University of Iowa Anthropology Professor Katina Lillios receives NEH Fellowship for new book

The book, to be published in 2019, will be the only up-to-date synthesis in English of the prehistoric heritage of Iberia
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Katina Lillios (center) and students at excavation in Bolores, Portugal
Katina Lillios (center), UI students, and colleagues at excavation
in Bolores, Portugal

Since the mid-1970s, when isolationist dictatorships ended in Spain and Portugal, the Iberian Peninsula has seen a flood of archaeological projects that have changed the ways that scholars and the public understand the cultural mosaic of the region's prehistory.

Until now, no one has tied together in one English-language book all of the threads of knowledge that this boom has created, including extensive evidence of Neanderthal/human interaction and new understanding of the artistic expression, extensive travel and trade, and religious and mythological beliefs of the Peninsula's ancient inhabitants. 

That dearth of integrated scholarship on the subject is about to change, thanks to a $50,400 Fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities received by Katina Lillios, Professor of Anthropology in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Lillios will use the grant to conduct research for a new book, Archaeology of the Iberian Peninsula: From the Paleolithic through the Bronze Age, under contract with Cambridge University Press for completion in 2018.

The book will document the rich and diverse histories of the peoples who lived on the Peninsula between one million and 3,000 years ago (the Bronze Age), through their art, burials, tools, and monuments. It will explore their cultural patterns—such as social life, art, religious practices, and economies—as well as the histories of key sites.

Lillios, who joined the UI faculty in 2003, is recognized internationally as a leading expert on the topic. She has conducted research and archaeological fieldwork in Portugal and Spain for over 30 years, and has taught a long-running class titled "Archaeology of the Iberian Peninsula" in the UI Department of Anthropology. She has published widely, including five books and numerous articles and book chapters; directed excavations; and conducted collaborative projects involving fieldwork, museum studies, and experimental archaeology.

About the NEH

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

Story by Nic Arp

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.