Contact Chih-Ling Lee

Areas of expertise

  • Structures and Materials


Chih-Ling completed her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at National Taiwan University in 2014. She then worked for the department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural Science as a research assistant, where she participated in several field works in central and southern Taiwan, along with handling and writing reports on various types of artefacts. She had stayed at the museum for more than six years before she pursued her PhD at Cranfield University in 2022.

Chih-Ling completed her master’s degree at University College London, where she devoted herself to explaining the provenance of iron assemblage at the Luliao site in central Taiwan. Initially, she expected to discuss the origins of the iron objects but soon realised the task was not straightforward to resolve. The data on slag inclusions chemistry, and scientific research on Taiwanese iron remnants, are insufficient to decipher the issue. After understanding the potential approaches to study iron accumulated during the past two decades, Chih-Ling decided to expand the unsolved topic to the level of a PhD project. 

Now Chih-Ling is looking to get down to brass tacks regarding iron study in her project. (1). How many smelting recipes can we discover within the iron objects? (2). Did the ancients apply different recipes on different tools while smelting? Any hint of specialisation? (3). To judge if there is any evidence of re-processing or recycling the scrap iron objects. (4). The correlation between different iron assemblages and slags in Taiwan, and (5). Draw a possible diffusion route of the iron assemblages in Taiwan and map the clusters with temporal and spatial sequence.

Current activities

Chih-Ling finished measuring metadata and taking photos of the iron specimens. The specimens will then processed with X-Radiography before sample preparation. She will use optical microscope to judge the microstructure and metallography after etching the surface of iron samples. The primary tool for evaluating provenance of the iron objects will be SEM-eds, LA-ICP-MS analysis will be additional to consider trace elements. 

As for several iron slags collected from eastern Taiwan, XRF will help map the chemistry and crystal. Other measurement, such as the Vicker hardness test, will also be used to clarify the property of iron artefacts. 

Chih-Ling is funded by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan and awarded a government scholarship for overseas study.