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CatiMasPostdoctoral researcher, Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación Program

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Departament d'Història i Arqueologia, Facultat de Geografia i Història, c/ Montalegre 6-8, 08001 Barcelona

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I am an archaeologist specializing in Late Antique archaeology and the transformation of landscapes in island systems. I have a degree in History (2002), a degree in Archaeology (2003), a Masters in Cartographic Production and GIS (2007), and a Ph.D. (2013) Archaeology, all obtained at the University of Barcelona. My doctoral thesis was focused on the rural settlement patterns of the island of Mallorca in Late Antiquity. I have focused my research on different aspects of the Roman and Late Antique periods in the western Mediterranean, with the main focus in rural areas. I have also explored the use of computer tools and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in archaeology. I undertook Ph.D. research stays at the University of Southampton (UK) in 2008 and the University of Cagliari (Italy) in 2012. I was also a postdoctoral Visiting Researcher at the University of Sassari (Italy) in 2013. I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World (JIAAW) (Brown University, USA) with my research project titled "Shaping Rural Landscapes in Mediterranean Insular Systems from Antiquity to Early Middle Ages: the case of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)" (RULANMED). I am currently a Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación postdoctoral fellow at ERAAUB.  My current research aims to understand the configuration of rural landscapes with an interdisciplinary approach that includes the use of remote sensing with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), geophysical survey and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. I have participated in different national and international projects, such as 'Progetto Classe' working in the World Heritage site of Ravenna (Italy) and the 'Corpus architecturae religiosae Europae (saec.IV-X)'. I have also worked on numerous excavations and archaeological surveys in the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, and Italy. I have co-directed or directed excavations at the early Christian complex of l'Illa del Rei (Menorca) and at the Roman villa of Sa Mesquida (Mallorca), as well as the excavations of a historical building at Ripoll street in Barcelona. I am also co-director of the archaeological excavations at the Roman and late antique city of Pollentia (Mallorca).

Featured Projects

Shaping Rural Landscapes in Mediterranean Insular System from Antiquity to Early Medieval ages: the case of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) (RULANDMED) (2016-2018)
PI: Catalina Mas Florit
The main aim of the project is to understand the configuration of the rural world in Mediterranean island systems between the Roman and the Early Medieval periods using the island of Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) as a case of study. This interdisciplinary project includes the study of the rural landscape using remote-sensing, geophysical survey techniques and the paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) will be used to manage the information and to carry out spatial and geostatistical analyses. This is an innovative approach never tested before in the area under study. The project aims at obtaining information regarding the transformation processes that took place in the rural landscape with a strong indigenous background paying particular attention to the transformation of the population after the Roman occupation of the island (BC 123) and the Muslim conquest in AD 902/903. This interdisciplinary approach and the results of the application of new technologies framed in a strong theoretical background of archaeology of island systems, colonialism/interaction, hybridization and transformation, should help to better understand the transformation of the population/s that inhabited the rural landscape of this particular Mediterranean island, achieving better results than those achieved so far and changing the state of the art.

Funding entity: Consell de Mallorca
PI: Catalina Mas Florit

The project aims to investigate rural landscapes of the island of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) between Antiquity and the Middle Ages, using innovative approaches for the study of cultural landscapes and of the countryside in particular.
In the case of the Balearic Islands, and especially Mallorca, the study of the evolution and transformation of the rural landscapes was not developed until recent years. Nonetheless, there is no holistic approach that takes into consideration new methodologies in order to understand the transformations that occurred and to shed light on the types of sites that were scattered through the landscape.
The project aims to apply new methods and approaches to the study of this insular system. This derives from a certain degree of dissatisfaction with some of the results obtained in the past when studies were conducted with more traditional methods. The presence of large concentrations of sherds on the surface documented by traditional field walking allowed us to locate different new sites across the eastern part of Mallorca. But what are these sites? This new project will carry out a combination of geophysical survey and remote sensing analysis in different archaeological sites, applying different techniques trying to answer the big question of this project: what is hidden beneath the sherds? What lies beneath the sherds and how these new methods can help in a better definition of these sites?

Selected Publications


Cau, M.A., Mas Florit, C. (eds), 2019, CHANGE AND RESILIENCE. The Occupation of Mediterranean Islands in Late Antiquity, Joukowsky Institute Pulications (JIP) 10, Oxford: Oxbow Books.


Mas Florit, C., Cau, M.A., Alcaide, S., 2020, Buildings of Faith: Early Christianity in the countryside of the Balearics (Spain). Journal of Roman Archaeology 33 (In press).

Angelats, E., Cau, M.Á., Mas Florit, C., 2018, High resolution orthophotos and a digital surface model of the Roman city of Pollentia (Mallorca, Spain) using RPAS imagery, aerial images, and open data archives, Proceedings of the IEEE,

Cau, M.Á., Martínez Farreras, V., Pecci A., Mas Florit, C., Fantuzzi, L., 2018, Provenance and Content of Roman Amphorae from the Site of Sa Mesquida (Mallorca, Spain), Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 18 (2): 87-105.

Mas Florit C., Cau M.A., Goossens L., Meyer C., Sala R., Ortiz., H., 2017 first online, Geophysical survey of two rural sites in Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain): unveiling Roman villae, Journal of Applied Geophysics,

Cau, M. A., Van Strydonck, M. Boudin, M., Mas Florit, C., Mestres, J., Cardona, F., Chávez, Mª. E, Orfila, M., 2017, Christians in a Muslim World? Radiocarbon dating of the cemetery over the forum of Pollentia (Mallorca, Balearic Islands), Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Volume 9, Issue 7: 1529–1538

Cau, M.A., Mas Florit, C., Vallori, B. Chávez, M.E., Orfila, M., 2013, Un pavimento de Opus Sectile hallado en Pollentia (Alcudia, Mallorca), Archivo Español de Arqueologia 86: 149-160.

Mas Florit, C., Cau, M.A., 2013, Christians, peasants and shepherds: the transformation of the countryside in late antique Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), Antiquité Tardive 21: 27-42.

Cau, M.A., Mas Florit, C., 2013, Tracing settlements patterns in Late Antique Mallorca (Balearics Islands): a field survey in the Eastern territories, Hortus Artium Medievalium 19: 209-227.

Ripoll, G., Carrero, E., Rico, D., Tuset, F., Velázquez, I., López Batlle, A., Mas Florit, C., Valls, M., Cau, M.A., 2012, La arquitectura religiosa hispánica del siglo IV al X y el proyecto del Corpus Architecturae Religiosae Europeae – CARE-Hispania, Hortus Artium Medievalium 18 (1): 45-73.

Cau, M.A., Mas Florit, C., Ripoll, G., Tuset, F., Valls, M., Orfila Pons, M., Rivas, M.J., 2012, El conjunto eclesiástico de la Illa del Rei (Menorca, Islas Baleares), Hortus Artium Medievalium 18 (2): 209-216.

Mas Florit, C., Cau, M.A., 2011, From Roman to Byzantine: the Rural Occupation of Eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands), Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 24 (2): 191-217.

Mas Florit, C., Cau, M.A., 2007, Rural settlement in Late Antique Mallorca: an interim approach, Archeologia Medievale XXXIV: 171-180.


Book chapters

Mas Florit, C., Cau, M.A., 2019, The occupation of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) in Late Antiquity: Tracing Change and Resilience, M.A. Cau and C. Mas Florit (eds.) CHANGE AND RESILIENCE. The Occupation of Mediterranean Islands in Late Antiquity, Joukowsky Institute Pulications (JIP). 10, Oxford: Oxbow Books, pp. 1-24.

Day, P., Cau Ontiveros, M.A, Mas Florit, C., Müller, N., 2015, Contextual ethnography of cooking vessel production at Pòrtol, Mallorca (Balearic Islands), in M. Spataro and A. Villing (eds.), Ceramics, Cuisine and Culture: the Archaeology and Science of Kitchen Pottery in the Ancient Mediterranean World, The British Museum, London, United Kingdom, pp. 55-64.

Mas Florit, C., Vallori, B, Murrieta Flores P., Rivas, M. J., Cau, M.A., 2015, The Roman villa of sa Mesquida: a rural settlement on the island of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), in P. Militello, H. Oniz (eds.), Proceedings of the 15th Symposium of the Mediterranean Archaeology, British Archaeological Reports, International Series, pp. 461-466.

Cau, M.A., Mas Florit, C., Reynolds, P. Riutort, J., 2014, Two Late Antique deposits from the city of Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), in N. Poulou-Papadimitriou, E. Nodarou, V. Kilikoglou (eds.), Later Roman Coarse Wares, Cooking Wares and Amphorae, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 2616, pp. 1049 -1060.

Cau, M.A., Mas Florit, C., 2013, The early Byzantine period in the Balearic Islands, in E. Zanini, P. Pergola, D. Michaelidis (eds.), The Insular System of early Byzantine Mediterranean, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 2523, pp. 31-45.

Chávez, M.E., Mas Florit C., Orfila, M. Álvarez, A., Rodà, I., Gutiérrez, A., Doménech, A., Cau Ontiveros, M.A., 2012, Archaeometric characterisation of an opus sectile found in Pollentia (Alcudia, Mallorca, Spain), in A. Gutiérrez, M.P. Lapuente and I. Rodà (eds.), Interdisciplinary Studies on Ancient Stone Proceedings of the IX ASMOSIA Conference (Tarragona 2009), pp. 518-526.

Mas Florit, C., Cau, M.A., 2012, Aplicaciones SIG para el estudio del poblamiento rural de la isla de Mallorca durante la Antigüedad tardía: el caso de la zona este, in V. Mayoral and S. Celestino (eds.), Tecnologías de Información Geográfica y análisis arqueológico del territorio, Anejos del Archivo Español de Arqueología LIX, Mérida, pp. 253-260.