Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
Université Versailles Saint-Quentin


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LI Jiayi

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Research topics

Physico-chemical study of mineralised archaeological textiles.

Current Research

I am actually doing a PhD at IPANEMA and enrolled at the University de Paris-Saclay. I am interested in the physical chemistry of the mineralisation of archaeological textiles. This work was initiated during the internship of Marta Bellato in IPANEMA. My PhD started in 2015 and is funded by LabEx Patrima.

The long-term conservation of organic materials is not favorable in most most archaeological contexts. Ancient cellulosic textiles are, in fact, very little known because of their rapid degradation. Nevertheless, with the particular contexts while in contact with metal objects, they coule be partially preserved for thousands of years in a so-called "mineralised" form and possess therefore invaluable heritage value. In the area of the ancient near East, these textile remains constitute almost exclusively the only material witnesses of the textile production which was well described in the cuneiform texts. In collaboration with the Department of Eastern Antiquities for the study of an exceptional collection of mineralized textiles, the project aims to better understand the process of mineralization. The conservation-degradation mechanism is comparable to the exceptional fossilization. In my work, the stratigraphy formed by organic fibres, corrosion products and metallic support will be studied by exploring more particularly the non-destructive approaches. X-ray imaging (3D tomography, 2D scans) and UV photoluminescence at IPANEMA and Synchrotron SOLEIL, SIMS and XRD at GEMaC, as well as FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy techniques will be used.


  • PhD Candidate, IPANEMA. Thesis title : « Physico-chemical study of mineralised archaeological textiles », started on October first, 2015 and supervised by Loïc Bertrand and Pierre Galtier.
  • Master degree in Analytical, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie.
  • "GC-MS study of the derivation of amino acids by halogenated reagents for the characterization of proteins used in binders, adhesives and additives of easel paintings" in Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France. 2015. Internship
  • "Business development - Analytical Chemistry" at Gimopharm. 2014. Internship