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Siran Liu

Associate Professor, Institute for Cultural Heritage and History of Science & Technology



Siran Liu, male, born in Beijing in 1987. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in cultural heritage conservation from the School of Archaeology and Museology at Peking University in 2009, and also obtained a double degree in chemistry from the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering. In 2010, he graduated from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London (UCL) with a master's degree, and in 2015, he obtained his Ph.D. from the same institution. In 2016, he joined the Institute for the History of Science and Cultural Heritage at the Beijing University of Science and Technology, and has since served as a postdoctoral researcher, lecturer (since 2017), and was appointed associate professor in June 2018. He has been awarded the National Youth Talent and Beijing Social Science Foundation's Young Academic Leader, and serves as vice-chair of the Society for East Asian Archaeology (SEAA), editorial board member for Archaeometry, and associate editor for Advances in Archaeomaterials.

His current research focuses on developing various scientific analysis methods and machine learning models to study the remains and artifacts left behind by ancient human artifact production, reconstructing the production system, technical styles, material circulation, and studying the interaction between craft activities and early civilization, interpreting the tecnological differences in different regions and periods from economic, environmental, and social perspectives. Ongoing research includes the technological system of metallurgical production in the Shang Dynasty, resource development and material circulation, special refractory materials in ancient copper casting production, silver production and technological choices in the Tang and Song Dynasties, coal use in the Song and Yuan Dynasties, late Ming silver production and trade under global perspectives, thermal temperature detection using infrared spectroscopy, and data-driven archaeomaterial research. He has participated in archaeological work at more than ten national key sites, including the Shang captial in Zhengzhou, Panlongcheng, Taijiasi, and Jiangkou's late Ming battlefield site, and has undertaken national key research and development projects, National Natural Science Foundation projects, National Natural Science Foundation of China projects, and National Postdoctoral Science Foundation projects, and has published more than 30 research papers in SSCI, A&HCI, SCI, and CSSCI-indexed journals.

Key Publications

  • Sun, Z., Liu, S.*, Zhang, J., Chen, K., Kaufman, B. 2023. Resolving the Complex Mixing History of Ancient Chinese Bronzes by Manifold Learning and a Bayesian Mixing Model. Journal of Archaeological Science, 151, 105728.

  • Sun, Z., Liu, S. *, Yang, S., Chen, K., Chen, J. 2022. Trace Elements Analysis Reveals Varied Functions of Copper Processing Crucibles from the Shang City at Zhengzhou. Anthropological and Archaeological Sciences, 14, 128.

  • Yan, B., Liu, S*., Chastain, M., Yang, S., Chen, J. 2021. A new FTIR method for estimating the firing temperature of ceramic bronze-casting moulds from early China, Scientific Reports,

  • Liu, S.*, He, X., Chen, J., Zou, G., Guo, S., Gong, X., Rehren, Th. 2020. Micro-slag and “invisible” copper processing activities at a Middle-Shang period (14th-13th century BC) bronze casting workshop. Journal of Archaeological Science 122, 105222.

  • Liu, S. *, Chen, K.L., Rehren, Th., Mei, J.J., Chen, J.L., Liu, Y., Killick, D. 2018. Did China import metals from Africa in the Bronze Age? Archaeometry, 60 (1), 105-117.

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