PhD Student Kuan Wen

Archaeology PhD Student Wins Society for Archaeological Science Research Travel Award

The Society for Archaeological Science (SAS) has awarded Sheffield PhD student Kuan-Wen Wang the SAS Spring 2015 Research Travel Award for her project Scientific Analysis of Early Iron Age Glass Beads from Taiwan, an award that helps with the cost of international travel for laboratory or field research.

Before coming to Sheffield to undertake her PhD, Kuan Wen completed a BSc in Materials Science and Engineering at National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, followed by an MSc in the Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials at UCL in London, which she was awarded in 2009.

Kuan Wen's dissertation uses contextual, stylistic and chemical analysis to examine production, trade and exchange, and the role of glass beads in different regions throughout early Iron Age Taiwan.

The SAS award will allow Kuan Wen to conduct chemical analysis, through SEM-EDS (Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy); analytical techniques involving the production of images of samples by scanning them with a focused beam of electrons. Kuan Wen will also undertake EPMA (Electron Probe Micro Analysis) on her samples, 1st millennium AD glass beads from sites in north-eastern, southern and eastern Taiwan.

The results of Kuan Wen’s research will establish chemical groupings in the South China Sea region to indicate potential social interaction, both regionally and chronologically, which ultimately will help elucidate prehistoric trade/exchange networks in the region in the transitional period from the late Neolithic Age to the early Iron Age. Kuan Wen’s PhD is supervised by Sheffield Archaeology staff Dr Caroline Jackson and Professor Maureen Carroll.