Current Research Activities
My research interests focus on understanding the history of materials and technologies in the Near and Middle East from the ancient period, through to the early and medieval Islamic periods, up to the nineteenth century. I use multi-analytical approaches (e.g. XRF, XRD, SR micro-XRD, SEM-EDS, EPMA-WDS, micro CT-Scan) and replication experiments to study archaeological and art historical materials and have collaborated with several museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Ashmolean Museum, Louvre Museum, Pergamon Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
My current project focuses on the beginnings and development of Islamic stonepaste wares (or fritwares) in Egypt, Syria and Iran from the 11th century AD up to the Mongol invasions in the 13th century. I am also preparing the translation and commentary on two medieval Islamic treatises on the production of coloured glass and ceramics. My other project is based on my long-standing interest in the beginnings of ceramic glazing and the cross-craft interactions between copper smelting and ceramic glaze manufacturing during the late Chalcolithic and early Bronze Age in the Levant and the Near East.