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Cláudia Umbelino

Orcid profile

Ciência Vitae profile

Research Interests
Mesolithic and Neolithic of Iberia
mortuary analysis

Cláudia Umbelino is a biological anthropologist devoted to the study of past human populations through the analysis of human skeletal remains in a biocultural perspective, working occasionally in forensic contexts. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Life Sciences at the University de Coimbra and teaches various courses in the BA program in Anthropology, the Master program in Human Evolution and Biology, and the Master program in Forensic Anthropology.  She has performed numerous paleobiological analyses of human skeletal series with quite diverse chronologies, ranging from the Mesolithic to the Modern period. Her current research interests mainly concern the dietary reconstruction, paleopathology and the appraisal of mobility patterns of past human communities through stable isotope analysis, particularly from the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. Besides laboratorial work, she is also involved in archaeological fieldwork, being responsible for the area of Biological Anthropology on the archaeological excavations of: Cabeço da Amoreira, Muge shellmidden (late Mesolithic) and Cueva de la Dehesilla (Early Neolithic), Cádiz, Spain.


Paleoantropology (BA in Anthropology)

Introduction to Paleodiets and Mobility (Master in Human Evolution and Biology)

Biological Profile Evaluation (Master in Human Evolution and Biology and Master in Forensic Anthropology)

Fossil Record in Human Evolution (Master in Human Evolution and Biology)

Human Osteology (Master in Forensic Anthropology)

Main Publications

Roca-Rada, X.; Tereso, S.; Rohrlach, A. B.; Brito, A.; Williams, M. P.; Umbelino, C.; Curate, F.; Deveson, I. W.; Souilmi, Y.; Amorim, A.; Carvalho, P. C.; Llamas, B.; Teixeira, J. C. 2022. A 1000-year-old case of Klinefelter’s syndrome diagnosed by integrating morphology, osteology, and genetics. Clinical Picture. The Lancet, 400 (10353): 691-692. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(22)01476-3.

García-Rivero, D.; Taylor, R.; Umbelino, C.; Cubas, M.; Barrera Cruz, M.; Dias Rodriguez, M. J. 2021. Early Neolithic ritual funerary behaviours in the Westernmost regions of the Mediterranean: New insights from Dehesilla Cave (southern Iberian Peninsula). Documenta Praehistorica, 48: 2-31. DOI: 10.4312/dp.48.8.

Cuesta-Torralvo, E.; Pacheco, D.; Mártínez, L. M.; Romero, A. Umbelino, C.; Avià, Y.; Pérez-Pérez, A. 2021. Three-dimensional proxies to dental wear characterization in a know age-at-death skletetal collection. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 28: 1261-1275. DOI: 10.1007/s10816-020-09496-1.

García-Rivero, D.; Taylor, R.; Umbelino, C.; Price, T. D.; García-Viñas, E.; Bernáldez-Sánchez, E.; Pérez-Jordà, G.; Peña-Chocarro, L.; Barrera-Cruz, M.; Gibaja-Bao, J. F.; Díaz-Rodríguez, M. J.; Monteiro, P.; Vera-Rodríguez, J. C.; Pérez-González, J. 2020. The exceptional finding of Locus 2 at Dehesilla Cave and the Middle Neolithic ritual funerary practices of the Iberian Peninsula. PLoS ONE, 15(8): e0236961. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236961.

MacRoberts, R.; Dias, C.; Fernandes, T.; Santos, A. L.; Umbelino, C.; Gonçalves, A.; Santos, J.; Ribeiro, S.; Schöneh, B.; Barros, F.; Correia, F.; Vilar, H.; Maurer, A-F. 2020. Diet and mobility during the Christian conquest of Iberia: The multi-isotopic 2 investigation of a 12th-13th century military order in Évora, Portugal. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 30. Published online at February, 6th. DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102210.

Umbelino, C., Curate, F.; Perinha, A.; Ferreira, Teresa, Cunha, E.; Bicho, N. 2019. Cortical bone loss in a sample of human skeletons from the Muge Shell Middens. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11(2):455-467. DOI: 10.1007/s12520-016-0402-4.

García-Rivero, D.; Vera-Rodríguez, J.C.; Díaz-Rodríguez, M.; Barrera-Cruz, M.; Taylor, R.; Pérez-Aguilar, L.G.; Umbelino, C. 2018. La Cueva de la Dehesilla (Sierra de Cádiz): vuelta a un sitio clave para el Neolítico del sur de la península ibérica. MUNIBE Antropologia-Arkeologia, 69: 123-144. DOI: 10.21630/maa.2018.69.19.

Bicho, N.; Cascalheira, J.; Gonçalves, C.; Umbelino, C.; García Rivero, D.; André, L. 2017. Resilience, replacement and acculturation in the Mesolithic/Neolithic transition: the case of Muge, central Portugal. Quaternary International, 446: 31-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2016.09.049.

Saragoça, P.; Maurer, A-F.; Šoberl, L.; Lopes, M. C.; Alfenim, R.; Leandro, I.; Umbelino, C.; Fernandes, T.; Valente, M. J.; Ribeiro, S.; Santos, J. F.; Janeiro, A. I.; Dias, C. B. 2016. Stable isotope and multi-analytical investigation of Monte da Cegonha: a Late Antiquity population in southern Portugal. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 9: 728-742. DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.07.010.

Umbelino, C.; Gonçalves, C.; Figueiredo, O.; Pereira, T.; Cascalheira, J.; Marreiros; J.; Bicho, N. 2016. Human burials in the Mesolithic of Muge and the origins of social differentiation: the case of Cabeço da Amoreira, Portugal. In: Grünberg, J.; Gramsch, B.; Larsson, L.; Orschiedt, J.; Meller, H. Proceedings of the International Conference on Mesolithic burials – Rites, symbols and social organisation of early postglacial communities – Volume II. Chapter 41. Verlag Beier & Beran, pp. 683-692. ISBN 978-3-944507-43-9.

Umbelino, C.; Gonçalves, C.; Figueiredo, O.; Pereira, T.; Cascalheira, J.; Marreiros, J.; Évora, M.; Cunha, E.; Bicho, N. 2015. Life in the Muge shellmiddens: inferences from the new skeletons recovered from Cabeço da Amoreira. In: Bicho, N.; C. Detry; T. D. Price & E. Cunha (eds.), Proceedings of the Muge 150th: The 150th Anniversary of the Discovery of Mesolithic Shellmiddens – Volume 1. Chapter Sixteen. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 209- 224. ISBN (10): 1-4438-8007-8; ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-8007-7.

Bicho, N.; Umbelino, C.; Detry, C.; Pereira, T. 2010. The emergence of the Muge Mesolithic shell midden in Central Portugal and the 8200 cal yr BP cold event. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 5(1): 86-104. DOI: 10.1080/15564891003638184.

Research Projects

“Bioarcheology of the Late Mesolithic, the last HUnter-Gatherers of Europe”. Reference: 101090304 — MUGE — HORIZON-WIDERA-2022-TALENTS-02; Funding Institution: European” Research Area (ERA) fellowship, HORIZON-WIDERA-2022-TALENTS-02-01, European Commission; Postdoctoral Fellowship: Dany Coutinho Nogueira; Duration: May 2023 – April 2025; Total funding: 156 778.56 euros. Role: Supervisor.

“High-Resolution Chronology and Cultural Evolution in the South of the Iberian Peninsula (Circa 7000- 4000 Cal Bc): a Multiscalar Approach”. Reference: PGC2018-096943-A-C22; Funding Institution: Plan Estatal 2017-2020 Generación Conocimiento – Proyectos I+D+I; PI: Daniel García Rivero; Duration: 01.01.2019 – 31.12.2021; Role: Research team member.

“The Muge Shellmiddens Project: A new portal to the last hunter-gatherers the Tagus valley, Portugal”. Reference:  ALG-01-0145-FEDER-29680; Funding Institution: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia; PI: Célia Gonçalves; Duration: 01.07.2018 – 30.06.2021; Total funding: 239 860,71€; Role: Co-PI.

“At the turning of the tide: the last hunter-gatherers and the first farming communities and of Muge (Central Portugal)”. Funding Institution: EarthWatch Program, USA; PI: Nuno Bicho, Célia Gonçalves, João Cascalheira and Lino André; Duration: 01.08.2018 – 30.09.2021; Total funding: c. 50 000€ per year; Role: Research team member.

“TRANSCULTURAL – hisTory aRchaology and ANthropo-biogeochemistry of medieval populationS in Portugal during the 10th-14th cent. AD. CULTure identities and inter-cUltuRality decoded via a dietAry and mobiLity study”; Reference: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031599; Funding Institution: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia; PI: Anne-France Mauer; Duration: 15.10.2018 -14.10.2021; Total funding: 239 340,21€; Role: Research team member.