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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Jonathan Santana-Cabrera

Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Archaeology
Room number: 331

Contact Dr Jonathan Santana-Cabrera (email at

I am currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University under the supervision of Dr Andrew Millard. I am particularly interested in the human bioarcheology of Neolithic societies (Near East and Iberia), Canarian Archaeology and Archaeology of Slavery.

My research project (funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions) aims at exploring the impact of agro-pastoral practices on diet and reconstructing the links between humans, early domesticates, and wild animals during the course of the Near Eastern Neolithic transition (, the acronym of “Isotopic evidence for diet and mobility during the Neolithic transition to farming in the Near East”. This project focuses on isotopic analysis of human and animal remains from a series of Early Neolithic communities from Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia, between the 9th and 5th millennia BC.

I completed my doctoral dissertation titled “Daily Pattern of Physical Activity and Social Organization of Labour in the Pre-Hispanic Gran Canaria: The Contribution of the Skeletal Markers of Physical Activity, (11th-15th AD Centuries)”, in the Department of Historical Sciences at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Between 2012-2014, I was postdoctoral researcher in Canarian Archaeology at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. From 2014 to 2015, I was Prometeo researcher at the University of Santa Elena (Ecuador). I have also participated as archaeologist in several projects of preventive archaeology. 


Journal Article

  • Santana, Jonathan, Rodríguez-Santos, Francisco Javier, Camalich-Massieu, María Dolores, Martín-Socas, Dimas & Fregel, Rosa (2019). Aggressive or funerary cannibalism? Skull-cup and human bone manipulation in Cueva de El Toro (Early Neolithic, southern Iberia). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 169(1): 31-54.
  • Henríquez-Valido, Pedro, Morales, Jacob, Vidal-Matutano, Paloma, Santana-Cabrera, Jonathan & Rodríguez Rodríguez, Amelia (2019). Arqueoentomología y arqueobotánica de los espacios de almacenamiento a largo plazo: el granero de Risco Pintado, Temisas (Gran Canaria). Trabajos de Prehistoria 76(1): 120-137.
  • Santana-Cabrera, Jonathan, Alamón-Núñez, Martha, Alberto-Barroso, Verónica & Delgado-Darias, Teresa (2019). Exploring the risks accompanying child-bearing in aboriginal society on Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, 13th–15th cal. CE): death of a pregnant woman during her third trimester. HOMO 70(1): 45-56.
  • Fregel, Rosa, Ordóñez, Alejandra C., Santana-Cabrera, Jonathan, Cabrera, Vicente M., Velasco-Vázquez, Javier, Alberto, Verónica, Moreno-Benítez, Marco A., Delgado-Darias, Teresa, Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Amelia, Hernández, Juan C., Pais, Jorge, González-Montelongo, Rafaela, Lorenzo-Salazar, José M., Flores, Carlos, Cruz-de-Mercadal, M. Carmen, Álvarez-Rodríguez, Nuria, Shapiro, Beth, Arnay, Matilde & Bustamante, Carlos D. (2019). Mitogenomes illuminate the origin and migration patterns of the indigenous people of the Canary Islands. PLOS ONE 14(3): e0209125.
  • Fregel R, Méndez FL, Bokbotb Y, Martin D, Camalich MD, Santana-Cabrera, J, Morales, J, Ávila, MC, Underhill, PA,, Shapiro, B, & Wojcik, G. et al. (2018). Ancient genomes from North Africa evidence prehistoric migrations to the Maghreb from both the Levant and Europe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(26): 6774-6779.
  • Velasco-Vázquez, J., Alberto-Barroso, V., Delgado-Darias, T. & Santana-Cabrera, J. (2017). Fatal Injuries in a pre-Hispanic Canary Mummy: Violence, Accident or Ritual Suicide? International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 27(3): 441.
  • Aranda Jiménez, Gonzalo, Lozano Medina, Águeda, Camalich Massieu, María Dolores, Martín Socas, Dimas, Rodríguez Santos, Francisco Javier, Trujillo Mederos, Aioze, Santana Cabrera, Jonathan, Nonza-Micaelli, Angelique & Clop García, Xavier (2017). La cronología radiocarbónica de las primeras manifestaciones megalíticas en el sureste de la Península Ibérica: las necrópolis de Las Churuletas, La Atalaya y Llano del Jautón (Purchena, Almería). = The radiocarbon chronology of the oldest megalithic monuments in southeastern Iberia: the necropolises of Las Churuletas, La Atalaya and Llano del Jautón (Purchena, Almería). Trabajos de Prehistoria 74(2): 257-277.
  • Lodeiros, C., Soria, G., Valentich-Scott, P., Munguía-Vega, A., Santana-Cabrera, J., Cudney-Bueno, R., Loor, A., Márquez, A. & Sonnenholzner, S. (2016). Spondylids of Eastern Pacific Ocean. Journal of Shellfish Research 35(2): 279.
  • Santana-Cabrera, J., Fregel, R., Lightfoot, E., Morales, J., Alamón, M., Guillén, J., Moreno, M. & Rodríguez, A. (2016). The early colonial atlantic world: New insights on the African Diaspora from isotopic and ancient DNA analyses of a multiethnic 15th–17th century burial population from the Canary Islands, Spain. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 159(2): 300-312.
  • Santana-Cabrera, J., Velasco-Vázquez, J., Rodríguez-Rodríguez, A., González-Marrero, M. C. & Delgado-Darias, T. (2016). The Paths of the European Conquest of the Atlantic: Osteological Evidence of Warfare and Violence in Gran Canaria (XV Century). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 26(5): 767.
  • Abella, J., Ruiz-Sánchez, F., Valenciano, A., Hontecillas, D., Pérez-Ramos, A., Vera, D., Santana-Cabrera, J., Cornejo, M. H., Montoya, P. & Morales, J. (2016). When Cotton Rats Grasp Like Pandas. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 23(3): 309.
  • Santana-Cabrera, J., Velasco-Vázquez, J. & Rodríguez-Rodríguez, A. (2015). Entheseal changes and sexual division of labor in a North-African population: The case of the pre-Hispanic period of the Gran Canaria Island (11th–15th c. CE). HOMO - Journal of Comparative Human Biology 66(2): 118.
  • Santana-Cabrera, J., Velasco, J., Balbo, A., Iriarte, E., Zapata, L., Teira, L., Nicolle, C., Braemer, F. & Ibáñez, J.J. (2015). Interpreting a ritual funerary area at the Early Neolithic site of Tell Qarassa North (South Syria, late 9th millennium BC). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 37: 112.
  • Ibáñez-Estévez, J., Iriarte, E., Muñiz-Álvarez, J., Monik, M., Santana-Cabrera, J., Teira, L., Corrada, M., Lagüera, M., Lendakova, Z., Regalado, E. & Rosillo, R. (2015). Kharaysin: A PPNA and PPNB Site by the Zarqa River 2014 and 2015 Field Seasons. Neo-Lithics 15(2): 10-19.
  • Alberto Barroso, V., Delgado Darías, T., Velasco Vázquez, J. & Santana Cabrera, J. (2013). In the ambiguity of your skin. About mummies and tombs. Tabona: Revista de prehistoria y de arqueología 20: 33-60.
  • Santana-Cabrera, J., Velasco, J., Ibáñez, J. & Braemer, F. (2012). Crania with mutilated facial skeletons: A new ritual treatment in an early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B cranial cache at Tell Qarassa North (South Syria). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 149(2): 205.