Luiza Osorio G. Silva

Picture of Luiza Osorio G. Silva
Assistant Professor of Art History, Archeology, and Visual Studies, Art History
School of Humanities
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2023, Egyptian Archaeology
M.A., University of Chicago, 2020, Egyptian Archaeology
B.A., Brown University, 2018, Archaeology and the Ancient World & Egyptology
University of California, Irvine
3000 Humanities Gateway
Mail Code: 2785
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Ancient Egyptian material culture; materiality; kingship and its visibility in different periods; the intersection of space and power; the contexts and audiences for art and architecture; the writing of historical narratives
Research Abstract
My current main research interests include ancient Egyptian kingship and monumentality, specifically the non-royal experience of kingship in the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2030-1650 BCE). By examining evidence from settlement sites in Egypt, royal monuments and festivals, and funerary practice, I propose that Egyptian kingship (at least in that period) was not omnipresent, as is often argued in scholarship, but rather multifaceted and experienced differently by different Egyptians. My upcoming book project will discuss Middle Kingdom kingship from a bottom-up perspective, in an approach that has the potential to further inform how power in the ancient world more broadly was negotiated and manifested. Critically, this work does not only help us to better understand Egyptian kingship itself, but also non-royal ancient Egyptians.

I am currently the Assistant Director of the Mastaba of Akhmerutnisut Documentation Project (Giza, Egypt) and an archaeologist for the Memphis-Kom el-Fakhry Archaeological Project (Memphis, Egypt) and the Petra Terraces Archaeological Project (Petra, Jordan). I am also a member of the team working on the development of Kiosk, an open-source integrated iPad recording platform and browser-based data for field archaeology (

Lastly, as a Brazilian Egyptologist I am committed to further developing Egyptological studies in Brazil and Portugal, as well as making the ancient world more accessible to diverse audiences. To that end, I currently co-host a podcast with two colleagues about ancient Egypt in Portuguese, titled "Três egiptólogues entram num bar" (
2023 D. Plekhov, C. Nicosia, L. Osorio G. Silva, S. Newman, and F. Rojas. “Umm Huwaiwitat: A Neolithic site near Petra, Jordan.” Antiquity 97, no. 394: 850–68.
2023 L. Osorio G. Silva. “Out of Ruins: Contextualizing an Ancient Egyptian Spectacle of Architectural Reuse.” Cambridge Archaeological Journal 33, no. 3: 521–36.
2022 L. Osorio G. Silva. “The Fragrance of the Lord: Ritual at Abydos in the First Dynasty.” In In the House of Heqanakht: Text and Context in Ancient Egypt, Studies in Honor of James P. Allen, edited by M. V. Almansa-Villatoro, S. Stubnova Nigrelli, and M. Lehner, 501–514. Leiden: Brill.
2020 L. Osorio G. Silva. “The Myth of the Mundane: The Symbolism of Mud Brick and its Architectural Implications.” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 56: 181–97.
2018 P. VanValkenburgh, L. O.G. Silva, C. Repetti-Ludlow, J. Gardner, J. Crook, B. Ballsun-Stanton. “Mobilization as Mediation: Implementing a Tablet-Based Recording System for Ceramic Classification.” Advances in Archaeological Practice 6, no. 4: 342–56.
2016 L. Osorio G. da Silva. “The Price of Gold and Loyalty: Parallels and Disparities in the Roles of Royal Women of the Late Bronze Age.” In SEMNA – Estudos de Egiptologia III, edited by A. Brancaglion Junior and C. A. Gama-Rolland, 70–86. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Klíne.
Graduate Programs
Visual Studies
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