Dr. Vanessa Navarrete Belda

Contact information
Husbandry practices
Foddering practices
Biomolecular Archaeology

Research lines

  • Social and economic changes in early Neolithic in the Western Mediterranean.
  • Early husbandry practices in north-east Iberian Peninsula.
  • Food habits and foddering practices in domesticates.
  • Use of animal resources in maritime hunter-gatherer groups.

I started my Ph.D. in 2012 on Prehistoric Archaeology at the UAB under the supervision of Dr. Maria Saña (UAB) and Dr. André Colonese (University of York). My PhD focused on the study of past human-environment interaction, specifically in early husbandry practices in the north-east Iberian Peninsula. In December 2017 I defend my PhD thesis and obtained the qualification of Cum Laude.

The main topic of my research aims to characterize early husbandry experiences at a productive level, to assess their social and economic significance, and to study the dynamics of change during the Neolithic in the Western Mediterranean. My research focuses on the study of the management and exploitation of early herds, with a particular interest in the food habits and the foddering practices of Neolithic herds in the Iberian Peninsula. I use a range of interdisciplinary approaches involving Archaeozoology, statistical analysis, and biomolecular analysis, specific light stable isotopes (Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen) on faunal remains (bulk collagen, bioapatite). At present, I have expanded my research network to the Chilean Patagonia to investigate the use of animal resources in maritime hunter-gatherer groups and evaluating dietary changes and continuities.


Works on faunal assemblages from...

Since 2012, within the framework of the Archaeozoology Laboratory (UAB), I have carried out several archaeozoological studies of archaeological sites in the Iberian Peninsula:

  • Cueva del Toro (Málaga, Andalucía). Early Neolithic to Late Neolithic.
  • La Draga (Girona, Cataluña). Early Neolithic
  • Reina Amàlia (Barcelona, Cataluña). Early Neolithic to Middle/Late Neolithic.
  • Cova del Frare (Barcelona, Cataluña). Early Neolithic to Late Neolithic.
  • Can Sadurní (Barcelona, Cataluña). Early Neolithic
  • Minas de Gavà. Mina16 (Barcelona, Cataluña). Late Neolithic
  • La Dou (Girona, Cataluña). Early Neolithic/Bronze period
  • Cova del Sardo (Vall de Boí, Cataluña). Early Neolithic to Medieval Period.
  • Los Morrones (Castellón, Valencia). Iron Period


And archaeozoological studies in South America:

  • Bahia Easter 1 and Bahia Easter 2 (Isla Diego Portales, Última Esperanza, Chile). Maritime hunter-gatherer groups.


Research projects

HAR2017-88304-P. Arqueobioquímica de la alimentación durante el Neolítico Peninsular: nuevos marcadores y referenciales para el estudio de las pautas de reproducción y consumo en Arqueología. Ministerio de Economía, Indústria y Competitividad. 2018-2021. IP: Maria Saña, Xavier Clop.

CLT009/18/0023. Evolució del poblament i ús del territori al Prepirineu Oriental durant la prehistòria recent (10000-900 cal ANE): anàlisi arqueoecològica de les dinàmiques de canvi social. Generalitat de Catalunya-AGAUR. 2018-2021. IP: Maria Saña.   

55 T002018N0000043077. Prospección arqueológica de un antiguo astillero fueguino: Campamentos kawésqar en Bahía Easter (Última Esperanza, Magallanes).  Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte, Dirección General de Patrimonio Cultural. 2018-2019. IP: Raquel Piqué.

HAR2014-60081-R_Producción animal y cerámica en el neolítico peninsular. Estudio biogeoquímico integrado del consumo y las prácticas culinarias. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. 2015-2017. IP: Maria Saña.


Featured publications

Navarrete, V; Tornero, C; Balasse, M; Saña, M. 2019. Food management of early introduced caprine and bovine herds in the early Neolithic site of La Draga (Banyoles): an isotopic approach. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 29-6: 986-998. https://doi.org/10.1002/oa.2812

Navarrete, V; Colonese, A.C; Tornero, C; Antolín, F; von Terchs, M; Subirà, M.E; Comes, P; Rosell, A; Saña, M. 2017. Foddering strategies among the earliest domesticated pigs in the NE Iberian Peninsula (5700-4500 cal BC). Journal of Osteoarchaeology 27-5: 839-852. https://doi.org/10.1002/oa.2598

Navarrete, V; Saña, M. 2017. Size changes in wild and domestic pig populations between 10,000-800 cal BC in the Iberian Peninsula: evaluation of natural versus social impacts in animal populations during the first domestication stages. The Holocene 27-10: 1526-1539. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683617693902

Antolín, F; Navarrete, V; Saña, M; Viñerta, A; Gassiot, E. 2017. Herders in the mountains and farmers in the plains? A comparative evaluation of the archaeobiological record from Neolithic sites in the eastern Iberian Pyrenees and the southern lower lands. Quaternary International 484: 75-93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2017.05.056

Antolín, F; Buxó, R; Jacomet, S; Navarrete, V; Saña, M. 2014. An integrated perspective on farming in the Early Neolithic lakeshore site of La Draga (Banyoles, Spain). Environmental Archaeology. 19-3, pp. 241 - 255. https://doi.org/10.1179/1749631414Y.0000000027

Saña, M; Bogdanovic, I; Navarrete, V. 2014. Taphonomic evaluation of the degree of historical representation of the faunal samples in anaerobic versus aerobic environments: the Neolithic site of La Draga (Banyoles, Spain). Quaternary International. 330, pp. 72-87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2013.09.016

Campus d'excel·lència internacional U A B