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Wengcheong Lam

Associate Professor, Department of  Anthropology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong



Prof. Lam is an associate professor of anthropological archaeology working in mainland China. His research currently focuses on the economic system and social development during the Bronze Age and Han Empire. His research incorporates interests in various archaeological techniques including metallurgy, zooarchaeology and GIS (Geographic Information System) to study the craft production and exchange network during one of the most critical periods in Chinese history. He has conducted archaeological research in Shaanxi, Guangdong, and Hunan to investigate the ancient iron economy since 2011. New research is focused on the Han exchange network in provincial centers and imperial expansion of the Han dynasty. Current research and writing projects focus on the social development in Early China including: the change of craft production system and iron technology, the anthropology of commodities, interregional interaction, cultural transmission, and the market system of food.

Key Publications

  • Lam, Wengcheong. 2023. Connectivity, Imperialism, and the Han Iron Industry. New York, Routledge.

  • Lam, Wengcheong, et al. 2020. Provision of Iron Objects in the Southern Borderlands of the Han Empire: A Metallurgical Study of Iron objects from Han Tombs in Guangzhou, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 12(230).

  • Lam, Wengcheong 2020. Integration and the regional market system in the Early Chinese empires: a case study of the distribution of iron and bronze objects in the Wei river valley, Asian Perspectives 59:117-158.

  • Lam, Wengcheong, Jianrong Chong, Xingshan Lei, Jianli Chen 2019. Economic embeddedness and small-scale iron production in the capital region of the Han Empire: the perspective from faunal remains, Archaeological Research in Asia 17:117-132. 

  • Lam, Wengcheong, Jianli Chen, Jianrong Chong, Xingshan Lei, Wai Lun Tam 2018   An iron production and exchange system at the center of the Western Han Empire: Scientific study of iron products and manufacturing remains from the Taicheng site complex, Journal of Archaeological Science 100:88-101.

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