Institute of Archaeology


Yixian Lin - Honorary Research Associate

Yixian Lin

Yixian Lin is completing a postdoctoral research project on the earliest pigments (Chinese Blue and Purple) and mixed-alkaline glassy faience found at many archaeological sites in northwestern China. 

The starting point of her research was the Majiayuan Cemetery in Gansu, where tens of thousands of vitreous objects have been excavated since 2006.  A large number of similar beads from other sites, ranging from northwestern to southwestern China and dating from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, have been identified. 

In recent years she has conducted a study of the chemical compositions and microstructures of these samples, which indicate that the origins of the Chinese vitreous materials industry may include two discrete productions of pigments.

She received her PhD from the Institute of Historical Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Science and Technology in Beijing and wrote her dissertation on chemical analyses of glasses from the Niya oasis.

Research Interests

  • Archaeological materials and technologies, especially in early glass, glaze and vitreous materials found in northwest areas of China.

Selected recent publications

  • 2009 Yixian LIN, Hui WANG, Xiaolin CHENG Foreign or Indigenous? A Preliminary Examination of a Warring States Vessel with So-Called 'Glass Paste' Decoration of Majiayuan Cemetery. Archaeology and Cultural Relics: TBD.
  • 2009 Yixian LIN A Bactrian Rhyton in Niya Site? Contribution of Chemical Analysis. Cultural Relics: TBD.
  • 2009 Yixian LIN, Wei QIAN, Tienan ZHANG, Jianfeng CUI Glass on the Silk Road - A Study of Finds in Niya Oasis. The Western Regions Studies: TBD.
  • 2007 Yixian LIN, Wei QIAN, Tienan ZHANG, Jianfeng CUI A Preliminary Study on Niya Glass Artefacts. In. Niya Site: Archaeological Studies Number 3, Research Report into an Ancient Town in Xinjiang, China. Tokyo, Japan: the Japanese-Chinese Joint Research of the Niya Site. pp. 101-145.
  • Yixian LIN Chemical Analysis of Some Niya Glasses. Paper presented at the conference 'Glass along the Silk Road 200 BC - 1000 AD', Mainz, Germany. Dec. 8-14, 2008.
  • Yixian LIN, Wei QIAN How Technical is Your Small Glass Sample? Paper presented at the Fourth International Conference of the Society for East Asian Archaeology, Beijing, China. June 3-5, 2008.