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Institute of Archaeology

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Yaxiong Liu

Iron and the Rise of the Qin Empire: An Exploration of the Iron Industry and its Social Impact during the Warring States Period

 

Email: Yaxiong.liu.16@ucl.ac.uk
Section: Archaeological Sciences

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Iron and the Rise of the Qin Empire: An Exploration of the Iron Industry and its Social Impact during the Warring States Period

Cast iron production, as a unique method of producing iron developed in early China two millennia before its Western counterpart, is highly sophisticated and both labour and capital intensive. This technology met the needs for large scale production and is thought to have greatly accelerated social development.

A preliminary research had yield evidence showing that the iron industry in Qin was majorly based on the cast iron production, and there are also certain historical materials showing the state intervention in the iron industry as direct and in-direct results from government policies.

This research aims to give a full disclosure of the iron industry in the State of Qin by scientifically analysing relevant archaeological remains such as iron artefacts and slags. While using the analytical data to reconstruct the engineering parameters of iron production, this research also expects to explore the organisation of production which is also an important factor in the iron industry. By comparing the data with the non-Qin area, it is also expected to see whether there are differences in technique or in the way they organised production. The relationship between the iron industry and the social context in which it was embedded will therefore be explored in more depth.

Funding

China Scholarship Council (CSC)

Education

    • BA, Packaging Engineering, Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, 2009
    • MSC, History of Science and Technology, University of Science and Technology Beijing, 2013
    Conference papers

    Scientific analysis of bronze mirrors newly unearthed from Qin tombs of Lintong, Shaanxi Province, Cultural Relics of Central China, 2015.4

    A preliminary study for the origin of slag inclusions in puddle steel products unearthed form Xinfeng Cemetery, The 4th Forum on History of Technology in China, 2015.9, Beijing.

    A scientific study of iron objects unearthed from Xinfeng Cemetery in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, The 2nd Cultural Heritage Conservation Forum for Graduate Students, 2015.10, Korea.