My main interest is in understanding ancient high-temperature processes both from a materials perspective and from the viewpoint of the ancient craftspeople who mastered these processes intuitively, without the benefit of our modern worldview encapsulated in the canon of earth sciences, chemistry and physics.
Over the years, I have held positions in Freiburg and Bochum (Germany), in London (UK), Doha (Qatar), Beijing (China) and Nicosia (Cyprus), and have worked with students and colleagues from North and South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and across Asia, covering archaeological materials spanning from 6500 BCE through to the 19th and even 20th century CE, and across the periodic table of elements from magnesium through to platinum, all sorts of glasses, and a few bits of ceramic and pigments, too.
There are an awful lot of metals out there, and most of them have some meaning or role to play in the study of ancient materials. To deal with this complexity, I find it helpful to mentally disentangle what might have been accessible to a pre-modern mind, in terms of properties observable with basic senses and therefore may have mattered to them, as opposed to what we now can analyse and use to, say, provenance or at least classify a material.
Some of my publications can be found here, strictly for personal research purposes only and not for free distribution. For off-prints of others, do contact me via email; for those that I still owe you to write, please remind me regularly.