Fabio Parracho Silva

Dr Fabio Parracho Silva

  • Associate Professor & Deputy Head of Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Christchurch House C134, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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I am Deputy Head of Department - Archaeology & Anthropology at Bournemouth University and Managing Editor and co-founder of the Journal of Skyscape Archaeology. My research focuses on how societies perceive and conceive their world(s) and use that to time and adjust social, productive and magico-religious behaviours, especially in prehistory.


My research centres around the practices and beliefs that underpin the construction and use of late prehistoric monuments, with a special interest in questions surrounding their location, orientation and usage.

Structures such as Stonehenge in Wiltshire and Newgrange in Ireland are famous for having celestial alignments encoded into their architecture. There is much speculation surrounding their intent, purpose and meaning, with interpretations often blurring the lines between scholarship and fantasy. On this front, I am not so interested in identifying and collecting celestial alignments but in understanding how they can help us peek into the practices and ontologies of past societies, i.e. into how they conceived the world and acted in it. This takes careful, robust and reflexive approaches to the archaeological record – both qualitative and quantitative – which I am keen to not only explore but develop.

I welcome students and collaborators wishing to pursue research that touches upon any of the above, or related, topics.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person's work contributes towards the following SDGs:

Good health and well-being

"Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages"

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Sustainable cities and communities

"Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable"

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Life on land

"Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss"

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Journal Articles

  • Riris, P. et al., 2024. Frequent disturbances enhanced the resilience of past human populations. Nature, 629 (8013), 837-842.
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2024. Defining Skyscape. Culture and Cosmos, 26 (2), 3-14.
  • Ellingson, E. and Silva, F., 2024. The Major Lunar Standstill Season is Here! Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, 9 (2), 281-288.
  • Silva, F. et al., 2022. Developing Transdisciplinary Approaches to Sustainability Challenges: The Need to Model Socio-Environmental Systems in the Longue Durée. Sustainability (Switzerland), 14 (16).
  • Riris, P. and Silva, F., 2021. Resolution and the detection of cultural dispersals: development and application of spatiotemporal methods in Lowland South America. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 8 (1).
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2021. (Book Review) Chris Scarre and Luiz Oosterbeek, Megalithic Tombs in Western Iberia: Excavations at the Anta da Lajinha. Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, 7 (1), 161-166.
  • French, J.C., Riris, P., Fernandéz-López De Pablo, J., Lozano, S. and Silva, F., 2021. A manifesto for palaeodemography in the twenty-first century: Palaeodemography in the 21st Century. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 376 (1816).
  • Vander Linden, M. and Silva, F., 2021. Dispersals as demographic processes: Testing and describing the spread of the Neolithic in the Balkans: Dispersals as demographic processes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 376 (1816).
  • Silva, F., 2021. skyscapeR: Data Analysis and Visualisation for Skyscape Archaeology. Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, 7 (2), 325-326.
  • Silva, F., 2020. A probabilistic framework and significance test for the analysis of structural orientations in skyscape archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Science, 118.
  • Silva, F., 2020. Whither skyscape archaeology? Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, 6 (1), 108-113.
  • Henty, L. and Silva, F., 2020. Editorial. Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, 6 (2), 155-158.
  • Silva, F. and Henty, L., 2020. Editorial. Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, 6 (1), 1-4.
  • Ferna´ndez-Lo´pez de Pablo, J., Gutie´rrez-Roig, M., Go´mez-Puche, M., McLaughlin, R., Silva, F. and Lozano, S., 2019. Palaeodemographic modelling supports a population bottleneck during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Iberia. Nature Communications, 10 (1).
  • Murphy, C., Fuller, D.Q., Stevens, C., Gregory, T., Silva, F., Dal Martello, R., Song, J., Bodey, A.J. and Rau, C., 2019. Looking beyond the surface: Use of high resolution X-ray computed tomography on archaeobotanical remains. Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica, 10 (1), 7-18.
  • Silva, F. and Vander Linden, M., 2018. Erratum to: Amplitude of travelling front as inferred from 14C predicts levels of genetic admixture among European early farmers (Scientific Reports, (2017), 7, 1, (11985), 10.1038/s41598-017-12318-2). Scientific Reports, 8 (1).
  • Silva, F., Weisskopf, A., Castillo, C., Murphy, C., Kingwell-Banham, E., Qin, L. and Fuller, D.Q., 2018. A tale of two rice varieties: Modelling the prehistoric dispersals of japonica and proto-indica rices. Holocene, 28 (11), 1745-1758.
  • Parracho Silva, F. and Vander Linden, M., 2018. Comparing and Modeling the Spread of Early Farming across Europe. PAGES magazine, 26 (1), 28-29.
  • Figueiredo, A., Vilas-Estévez, B. and Silva, F., 2018. The Planning and Orientation of the Rego da Murta Dolmens (Alvaiázere, Portugal). Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 84, 207-224.
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2018. Before the Celts: Cosmology, Landscape and Folklore in Neolithic Northwest Iberia. Culture and Cosmos, 22 (1), 29-45.
  • Silva, F. and Vander Linden, M., 2017. Amplitude of travelling front as inferred from 14C predicts levels of genetic admixture among European early farmers. Scientific Reports, 7 (1).
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2017. Inferring Alignments I: Exploring the Accuracy and Precision of Two Statistical Approaches. Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, 3 (1), 93-111.
  • Stevens, C.J., Murphy, C., Roberts, R., Lucas, L., Silva, F. and Fuller, D.Q., 2016. Between China and South Asia: A Middle Asian corridor of crop dispersal and agricultural innovation in the Bronze Age. Holocene, 26 (10), 1541-1555.
  • Roberts, P., Boivin, N., Petraglia, M., Masser, P., Meece, S., Weisskopf, A., Silva, F., Korisettar, R. and Fuller, D.Q., 2016. Local diversity in settlement, demography and subsistence across the southern Indian Neolithic-Iron Age transition: site growth and abandonment at Sanganakallu-Kupgal. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 8 (3), 575-599.
  • Maeda, O., Lucas, L., Silva, F., Tanno, K.I. and Fuller, D.Q., 2016. Narrowing the harvest: Increasing sickle investment and the rise of domesticated cereal agriculture in the Fertile Crescent. Quaternary Science Reviews, 145, 226-237.
  • Jordan, P., Gibbs, K., Hommel, P., Piezonka, H., Silva, F. and Steele, J., 2016. Modelling the diffusion of pottery technologies across Afro-Eurasia: Emerging insights and future research. Antiquity, 90 (351), 590-603.
  • Brady, B., Gunzburg, D. and Silva, F., 2016. The orientation of cistercian churches in Wales: A cultural astronomy case study. Citeaux, 67 (3-4), 275-302.
  • Silva, F., Stevens, C.J., Weisskopf, A., Castillo, C., Qin, L., Bevan, A. and Fuller, D.Q., 2015. Modelling the geographical origin of rice cultivation in Asia using the rice archaeological database. PLoS ONE, 10 (9).
  • Silva, F., 2015. ‘Once upon a time…': When prehistoric archaeology and folklore converge. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 28 (2), 158-175.
  • Silva, F. and Steele, J., 2014. New methods for reconstructing geographical effects on dispersal rates and routes from large-scale radiocarbon databases. Journal of Archaeological Science, 52, 609-620.
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2014. A Tomb with a View: New Methods for Bridging the Gap between Land and Sky in Megalithic Archaeology. Advances in Archaeological Practice, 1 (2), 24-37.
  • Russell, T., Silva, F. and Steele, J., 2014. Modelling the spread of farming in the bantu-speaking regions of africa: An archaeology-based phylogeography. PLoS ONE, 9 (1).
  • Silva, F., Steele, J., Gibbs, K. and Jordan, P., 2014. Modeling spatial innovation diffusion from radiocarbon dates and regression residuals: The case of early old world pottery. Radiocarbon, 56 (2), 723-732.
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2012. Landscape and Astronomy in Megalithic Portugal: the Carregal do Sal Nucleus and Star Mountain Range. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, 22, 99-114.
  • Silva, F. and Steele, J., 2012. Modeling boundaries between converging fronts in prehistory. Advances in Complex Systems, 15 (1-2).
  • Silva, F. and Pimenta, F., 2012. The Crossover of the sun and the moon. Journal for the History of Astronomy, 43 (2), 191-208.
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2010. Cosmology and the Neolithic: A New Survey of Neolithic Dolmens in Central Portugal. Journal of Cosmology, 9, 2194-2206.
  • Silva, F.P. and Koyama, K., 2009. Self-accelerating universe in Galileon cosmology. Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology, 80 (12).
  • Koyama, K., Padilla, A. and Silva, F.P., 2009. Ghosts in asymmetric brane gravity and the decoupled stealth limit. Journal of High Energy Physics, 2009 (3).
  • Cardoso, A., Koyama, K., Seahra, S.S. and Silva, F.P., 2008. Cosmological perturbations in the DGP braneworld: Numeric solution. Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology, 77 (8).
  • Koyama, K. and Silva, F.P., 2007. Nonlinear interactions in a cosmological background in the Dvali-Gabadadze-Porrati braneworld. Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology, 75 (8).


  • From the Ground to the Sky: Ten Years of Skyscape Archaeology. Equinox.
  • Silva, F. and Henty, L., 2022. Solarizing the Moon: Essays in Honour of Lionel Sims. Archaeopress Archaeology.
  • Astronomy and Power How Worlds are Structured : Proceedings of the SEAC 2010 Conference. British Archaeological Reports.
  • Skyscapes The Role and Importance of the Sky in Archaeology. Oxbow Books.
  • SEAC 2011 Stars and Stones: Voyages in Archaeoastronomy and Cultural Astronomy. British Archaeological Reports.


  • Parracho Silva, F., 2023. Passage Mounds: Symbolism, Skyscape and Ritual Sodalities. In: Barnwell, P. and Darvill, T., eds. PLACES OF WORSHIP IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND: PREHISTORIC AND ROMAN. Shaun Tyas.
  • Parracho Silva, F. and Henty, L., 2022. Introduction: Lionel’s Legacy. Solarizing the Moon: Essays in Honour of Lionel Sims. Archaeopress Archaeology.
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2022. Skyscape Archaeology as Ontological Turn: Towards an Archaeoastronomy Rooted in Modern Archaeological Theory. Solarizing the Moon: Essays in Honour of Lionel Sims. Archaeopress Archaeology.
  • Parracho Silva, F., Pimenta, F. and Tirapicos, L., 2021. Symbolism and Archaeoastronomy in Prehistory. In: Gontier, N., Lock, A. and Sinha, C., eds. The Oxford Handbook of Human Symbolic Evolution. Oxford University Press.
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2020. On measurement, uncertainty and maximum likelihood in skyscape archaeology. In: Henty, L. and Brown, D., eds. Visualising Skyscapes Material Forms of Cultural Engagement With the Heavens. Routledge.
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2015. The Role and Importance of the Sky in Archaeology: An Introduction. In: Campion, N., ed. Skyscapes The Role and Importance of the Sky in Archaeology. Oxbow Books.
  • Silva, F. and Steele, J., 2015. Two-dimensional models of human dispersals: Tracking reaction-diffusion fronts on heterogeneous surfaces. Mathematics and Archaeology. 416-430.
  • Parracho Silva, F., 2015. The View from Within: a ‘Time-Space-Action’ Approach to Megalithism in Central Portugal. In: Campion, N., ed. Skyscapes: The Role and Importance of the Sky in Archaeology. Oxbow Books.

PhD Students

  • Anna Estaroth, (In progress)
  • Liz Henty, 2020. Is archaeoastronomy a discipline? A critical examination of its history, its relationship with archaeology and its place in the British academy, (Completed)
  • Tore Lomsdalen, 2023. Cosmology in the Maltese Prehistoric Temple Period, (Completed)
  • Ingrid O'Donnell. A multi-scalar examination of the potential cosmological significance in the Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments of Meirionnydd, mid-Wales, UK
  • Pamela Armstrong. A diachronic study of monumentality and cosmology in mid-Holocene, Southern England and Wales.


  • The Way of Stones: chronology and landscape of the standing stones of Meirionnydd (Society of Antiquaries of London, 01 Jun 2024). In Progress
  • Prehistoric Skyscapes: Astronomy, Landscape and Megalithism in western Iberia (National Geographic Society, 01 Jan 2012). Completed

External Responsibilities


  • Fifth Carlos Jaschek Award for outstanding contributions to archaeoastronomy and cultural astronomy (European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC), 2016)

Social Media Links

External Media and Press