Institute of Archaeology

Prof Ian Freestone

Prof Ian Freestone

Professor of Archaeological Materials and Technologies

Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square

Institute of Archaeology

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2011

Research summary

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 Projects and Networks

  • Composition, Corrosion and Origins of Medieval Window Glass
  • Early Glass Technology
  • Islamic Archaeology Network
  • The natron-based glass industries
  • Redox conditions in early glass making

Current collaborations

  • The process of recycling in the early glass industries
  • Roman glass from Carthage (collaborative project with Dr N Schibille, CNRS Orleans)
  • Roman and late Antique glass from Jerash, Jordan (collaborative project with Dr Rubina Raja, Aarhus University)
  • Medieval window glass (collaboration with York University and York Glaziers Trust)
  • Seljuq glass and glazed ceramics from Kubad Abad, Anatolia (collaborative project with Professor R Arik and Dr Z Yegingil)
  • Glass from the Sea (collaboration with Y Gorin-Rosen)

Teaching summary

Course Co-ordinator: ARCL0099 Archaeological Glass and Glazes


BSc, MSc, PhD, FSA
Professor of Archaeological Materials and Technology

  • Advisory Editor, Archaeometry
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Archaeological Science
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Glass Studies
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Cultural Heritage
  • Scientific Committee, Herom- Journal on Hellenistic and Roman Material Culture
  • Editorial Board, Leuven Studies in Archaeological Science (book series)
Other activities
  • Science and Engineering for Arts, Heritage and Engineering (SEAHA), EPSRC-funded doctoral training centre, Co-I and Management Board
  • Research Excellence Framework, REF2014, Member Sub-panel C17 (Geography, Environmental Science and Archaeology)
  • British School at Athens, Chair Fitch Laboratory Sub-Committee
  • HMS Victory Project Board member
  • Recipient Archaeological Institute of America Pomerance Medal for Archaeological Science
  • Scientific Committee European Meeting on Ancient Ceramics - EMAC 2015
  • Scientific Committee 20th Congress of l'Association Internationale pour l'Histoire du Verre 2015
  • Member Mineralogical Society; Society for Archaeological Sciences; Association for History of Glass; Historical Metallurgy Society; Society of Glass Technology
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries
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