Picture of Zach Silvia
Postdoctoral Research Associate (2023-2025)

Zach Silvia specializes in the material culture of pre-Islamic Central Asia and the Near East during the late Iron Age, Hellenistic, and post-Hellenistic periods. He explores cultural resilience and transformation among local rural populations within periods of colonial interaction. His fieldwork is based in the Bukhara Oasis of western Uzbekistan, where he excavates rural households and increasingly explores geophysical and remote sensing approaches to ancient settlement patterning. He takes an additional research interest in the formative period of the so-called “Silk Road” and long-distance connectivity across Mesopotamia, Arabia, Iran, India, and Central Asia. He also takes a strong interest in the archaeology of postcolonialism, household archaeology, ancient epistemologies, and the reception of the ancient Near East and Central Asia in western New Religious Movements.

Before coming to Brown University in 2023, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher in Spatial Archaeometry and Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College and an M.Sc. from the University of Edinburgh. He holds his B.A. from the University of Rhode Island. Outside of Central Asia, Zach has undertaken fieldwork in the U.A.E., Turkey, Mexico, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Rhode Island.