He has also been invited lecturer in other international centres, such as the Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza (Poznan, Poland, 1994), Musée de l'Homme (Paris, 1996, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (2002), Universidade de Lisboa (2018), CSIC (2002), Museo Arqueológico Nacional (2005, 2017, 2018), Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya (2001, 2003), Museo de la Evolución Humana (2020) National Science Museum of Tokyo (2005), Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano (Buenos Aires, 2005), CONICET (Buenos Aires 2005), the British Museum (2006) and the Neanderthal Museum zur Entwicklunsgeschichte der Menschheit (2007).
In 2021 he was awarded by the PALARQ Foundation with the National Prize of Archaeology and Palaeontology for his research at La Garma.


  • –present
    Catedrático de Prehistoria, IIIPC (Instituto Internacional de Investigaciones Prehistóricas de Cantabria)


  • 1984 
    Universidad de Cantabria, Filosofía y Letras


II Premio Nacional de Arqueología y Paleontología Fundación PALARQ