Óscar Ricardo Solís Torres

Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Archaeology

Main Focus

My research focuses on first settlers in tropical America and the impacts of human arrival and climate change on the demise of large mammals using Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS), stable isotope analyses, radiocarbon dating, and taphonomy (including cutmark analysis, site formation studies) to megafaunal remains from a series of submerged caves and sinkholes (cenotes) of the Yucatan Peninsula. More recently, as co-director of the excavations at the Loltún cave, his work has extended to much of the Holocene, applying this series of analyses to remains from different temporalities of the Maya period.

Curriculum Vitae

Óscar holds a PhD in Mesoamerican Studies from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. His PhD work is one of the first, anywhere in North and Central America, to try and gain direct insights into the environments and ecologies facing the earliest members of our species moving into this part of the world during the Pleistocene. Óscar received an international MPhil in Quaternary and Prehistory from the Universitat Roivirai Virgili, Tarragona, Spain. 

His fieldwork record stands out and includes participation in excavations ranging from major Upper Paleolithic sites in Spain and Germany through to multi-period sites in Mexico. Moreover, he has undertaken research stays and training in zooarchaeology at a world-leading group in Italy. He has participated in underwater explorations in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, and in national and international conferences. 

He is currently co-director of the Loltun Project, which involves the transdisciplinary study of this emblematic cave. After 40 years, the archaeological excavations at the site represent an important achievement in his interest in the study of human occupation from the arrival of our species on the Yucatán Peninsula to the periods of occupation by Maya groups from the pre-Classic period to the beginning of the 19th century. 


2024   Ebert, C. E., S. W. Hixon, G. M. Buckley, R. J. George, S. Pacheco-Forés, J. M. Palomo, A. E. Sharpe, O. R. Solís-Torres, J. B. Davis, D. J. Kennett, and R. Fernandes. The Caribbean and Mesoamerica Biogeochemical Isotope Overview (CAMBIO). Scientific Data 11:359. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-024-03167-6

2021  Solís-Torres, O.R., Acosta-Ochoa, G., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Flores Granados, F., Roberts, P., Pleistocene-Holocene human palaeoecology in southern Mexico: Stable isotopic evidence from the Santa Marta Cave, Chiapas, Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, (39): in press DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2021.103131.

2020  Solís-Torres, O.R., Acosta-Ochoa, G., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., & Flores Granados, F., Taphonomic Analysis of the Pleistocene–Holocene Transition Faunal Assemblage from Santa Marta Cave, Chiapas, PaleoAmerica 6(2):1-16 DOI: 10.1080/20555563.2020.1758603

2018  Solís-Torres O.R., Arroyo-Cabrales J., Granados Flores F. A taphonomic study of the fauna of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the Santa Marta rock-shelter, Chiapas. In C. Weitzel and N. Mazzia (ed.). Libro de Resúmenes: 9° Simposio Internacional El Hombre Temprano en América: la gente y sus lugares. Pp. 207-209.  

2017  Viñas-Vallverdú, R., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Rivera-González, I.I., Rodríguez-Alvarez, X.P., Rubio-Mora, A., Eudave-Eusebio, I.N., Solís-Torres, O.R. & Ardelean, C.F. 2017. Recent archaeo-palaeontological findings from Barranca del Muerto site, Santiago Chazumba, Oaxaca, México. Quaternary International 431B, 168-180.

2016  Viñás-Vallverdú R., Arroyo-Cabrales J., Rivera-González I., Pedro Rodriguez X., Rubio Mora A., Eudave-Eusebio I. & Solís-Torres O.R. Nuevos hallazgos para el conocimiento arqueo-paleontológico de Oaxaca: Barranca del Muerto, Santiago Chazumba (Mixteca Baja). In R. Ortiz Escamilla (ed.). Mitos y Simbolismos en la Cultura Mixteca. Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca, Huajuapan de León, México.   

Current projects

  • Uncovering human-megafauna interactions in the drowned caves of the Yucatan Peninsula Mexico
  • IsoMemo: A Big Isotopic Data Initiative
  • Co-director of the Loltun Cave Archaeological Project, Oxkutzcab, Yucatan.

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