Roberto Risch

Roberto Risch


Research Interests


OFFICE: B9-115


PHONE: 935 811 977

608668306 (int. 6902)

Archaeological Theory

La Bastida

Son Fornés

El Argar



Research Lines


  • Emergence and decline of new forms of political and economic domination during Later Prehistory.
  • The projection of historical questions arising from research on El Argar to a broader Bronze Age context, seeking to account for observable socioeconomic convergences and divergences in Europe and the Mediterranean. In particular:
      a) the environmental and social changes occurring ca. 2200 BCE and again ca. 1600-1500 BCE;
      b) the convergence and divergence of defensive architecture during the 3rd mllinium Mediterranean,
           and the possible transfer of poliorcetic technologies;
      c) the emergence of metallurgy and metal weapons as a source of political power;
      d) the social value of early gold and silver metallurgy;
      e) through aDNA studies, the relevance of population movements as well as integration in the
          profound changes of the 3rd and 2nd millennium BCE.
  • The development and testing of a combined interdisciplinary methodology for macrolithic tool analysis, as an essential tool towards a better understanding of prehistoric economies.
  • The advance of a general theory of political economy that accounts for the different strategies to produce and circulate economic surplus, as an indispensable element in the rise of social exploitation. 
  • The understanding of cooperative affluent societies as a distinctive economic and political form of organisation, which allows to overcome the ‘primitive affluence’ vs. ‘complex societies/states’ dichotomy in the explanation of the Later Prehistory trajectories.


Research Projects


-  Genealogías y redes de El Argar. Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad (MINECO, HAR2017-85962-P) 01/01/2017 – 01/01/2021

- Crafting Europe in the Bronze Age and Today (EACEA-Creative Europe, 595935-CREA-1-2018-1-ES-CULT-COOP3) 01/07/2018–31/12/2019

- The Rise of Militarised Warfare in Early Bronze Age Europe: Excavating the La Bastida Fortification, Spain. (National Geographic Society, HJ-157R-17) 01/03/2018-30/09/2018.

- Rekonstruktion populationsdynamischer Prozesse auf der iberischen Halbinsel zwischen Neolithikum und Frühbronzezeit mittels aDNA-Analysen (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), AL 287/14-1) 01/08/2011-31/07/2014.


Relevant Publications


-  Delgado-Raack S., Risch R., Martínez, F. & Rosas M. 2019, Material principles and economic relations underlying Neolithic axe circulation in Western Europe, J. of Archaeological Method & Theory (2019).

- Risch R. 2018, Affluent societies of Later Prehistory, in H. Meller, D. Gronenborn, R. Risch (eds.), Surplus without the State. Political forms in Prehistory. Tagungen des Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte Halle 18, Halle, 45-65.

- Meller, H., Hahn, H.P., Jung, R. & Risch, R. (eds.) 2016, Rich and Poor – Competing for Resources in Prehistoric Societies. Tagungen des Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte Halle 14, Halle (ISBN 978-3-944507-45-3)

- Risch R. & Meller H. 2015, Change and continuity in Europe and the Mediterranean around 1600 BC, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 81, 12-38.

- Lull, V.; Micó, R.; Rihuete-Herrada, C.; Risch, R. 2014, La Bastida fortification system: new light and new questions on the Early Bronze Age societies in the Western Mediterranean, Antiquity 88, 395-410.




2023 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona