The artisan of La Canal dels Avellaners (Bronze Age, Barcelona): Analysis of fingerprints

Virginia Míguez, Pere Ibáñez-Gimeno, Josep Carreras, Josep Liria, Assumpció Malgosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016, CSIC Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas. All rights reserved. Several studies have reported sex and age differences in epidermal ridge breadth in human fingerprints and analyzed its variability in different populations. In recent years, some investigations have explored the forensic application of this feature for inferring information from fingerprints found at a crime scene or on ancient ceramic artifacts. The objective of this study is to determine the sex and approximate age of the owner of the fingerprints found in a ceramic fragment from La Canal dels Avellaners Berga, Catalonia. The ancient fingerprints were compared with a sample from the Spanish contemporary population, including individuals from 6 to 58 years of age. The results indicate that the owner of these fingerprints was an adult male. This research shows that the study of ancient fingerprints can provide important information about the person who left them and it has a great potential to determine the social background of ceramicsmaking in ancient cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-159
JournalTrabajos de Prehistoria
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Age differences
  • Ancient fingerprints
  • Epidermal ridge breadth
  • Fingerprints
  • Forensic archaeology
  • Prehistoric ceramics
  • Sexual differences

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