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Ian Freestone
  • i.freestone@ucl.ac.uk
  • Direct: +44 (0)20 7679 7498
  • Internal: 27498
  • Room 210
  • UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK

Ian Freestone

  • BSc, MSc, PhD, FSA, FGS
  • Professor of Archaeological Materials and Technology
  • Manager: Wolfson Archaeological Science Laboratories
  • Course Co-ordinator: ARCL2045 Applications of Archaeological Science
  • Course Co-ordinator: ARCLG111 Archaeological Glass and Glazes
  • British School at Athens, Chairman Fitch Laboratory Sub-Committee, 2005 – present
  • Member International Institute for Conservation; Mineralogical Society; Society for Archaeological Sciences; Association for History of Glass; Historical Metallurgy Society
  • Editorial Board, Leuven Studies in Archaeological Science (book series), 2008–present
  • Advisory Editor, Archaeometry 1990-94; 2006-present
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Archaeological Science 1996-present
  • Editorial Board, FACTA, 2007 – present

Research Interests

I am interested in early materials and technologies, and the application of scientific methods to the investigation of artifacts and their interpretation. My main focus through the 1980s and early 1990s was on ceramic materials; more recently I have focused particularly on glass. I have also worked extensively on the by-products of early metallurgy.

Research Directory Records

Current projects

  • Medieval window glass (Leverhulme funded; collaboration with Cardiff University).
  • Composition, Technology and Origins of Roman glass from the Basinghall workshop, London (collaborative project involving a team from the Museum of London, Bristol and Cardiff Universities).
  • The redox state of early glass - synchrotron and Mossbauer approaches (collaboration with Torino and Tubingen Universities).
  • A market-driven innovation in the late Roman glass industry.
  • Oxygen isotopes by laser fluorination as a tool to investigate the origins of Roman glass (collaboration with RHUL).
  • John Dwight’s crucibles and the development of English porcelain technology (collaboration with Padova University).
  • Non-destructive analysis of copper alloy artefacts: effects of corrosion and conservation treatments on residual stress measurements by synchrotron techniques (collaboration with Cardiff University).
  • Small groups versus long routes.
  • Investigation of the trade in glass through the analysis of glass from wrecks (collaboration with Israel Antiquities Authority).
  • Technology and trade of prehistoric glass beads from Taiwan (collaboration with National Museum of Taiwan).
  • Further investigations of ecclesiastical window glass (A number of potential projects are under discussion with York Glaziers Trust).

Educational Background

  • PhD Earth Sciences (high temperature silicate phase equilibria at variable pO2), University of Leeds, 1978
  • MSc Geochemistry, University of Leeds, 1974
  • BSc Geology, Upper Second, University of Reading, 1972

An AHRC-funded PhD studentship, offered as a collaborative doctoral award between the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is available. The deadline for applications is 24 May 2013. Read more»

Current Students

  • Agnese Benzonelli Validation of Analytical Methods for Non-Invasive Characterization of Natural and Artificial Patinas (second supervisor Marcos Martinon-Torres)
  • Matt Phelps An investigation into technological change and organisational developments in glass production between the Byzantine and Islamic Periods (7-12th centuries) forcussing on evidence from northern Israel (second supervisor Mark Altaweel)
  • Jill Saunders The cultural specificy of conservation. Cleaning copper alloys: Approaches and implications (second supervisor Stavroula Golfmitsou)
  • Min Yin The earliest high-fired glazed ceramics in China: Scientific studies of the proto-porcelains from Zhejiang during the Shang and Zhou periods (c.1700-221 BC) (joint supervision with Thilo Rehren)

Secondary supervisor


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