Skip to content

Biography

Ben is currently a Lecturer in Archaeological Sciences. Ben’s role is divided between Archaeology, Chemistry and the Analytical Centre.

Research

Bens research falls at the interface between analytical chemistry and archaeology. He is interested in the identification of the ‘archaeologically invisible’ by the correct application of analytical techniques. Some techniques are now fairly routine (such as Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (GC, GC-MS), Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and stable light isotopic ratios (Isotope Ratio-MS)), although these techniques may have not been applied to novel materials. Some are new (e.g. High Performance Liquid Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry, HPLC-MS), but all require careful application due to problems of small sample size, contamination, complex mixtures, degradation and the reliability of the biomarker approach. Further details and some case studies. Archaeologically the aims are to find direct molecular, trace element and isotopic evidence for the identification and use of archaeological materials including ceramic vessels, traded goods and soils (in combination with conventional archaeological evidence). Related areas of interest include the analysis of modern natural products their degradation and preservation.

Publications

Peer Reviewed Journal
TitleDetermination of contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and their mode of origin, in urban soils from Leeds (UK) (2018)
AuthorsHamed, Heiam A. Mohamed; Hale, William H.G.; Stern, Ben
 
TitleRed Lustrous Wheelmade ware: analysis of organic residues in Late Bronze Age trade and storage vessels from the eastern Mediterranean (2017)
AuthorsSteele, Valerie J.; Stern, Ben
 
TitleOrganic residue analysis of Egyptian votive mummies and their research potential (2017)
AuthorsBrettell R.;Martin W.;Atherton-Woolham S.;Stern B.;McKnight L.
JournalStudies in Conservation
DOI10.1179/2047058415Y.0000000027
 
TitleOrganic residue analysis of Egyptian votive mummies and their research potential (2016)
AuthorsBrettell, Rhea C.; Martin, William H.C.; Atherton-Woolham, S.; Stern, Ben; McKnight, L.
 
Title‘Choicest unguents’: molecular evidence for the use of resinous plant exudates in late Roman mortuary rites in Britain (2015)
AuthorsBrettell, Rhea C.; Schotsmans, Eline M.J.; Walton Rogers, P.; Reifarth, N.; Redfern, R.C.; Stern, Ben; Heron, Carl P.
 
Title'Choicest unguents': Molecular evidence for the use of resinous plant exudates in late Roman mortuary rites in Britain (2015)
AuthorsBrettell R.;Schotsmans E.;Walton Rogers P.;Reifarth N.;Redfern R.;Stern B.;Heron C.
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
DOI10.1016/j.jas.2014.11.006
 
TitleThe 'semblance of immortality'? Resinous materials and mortuary rites in Roman Britain (2014)
AuthorsBrettell, Rhea C.; Stern, Ben; Reifarth, N.; Heron, Carl P.
 
TitleQualitative and Quantitative Assessment of Fatty Acids of Buddleja asiatica by GC-MS (2013)
AuthorsAli, F.; Ali, I.; Bibi, H.; Malik, A.; Stern, Ben; Maitland, Derek J.
 
TitlePET bottle use patterns and antimony migration into bottled water and soft drinks: The case of British and Nigerian bottles (2012)
AuthorsTukur A.;Sharp L.;Stern B.;Tizaoui C.;Benkreira H.
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
DOI10.1039/c2em10917d
 
TitleBeeswax preserved in a Late Chalcolithic Bevelled Rim bowl from the Tehran Plain, Iran (2012)
AuthorsMayyas, A.; Stern, Ben; Gillmore, Gavin; Coningham, Robin A.E.; Fazeli Nashli, H.
 
TitleA study of 18th century Coptic icons of Ibrahim Al-Nasekh using Raman microscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry: Indigo as an organic pigment in Egyptian panel paintings (2012)
AuthorsAbdel-Ghani M.;Stern B.;Edwards H.;Janaway R.
JournalVibrational Spectroscopy
DOI10.1016/j.vibspec.2012.05.003
 
TitleThe Identity of the St Bees Lady, Cumbria: An Osteobiographical Approach (2010)
AuthorsKnüsel, Christopher J.; Batt, Catherine M.; Cook, G.; Montgomery, Janet; Müldner, G.; Ogden, Alan R.; Palmer, C.; Stern, Ben; Todd, J.; Wilson, Andrew S.
JournalMedieval Archaeology
 
TitleApplication of lipid biomarker analysis to evaluate the function of "slab-lined pits" in Arctic Norway (2010)
AuthorsHeron, Carl P.; Nilsen, G.; Stern, Ben; Craig, O.E.; Nordby, C.C.
 
TitleGas chromatographic, mass spectrometric and stable carbon isotope investigations of organic residues in `slab-lined pits' from Arctic Norway (2010)
AuthorsHeron, Carl P.; Nilsen, G.; Stern, Ben; Craig, O.E.; Nordby, C.C.
 
TitleOlive oil or lard? Distinguishing plant oils from animal fats in the archaeological record of the eastern Mediterranean using gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (2010)
AuthorsSteele, Valerie J.; Stern, Ben; Stott, A.W.
 
TitleAnalysis of yellow "fat" deposits on Inuit boots (2009)
AuthorsEdwards, Howell G.M.; Stern, Ben; Burgio, L.; Kite, M.
 
TitleCharacterization of paint and varnish on a medieval Coptic-Byzantine icon: Novel usage of dammar resin? (2009)
AuthorsAbdel-Ghani, Mona H.; Edwards, Howell G.M.; Stern, Ben; Janaway, Robert C.
 
TitleWaking the dead: Scientific analysis of an Egyptian tunic. (2009)
AuthorsHaldane, E.A.; Gillies, Sara; O'Connor, Sonia A.; Batt, Catherine M.; Stern, Ben
JournalJournal Is Not In List - Being Petitioned
 
TitleTrace element concentrations in mangrove sediments in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh (2009)
AuthorsAwal, M.A.; Hale, William H.G.; Stern, Ben
 
TitleAnalysis of three putative birch bark tar samples from Melkøya, Arctic Norway (2009)
AuthorsStern, Ben; Heron, Carl P.; Clelland, Sarah-Jane; Nordby, C.C.
 
TitleNeolithic zoomorphic vessels from Eastern Macedonia, Greece: Issues of function (2009)
AuthorsMarangou, C.; Stern, Ben
 
TitleCharacterization of paint and varnish on a medieval Coptic-Byzantine icon: Novel usage of dammar resin (2009)
AuthorsAbdel-Ghani M.;Edwards H.;Stern B.;Janaway R.
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
DOI10.1016/j.saa.2008.10.050
 
TitleBulk stable light isotopic ratios in recent and archaeological resins: Towards detecting the transport of resins in antiquity? (2008)
AuthorsStern B.;Lampert Moore C.;Heron C.;Pollard A.
JournalArchaeometry
DOI10.1111/j.1475-4754.2007.00357.x
 
TitleNew investigations into the Uluburun resin cargo (2008)
AuthorsStern, Ben; Heron, Carl P.; Tellefsen, T.; Serpico, M.
 
TitleA Raman microscopic and gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric study of two 19th century overlapping Coptic icons of Anastasy Al-Romi (2008)
AuthorsAbdel-Ghani M.;Edwards H.;Janaway R.;Stern B.
JournalVibrational Spectroscopy
DOI10.1016/j.vibspec.2008.02.013
 
TitleFrom Susa to Anuradhapura: Reconstructing aspects of trade and exchange in bitumen-coated ceramic vessels between Iran and Sri Lanka from the Third to the Ninth Centuries AD. (2008)
AuthorsStern, Ben; Connan, J.; Blakelock, Eleanor S.; Jackman, R.; Coningham, Robin A.E.; Heron, Carl P.
 
TitleCombined FT-Raman spectroscopic and mass spectrometric study of ancient Egyptian sarcophagal fragments (2007)
AuthorsEdwards H.;Stern B.;Villar S.;David A.
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
DOI10.1007/s00216-006-0640-x
 
TitleMolecular and isotopic demonstration of the processing of acquatic products in Northern European prehistoric pottery (2007)
AuthorsCraig O.;Forster M.;Andersen S.;Koch E.;Crombé P.;Milner N.;Stern B.;Bailey G.;Heron C.
JournalArchaeometry
DOI10.1111/j.1475-4754.2007.00292.x
 
TitleThe application of LA-ICP-MS in the examination of the thin plating layers found in late Roman coins (2007)
AuthorsVlachou-Mogire C.;Stern B.;McDonnell J.
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
DOI10.1016/j.nimb.2007.09.040
 
TitleStable isotope and DNA evidence for ritual sequences in Inca child sacrifice (2007)
AuthorsWilson, Andrew S.; Ceruti, M.C.; Chavez, J.A.; Taylor, Timothy F.; Stern, Ben
 
TitleMolecular and isotopic demonstration of the processing of aquatic products in northern European prehistoric pottery (2007)
AuthorsCraig, O.E.; Forster, M.; Andersen, S.H.; Koch, E.; Crombé, P.; Milner, N.J.; Stern, Ben; Bailey, G.N.; Heron, Carl P.
 
TitleBulk stable light isotopic ratios in archaeological birch bark tars (2006)
AuthorsStern B.;Clelland S.;Nordby C.;Urem-Kotsou D.
JournalApplied Geochemistry
DOI10.1016/j.apgeochem.2006.07.004
 
TitleDesert roads and transport vessels from Late Roman-Coptic times in the Eastern Sahara (2005)
AuthorsEichhorn B.;Hendrickx S.;Riemer H.;Stern B.
JournalJournal of African Archaeology
DOI10.3213/1612-1651-10051
 
TitleThe circulation and consumption of Red Lustrous Wheelmade Ware: petrographic, chemical and residue analysis (2005)
AuthorsKnappett, C.; Kilikoglou, V.; Steele, Valerie J.; Stern, Ben
 
TitleA geochemical investigation of the origin of rouletted and other related South Asian fine wares (2005)
AuthorsFord L.;Pollard A.;Coningham R.;Stern B.
JournalAntiquity
DOI10.1017/S0003598X00115030
 
TitleCompositional variation in aged and heated Pistacia resin found in Late Bronze Age Canaanite amphorae and bowls from Amarna, Egypt (2003)
AuthorsHeron, Carl P.; Corr, L.; Serpico, M.; Stern, Ben; Bourriou, J.
 
TitleDating resin coating on pottery: The Spirit Cave early ceramic dates revised (2003)
AuthorsLampert C.;Glover I.;Hedges R.;Heron C.;Higham T.;Stern B.;Shoocongdej R.;Thompson G.
JournalAntiquity
DOI10.1017/S0003598X0006141X
 
TitleCompositional variations in aged and heated pistacia resin found in late bronze age canaanite amphorae and bowls from Amarna, Egypt (2003)
AuthorsStern B.;Heron C.;Corr L.;Serpico M.;Bourriau J.
JournalArchaeometry
DOI10.1111/1475-4754.00121
 
TitleBirch-bark tar at Neolithic Makriyalos, Greece (2002)
AuthorsUrem-Kotsou D.;Stern B.;Heron C.;Kotsakis K.
JournalAntiquity
DOI10.1017/S0003598X00091766
 
TitleYesterday's hair--human hair in archaeology (2001)
AuthorsWilson, Andrew S.; Dixon, Ronald A.; Dodson, Hilary I.; Janaway, Robert C.; Pollard, A. Mark; Stern, Ben; Tobin, Desmond J.
 
TitleA comparison of methods for establishing fatty acid concentration gradients across potsherds: A case study using Late Bronze Age Canaanite amphorae (2000)
AuthorsStern B.;Heron C.;Serpico M.;Bourriau J.
JournalArchaeometry
DOI10.1111/j.1475-4754.2000.tb00890.x