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Educational qualification A.B, M.A. Peking University
Ph.D Harvard University


Prof. Lam is an assistant 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 to investigate the ancient iron economy in the Han capital area 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.


Research interests

Archaeology of the Qin-Han empire and Bronze Age China, metallurgy, zooarchaeology, GIS in archaeology, development of metal technology in China, history of material culture and art in ancient China, craft production, gender archaeology, commodities and economic anthropology


Geographical areas of research

Mainland China, Southeast Asia

Courses taught

ANTH 1770 Understanding Archaeology

ANTH 2760 China’s Cultural Heritage

HIST 4140A History of Material Culture in Ancient China

Current research

Development of the Iron Industry in the Guanzhong Basin during the Han  period: Scientific Analyses of Manufacturing Waste from the Taicheng Foundry (funded by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage)”

The eastern territory of the Western Zhou Dynasty (funded by the The National Social Science Fund of China)”

Selected Publications

Book (Co-author with Dr. Alice Yao)

In Prep       The Archaeology of the Han Dynasty. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Site-report monograph

Shaanxisheng, [Shaanxisheng Kaogu Yanjiuyuan 陕西省考古研究院] (第二執筆)          

2018   《邰城鑄鐵:陝西楊淩漢代鑄鐵遺址發掘與研究》 [Taicheng Ironworks: Report on the Excavation and Research of a Cast Iron Foundry of the Han Period in Yangling, Shaanxi]. Shanghai上海, Shanghai Guji Press上海古籍出版社.


Referred Articles (selected)

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 (Accepted and forth-coming).

Hunan et al., [Hunansheng Wenwu Kaogu Yanjiusuo湖南省文物考古研究所等] (second author)

  • 2019 湖南桑植官田冶炼遗址发掘简报及冶金分析研究 (The preliminary report on the excavation of the ironworks at Guantian site in Sangzhi, Hunan, and archaeometallurgical analysis of manufacturing remains), 《南方文物》 [Southern Cultural Relics] , 2019(3): 69-92.

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.

Lam Wengcheong林永昌, Chen Jianli陳建立, Chong Jianrong種建榮, et al.

  • 2017   论秦国铁器普及化与关中地区战国时期铁器流通模式 (The Spread of Ironware in the Qin State and the Distributional System of Ironware in the Central Shaanxi Plain during the Warring States Period),《中國國家博物館館刊》 [Journal of National Museum of China],2017(3): 36-53.

Lam Wengcheong林永昌

  • 2017  試論東周晉系墓葬的長幼之序與男女之別 (On the age and gender difference in the burial practice of Eastern Zhou Tombs of the Jin State),《古代文明》(第十二卷) [Ancient Civilization] (vol.12),北京大學中國考古學研究中心、北京大學震旦古代文明研究中心編 (Eds. Beijing daxue zhongguo kaoguxue yanjiu zhongxin, Beijing daxue zhengdan gudai wenming yanjiu zhongxin) pp.248-267. Shanghai上海, Shanghai Guji Press上海古籍出版社.

Book Review (selected)

Lam, Wengcheong

  • 2018 A Review of Chinese Heritage in the Making: Experiences, Negotiations and Contestations, Asian Ethnicity, 2018(7):1-5.

Grants and Projects (selected)

  • GRF#14621718     Market System at the Conjunction of the Imperial Interregional Network: An Archaeological Study of Metal Objects in the Jingnan Region of the Han Empire
  • ECS#24607916     The archaeology of iron technology and the sovereignty of the Han dynasty in its southern periphery


  • The Faculty of Arts Outstanding Teaching Award 2016

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