Professional Education

  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Archaeological Materials (2019)
  • BS, Northwestern University, Materials Science and Engineering (2009)

Stanford Advisors

2023-24 Courses

All Publications

  • A new FTIR method for estimating the firing temperature of ceramic bronze-casting moulds from early China. Scientific reports Yan, B., Liu, S., Chastain, M. L., Yang, S., Chen, J. 2021; 11 (1): 3316


    Intricate ceramic bronze-casting moulds are among the most significant archaeological remains found at Bronze Age metallurgical workshops in China. Firing temperature was presumably one of the most important technical factors in mould making. However, it has proven difficult to determine the firing temperatures of excavated moulds using existing analytical methods. This study establishes an innovative new method for using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to estimate the firing temperature of clay-containing remains. The method is based on the finding that the infrared absorptivity of fired clay minerals, measured at the Si-O-Si stretching resonance band, is negatively correlated with firing temperature. Moulds and mould cores dating to the Early Shang period (sixteenth to fourteenth century BCE) are found to have been fired at extremely low temperatures-as low as 200-300°C in many instances. These results provide critical new data for understanding the metallurgical technology of ancient China.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-021-82806-z

    View details for PubMedID 33558632

  • Cast iron-smelting furnace materials in imperial China: Macro-observation and microscopic study JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE Liu, H., Qian, W., Chen, J., Chen, H., Chastain, M. L., Notis, M. R. 2017; 86: 50-59
  • Metallurgical analysis of copper artifacts from Cahokia JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE Chastain, M. L., Deymier-Black, A. C., Kelly, J. E., Brown, J. A., Dunand, D. C. 2011; 38 (7): 1727-1736