Oscar Moro Abadia


Associate Professor
Undergraduate Coordinator


Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto, 2006-2007
Ph.D. Universidad de Cantabria, Spain, 2006
M.A. (DEA) Universidad de Cantabria, Spain, 2000
B.A. (Licenciatura) Universidad de Cantabria, Spain, 1998


Email: omoro@mun.ca
Office: QC 4019

Research Interests

My research and publications focus on several interrelated areas: Paleolithic archaeology, art history, the history and philosophy of science, hunter-gatherer studies and the history of archaeology.

My primary research interest lies in the study of prehistoric and indigenous arts, with special attention to the history and epistemology of prehistoric images. In this work, I have engaged with some of the primary categories and concepts (such as “style” “naturalism”, “figurative art”) used by Western art historians and anthropologists to classify prehistoric images. I have published nearly forty articles in this area, including in World Art, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Journal of Anthropological Research, Journal of Art Historiography, Journal of Social Archaeology and Journal of Archaeological Research.

Current Research Projects
  • Rock images and ontology: With Martin Porr (University of Western Australia), I am editing Ontologies of Rock Art: Images, Relational Approaches and Indigenous knowledge (Routledge, Under Contract). This volume examines the impact of ontological approaches and indigenous knowledge for the interpretation of rock images.

  • Prehistoric and Indigenous arts: I am preparing a SSHRC Insight Development Grant to examine rock art from the Eastern Algonquian speaking peoples of the Canadian Maritimes (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and those parts of Québec on the Gulf of St. Lawrence) for the January 2020 competition.
  • Art in the making: With Manuel R. González Morales (Universidad de Cantabria), I am editing a special issue of the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory devoted to recent developments in the study of prehistoric images (expected January 2020).

  • Globalization and Paleolithic art: I am developing a project on globalization in the contemporary study of prehistoric art. Relatedly, I am a member of the BALKARTS project that, under the direction of Aitor Ruíz Redondo (University of Southampton), has recently documented a number of new caves sites in the Balkans regions.

  • Prehistoric art and Art History: I am preparing a paper for the catalogue of the Préhistoire: Une Énigme Moderne exposition that will be held at the Centre Pompidou (Paris) from May 8 - September 16, 2019.
Courses Taught
Graduate courses

ARCH 6409: History of Science and Archaeology
ARCH 6700: Interpretative Methods in Archaeology

Undergraduate courses

ARCH 1030: Introduction to Archaeology and Bioarchaeology
ARCH 2480: Principles of Archaeology
ARCH 3020: What is human?
ARCH 3500: Prehistory of the Old World
ARCH 4194: Pleistocene Art: A Worldview Perspective
ARCH 4182: History of Archaeology

Courses in progress

I am currently developing: (A) Indigenous Art: A Global Perspective, and (B) An Introduction to North American Indigenous Arts. Additionally, I am also developing an online version of ARCH 2480.

Student supervision
Ph.D Dissertations

Chase, Amy (in progress). Research topic: Neandertal Art and Symbolism: A Reappraisal of Archaeological Evidence in Western European Paleolithic Art Sites.
Tapper, Bryn (in progress). Research topic: Rock art landscapes of the Canadian Maritimes (co-supervised with Dr. Michael Deal).
Vallejos, Susana Arenas (in progress). Research topic: In Search of Symmetry: Ships, Heritage and the Interpretation of Complex Things (Co-supervised with Dr. Catherine Losier).
Palacio Pérez, Eduardo (2016). Construction and transformation of the concept of ‘Paleolithic art’: The theoretical foundations of an idea. (Completed at Universidad de Cantabria)

M.A. Theses

Osmond, Jazpyn (in progress). Research topic: tbd. (co-supervised with Dr. Mario Blaser).
Chase, Amy (2017): Research topic: On the Origins of Art and Symbolism: The Case of Neanderthal ‘Art’ in Northern Spain.
Riley, Dustin (2017): Research topic: The caves of Cantabria: non-figurative representation in Northern Spain.

B.A. Honours essays

Piskor, Ashley (2013). Personal ornamentation in Neanderthal contexts.
D’Agostino, Katherine (2012). Community archaeology as public archaeology: A critical approach.

Refereed Publications

Under contract: Ontologies of Rock Art: Images, Relational Approaches and Indigenous knowledge (first editor, with Martin Porr, expected 2020). Routledge: London.

Roldán, C.; Moro Abadía, O. (eds.) 2009. Aproximaciones a la contingencia. Historia y actualidad de una idea. Madrid: Los libros de la Catarata.

Moro Abadía, O. 2007. Arqueología Prehistórica e Historia de la ciencia: Hacia una historia crítica de la arqueología. Barcelona: Bellaterra.

Moro Abadía, O. 2006. La perspectiva genealógica de la historia. Santander: Universidad de Cantabria.

Edited Journals

(Forthcoming 2020): Art in the making: Recent developments in the study of prehistoric images, co-edited with Manuel R. González Morales (first editor), Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.

Moro Abadía, O.; Huth, C. (eds). 2013. Speaking Materials. Sources for the History of Archaeology, Complutum, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Vol. 24 No. 2.

Articles & Book Chapters

Ruiz-Redondo, A.; Komšo, D.; Garate Maidagán, D.; Moro Abadía, O.; González Morales, M. R., Aubert, J.; Karavanić, I. 2019. Expanding the horizons of Paleolithic Rock Art: The Site of Romualdova Pećina (Croatia), Antiquity (in press)

Moro Abadía, O. 2019. L’idée de ‘progrès’ en archéologie: Réflexions du point de vue de l’épistémologie et l’histoire des sciences. Spriggs, M. ; Dotte, E. (eds) Pour une histoire de la préhistoire océanienne : Approches historiographiques et épistémologiques de l’archéologie dans le Pacifique. Cahiers du CREDO. Pacific CREDO publications: Marseille.

Tapper, B.; Moro Abadía, O. 2019. Interpreting scenes in the rock art of the Canadian Maritimes, in I. Davidson, A. Nowell (eds.), Making Scenes: Global Perspectives on Scenes in Rock Art. Berghahn Books, New York.

Moro Abadía, O. 2017. Bridging the gap in archaeological theory: An alternative account of scientific ‘progress’ in archaeology. World Archaeology, 49 (2): 271-280.

Moro Abadía, O.; Palacio- Pérez, E. 2015. Rethinking the Structural Analysis of Paleolithic Art: New Perspectives on Leroi-Gourhan’s structuralism. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 25: 657- 672.

Moro Abadía, O.; Nowell, A. 2015. Paleolithic Personal Ornaments: Historical Development and Epistemological Challenges. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 22: 952-979.

Moro Abadía, O. 2015. The Reception of Paleolithic Art at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: Between Archaeology and Art History. Journal of Art Historiography, 12, 23 pages.

Moro Abadía, O.; Palacio- Pérez, E. 2015. Le symbole face à l’évolution: Leroi-Gourhan et l’art Paléolithique, en P. Soulier (ed.) André Leroi-Gourhan “L’homme, tout simplement”, pp. 145-158. Travaux de la MAE René-Ginouvés, 20: 145-158.

Moro Abadía, O. 2013. Thinking about the concept of archive: Reflections on the historiography of Altamira, in Moro Abadía, O.; Huth, C. (eds). 2013. Speaking materials. Sources for the History of Archaeology, Complutum 24 (2): 145-152.

Moro Abadía, O. 2013. Rock art stories: Standard narratives and their alternatives. Rock Art Research 30 (1): 1-33.

Moro Abadía, O. ; González Morales, M. R. 2013. Paleolithic art : A cultural history. Journal of Archaeological Research 21 : 269-306.

Moro Abadía, O. 2013. The History of Archaeology as a Field: From Marginality to Recognition, in: Chrisomalis, S.; Costopoulos, A. Human Expeditions: Inspired by Bruce Trigger. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 90-101.

Moro Abadía, O. 2012. La nueva historia de la arqueología. Un balance crítico (The New History of Archaeology : A Critical Appraisal) Complutum, 2012, Vol. 23 (2): 177-190.

Moro Abadía, O.; González Morales, M. R. ; Palacio Pérez, E. 2012. ‘Naturalim’ and the Interpretation of Cave Art. World Art 2 (2) : 219-240.

Moro Abadía, O. ; González Morales, M. R. 2012. Understanding Pleistocene Art : An Hermeneutics of Meaning, in : McDonald, J. ; Veth, P. (editors). A Companion to Rock Art. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp. 263-275.

Moro Abadía, O. 2011. Hermeneutical contributions to the history of science: Gadamer on ‘Presentism’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2): 372-380.

Moro Abadía, O.; González Morales, M.R. 2011. Les origines de l’art et les théories sur l’évolution humaine: le cas français, L’Anthropologie 115: 343- 359.

Moro Abadía, O.; Pelayo, F. 2010. Reflections on the concept of ‘precursor’: Juan de Vilanova and the discovery of the Altamira, History of the Human Sciences 23 (4): 1- 20.

Moro Abadía, O. 2010. Beyond externalism. Exploring new directions in the history of archaeology, Archaeological Dialogues 17 (2): 215-236.

Moro Abadía, O. 2010. Connecting Historiographical Tradition. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41: 105-108.

Moro Abadía, O.; González Morales, M. R. 2010. Redefining Neanderthals and Art: An Alternative Interpretation of the Multiple Species Model for the Origin of Behavioural Modernity, Oxford Journal of Archaeology 29 (3): 229- 243.

Non- Refereed Publications (Selection)

Moro Abadía, O. 2019. L’art dans les premiers discours de la Préhistoire. Catalogue de l’Exposition ‘Préhistoire. Une énigme Moderne. Centre Pompidou, Paris, 8 mai - 16 septembre 2019.

Moro Abadía, O. 2018. Les révolutions de l’art préhistorique, in Les Révolutions de l’archéologie. Jean-Paul Demoule, Dominique Garcia, Alain Schnapp (eds.), La Découverte. Paris, pp. 125- 130.

Presentations (2018-2017 Selection)

Moro Abadía, O.; González Morales, M. R. “Beyond images: New conceptualizations of prehistoric art.” Session XXVIII-3 organized at the XVIII° UISPP World Congress in Paris (June, 4-9, 2018), France, September 2006 (June 6, 2018).

Moro Abadía, O.; Beaune, S. A. de; Kaeser, M. “Epistemology, History and Philosophy of Science: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the History of Archaeology.” Session VII-4. organized at the XVIII° UISPP World Congress in Paris (June 4-9, 2018), France, September 2006. (June 7, 2018).

Moro Abadía, O. 2018. “Origines de l’archéologie préhistorique et institutionnalisation de la préhistoire en France et aux États-Unis”. International Conference « Préhistoire » Itinéraires d’un mot dans les champs du savoir organised by Sophie A. de Beaune and Rémi Labrusse, Musée d’Archéologie Nationale et Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris (France), May 22.

Moro Abadía, O. 2018. Beyond art and images. Recent conceptualisations of Palaeolithic symbolic materials. International Senckenberg Conference. Images, gestures, voices, lives. What can we learn from Palaeolithic art?. Tübingen (Germany), May 31.

Moro Abadía, O. 2018. Three paradigms for Paleolithic Art Research. Introduction to the session Beyond images: New conceptualization of prehistoric art. XVIII° UISPP World Congress in Paris, France, June 6.

Moro Abadía, O. 2018. Epistemology and the History of Archaeology. Paper presented at the session Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the History of Archaeology. XVIII° UISPP World Congress in Paris, France, June 7.



Department of Archaeology

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Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000