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Filipa Cortesão Silva

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Ciência Vitae profile

Research Interests
Roman funerary practices
Roman Hispania
Bone taphonomy

Filipa Cortesão Silva has completed a PhD in Anthropology, specialization in Physical Anthropology from the University of Coimbra in 2019. This was preceded by a master’s degree in Human Evolution and a degree in Anthropology from the same institution. Over the last few years, has done research on the bioarchaeology of cremation in the Roman province of Lusitania. It was focused on the analysis of human bones from urban necropolis associated with Augusta Emerita (Mérida, Spain) and Salacia (Alcácer do Sal, Portugal). This was the first PhD thesis ever done on this subject in the Iberia Peninsula. Furthermore, has studied samples from Roman necropolis from Tarraconensis province.

Academic activities include 24 presentations in 5 national and 19 international conferences as well as co-organization 9 national and 2 internationals scientific meetings. Has also been peer reviewer in journals such as the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Bioarchaeology International, Antropologia Portuguesa and Journal Quaternary Studies.

Currently, she works as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Seville. She also develops several international collaborations in studies regarding ancient DNA, paleoparasitology and isotopes (strontium) belonging to Roman individuals. She is also a research project coordinator of an R&D&I excellence project entitled: Funus astigitanorum: análisis bioarqueológico de las prácticas funerarias de época romana y tardoantigua en Écija, Sevilla (siglos I a.C. – VIII d.C.). Ref. ProyExcel_00713.


Workshop: Introducción al análisis antropológico de las cremaciones de época romana. Universidad de Sevilla, Spain. 24-25 november 2021 (10 hours).

La vida impresa en los huesos: señales de enfermedades en época romana a través de la evidencia osteoarqueológica. “SALVS PVBLICA: Gestión sanitaria y la protección de la salud en el mundo romano”, XVI Semana Romana de Cascante, Navarra, Spain. 18 june 2021.

Abordagem bioarqueológica ao ritual da cremação em época romana. Disciplina: Arqueologia do Mundo provincial Romano. University of Lisbon, Portugal. 30 november 2020.

Bioarqueologia do ritual funerário da cremação no Ocidente romano. Semana da Ciência e Tecnologia 2019. University of Lisbon, Portugal. 29 november 2019.

O rito da cremação na província Lusitânia: os casos de Augusta Emerita (Mérida) e de Salacia (Alcácer do Sal). Ciclo de Conferências em Biologia e Bioquímica Humanas. University of Évora, Portugal. 02 may 2019.

Descifrando el rito de la cremación en época romana: aportaciones desde el análisis antropológico. Proyecto de Cultura Científica “Arqueología somos todos”. University of Córdoba, Spain. 18 may 2018.

Main Publications

Silva, F.C. (2021). Crematio na Lusitania: o contributo dos estudos bioantropológicos. In: Ruiz Osuna, A. (Coord.) Morir en Hispania. Topografía, rituales y prácticas mágicas en ámbito funerario. SPAL Monografías Arqueología, XXXVII. Editorial Universidad de Sevilla: 199-216. ISBN: 978-84-472-3055-6.

Silva, F.C.; Márquez Pérez, J. (2020). Ankle lesions and shortening of the forearm on a female from the Roman city of Augusta Emerita (Mérida, Spain): consequences of an accidental traumatic episode during growth? Munibe Antropologia-Arkeologia, 71: 129-136.   https://doi.org/10.21630/maa.2020.71.12.

Silva, F.C.; Santos, A.L. (2020). As cremações romanas na perspetiva da Antropologia. In: Lima, A.M. (Coord.) Tongobriga: coletânea de estudos comemorativos de 40 anos de investigação. Coleção Património a Norte, nº6. Porto, Direção Regional de Cultura do Norte – Ministério da Cultura: 99-119. ISBN: 978-989-54871-0-3.

Silva, F.C. (2018/2019) [Edited in 2020]. Una mirada bioantropológica sobre el funus acerbum: el caso de Augusta Emerita en época altoimperial. Anas, 31-32: 183-201.

Silva, F.C. (2016). Para além da vida. In: Lima, A. M. (Coord.) Mudar de Vida. Tongobriga. Exposição Permanente. Porto, Direção Regional de Cultura do Norte: 137-140. ISBN: 978-989-20-6864-0.

Silva, F.C. (2015). The funerary practice of cremation at Augusta Emerita (Mérida, Spain) during High Empire: contributions from the anthropological analysis of burned human bone. In: Thompson, T. (Ed.) The Archaeology of cremation: burned human remains in funerary studies. Series Studies in Funerary Archaeology, vol. 8. Chapter 6, Oxford, Oxbow: 123-150. ISBN: 978-1-78297-848-0.

Silva, F.C.; Márquez Pérez, J.; Rosa, J.; Santos, A.L. (2014). Health care and survival of a child with cranial trauma at Augusta Emerita (Spain). In: Michaelides, D. (Ed.) Medicine and Healing in the Ancient Mediterranean World. Oxford, Oxbow: 218-222. ISBN: 978-1-78297-235-8.

Silva; F.C.; Santos, A.L. (2009-2010) [Edited in 2012]. Análise antropológica dos restos ósseos cremados da necrópole romana de Monteiras (Bustelo). Cadernos do Museu, 12/13: 223-245.

Silva, F.C.; Cunha, E.; Gonçalves, V. (2007-2008). Sinais de fogo: análise antropológica de restos ósseos cremados do Neolítico final/Calcolítico do tholos OP2b (Olival da Pega, Reguengos de Monsaraz). Antropologia Portuguesa, 24-25: 109-140.

Research Projects

“Análisis paleoparasitológico en Augusta Emerita (Mérida). Siglos I-VII d.C.” financed by Fundación Palarq (2022-2023). Host Institution (HI): University of Seville. Type of participation: Co-PI.

“LUMIERE – Landscape Use and Mobility In EuRopE: Bridging the gap between cremation and inhumation”. Funded body: H2020-EU.1.1. Excellent Science. European Research Council (ERC). Starting Grants (2020) (Grant agreement ID: 948913). Principal Investigator (PI): Christophe Snoeck. Host Institution (HI): Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Type of participation: Collaboration.

Creative Output

Bioarchaeology of cremation in the Roman province of Lusitania; anthropological analysis of cremated bone.