UCL Qatar

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Prof Thilo Rehren

Thilo Rehren

Director - UCL Qatar
Tel: +974 4000 2640/ext.2642

As Director of UCL Qatar, Professor Thilo Rehren has played a crucial role in the creation and implementation of the campus, and now steers its academic and administrative team towards a long-term presence in Qatar defined by academic excellence. In addition to his role as Director of UCL Qatar, he maintains close links with the UCL Institute of Archaeology in London, where he continues to supervise PhD students and collaborate in research projects. He also contributes to teaching in UCL Qatar’s postgraduate degree programmes. 

Professor Rehren continues his own research across a wide range of regions, periods and materials, with a particular focus on the reconstruction of past processes for the production of metals and glass. In ancient glass, he has worked extensively on Late Bronze Age glass making in Egypt, including providing the first demonstrable proof of actual glass-making during this period. He has studied Hellenistic and Roman to Late Antique glass chemistry, and investigated the relationship between glass and glaze compositions in early Islamic Central Asia. In archaeometallurgy, he initially focused on the role that crucibles played in producing and manipulating metals and alloys. Further original research includes Islamic crucible steel production in Central Asia and its comparison to the early modern crucible steel production in India and Sri Lanka; South American silver production spanning some 2,000 years; Islamic gold production and ore refining in North Africa; medieval lead smelting and the role of lead in silver cupellation from the Early Bronze Age to the early Modern Period; Neolithic to Bronze Age copper smelting in the Balkans; the production of Roman and medieval brass and zinc; and the earliest industrial production of pure platinum for coinage in early 19th century Russia.

Professor Rehren holds a PhD in Volcanology from Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg. He has studied Greek and Latin and, prior to his PhD, studied earth sciences, specialising in economic geology. He spent ten years as curator of geological collections and research scientist at the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum in Bochum; during this time he obtained a higher doctorate in materials science/archaeometallurgy. In 1999 he commenced his position as chair in Archaeological Materials and Technologies at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, developing it into one of the leading centres for archaeological materials research. During this period, he also contributed to the Institute’s collaboration with the University of Science and Technology Beijing and with Peking University in Beijing, as Director of the International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology.

Selected Publications

Hassan, F.A., Tassie, G.J., Rehren, Th. and Wetering, J. von, 2015: On-going investigations at the Predynastic to Early Dynastic site of Kafr Hassan Dawood: copper, exchange and tephra. Archéo-Nil 25, 75-90.

Liu Siran, Rehren, Th., Pernicka, E. and Hausleiter, A. 2015: Copper processing in the oases of northwest Arabia: technology, alloys and provenance. Journal of Archaeological Science 53, 492-503.

Orfanou, V. and Rehren, Th. 2014: A (not so) dangerous method: pXRF vs. EPMA-WDS analyses of copper-based artefacts. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences online

Rehren, Th. and Freestone, I.C. 2015: Ancient glass: from kaleidoscope to crystal ball. Journal of Archaeological Science 56, 233-241.

Rehren, Th., Connolly, P., Schibille, N. and Schwarzer, H. 2015: Changes in glass consumption in Pergamon (Turkey) from Hellenistic to late Byzantine and Islamic times. Journal of Archaeological Science 55, 266-279.

Alipour, R. and Rehren, Th. 2014: Persian Pūlād Production: Chāhak Tradition. Journal of Islamic Archaeology 1, 237-267.

Gill, M., Rehren, Th. and Freestone, I. 2014: Tradition and indigeneity in Mughal architectural glazed tiles. Journal of Archaeological Science 49, 546-555.

Rehren, Th. 2014. Glass production and consumption between Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Aegean. In: P. Pfälzner, H. Niehr, E. Pernicka, S. Lange and T. Köster, eds, Contextualising Grave Inventories in the Ancient Near East (Qatna Studien Supplementa 3), Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 217-223.

Rehren, Th. and Nixon, S. 2014: Refining gold with glass – an early Islamic technology at Tadmekka, Mali. Journal of Archaeological Science 49, 33-41.

Rosenow, D. and Rehren, Th. 2014: Herding cats – Roman to Late Antique glass groups from Bubastis, northern Egypt. Journal of Archaeological Science 49, 170-184.

Radivojević, M., Rehren, Th., Kuzmanović-Cvetković, J., Jovanović, M. and Northover, J.P., 2013: Tainted ores and the rise of tin bronzes in Eurasia, c. 6500 years ago. Antiquity 87, 1030-1045.

Rehren, Th., Belgya, T., Jambon, A., Káli, G., Kasztovszky, Zs., Kis, Z., Kovács, I., Maróti, B., Martinón-Torres, M., Miniaci, G., Pigott, V., Radivojević, M., Rosta, L., Szentmiklósi, L. and Szőkefalvi-Nagy, Z. 2013: 5,000 years old Egyptian iron beads made from hammered meteoritic iron. Journal of Archaeological Science 40, 4785-4792.

Smirniou, M. and Rehren, Th. 2013: Shades of blue – cobalt-copper coloured blue glass from New Kingdom Egypt and the Mycenaean world: a matter of production or colourant source? Journal of Archaeological Science 40, 4731-4743.

Marii, F. and Rehren, Th., 2012: Levantine glass of Petra characteristics. In: D. Ignatiadou and A. Antonaras (eds), Annales du 18e Congrès de l’Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre, 277-283.

Rehren, Th., Boscher, L. and Pernicka, E. 2012: Large scale smelting of speiss and arsenical copper at Early Bronze Age Arisman, Iran. Journal of Archaeological Science 39, 1717-1727.

For more details, and copies of most papers, see https://ucl.academia.edu/ThiloRehren