Assoc. Prof. Dr. Seyed Mohammadamin Emami

Current professional background

I am an Associate Professor in Mineralogy, Crystallography, and Archaeometallurgy at the Isfahan University of Art
in Iran.

Field of research

My main field of research is archaeometry, which combines the study of archaeology with other scientific disciplines, such as material science. This combination is fantastic because it enables you to combine scientific analysis with sociological knowledge to discover more about how people lived in the past. How they produced materials, how they lived et cetera.

Purpose of your last research visit

I have been coming to Siegen to study, work and to cooperate for the past 14 years, during these research visits, we have been researching ceramics. We have been focused on 3 particular aspects, raw material usage, manufacturing process and decoration of the ceramics. At first glance this can seem rather simple, but it requires a lot of care to correctly interpret the scientific research and the material characteristics, because often you will only have a small piece of ceramic from which to draw your conclusions. Through careful consideration we can discover many insights into the past, such as the manufacturing process, the kiln process, and how ceramic production developed over time.

We have been investigating samples from the Middle East, from Iran and Iraq. It was fascinating to find out more about the relationship between different civilisations according to the material developments. While there are currently national borders between Iran and Iraq, thousands of years ago there were nations which cut across those borders, such as Mesopotamia & Babylonia, in our research we mainly focussed on Mesopotamian ceramics. More recently we have had some samples from the Roman theatre in Mainz, which is another exciting direction in which we can take our research.

Relation to the University of Siegen and the local host

When I first came to Germany I studied Mineralogy at Mainz University in 1998. Afterwards I worked in the Max Planck Institute as a scientific researcher. It was there that I first worked with Prof. Dr. Trettin. When he decided to come to Siegen, I followed him because I wanted to write my PhD under him in the field of Archeaometry. Since finishing my PhD I have been returning to Siegen on a regular basis to continue my research.

Future projects and Activities

Of course nobody can say with 100% certainty what will happen in future. I intend on coming back to Siegen once again, however Prof. Dr. Trettin will retire soon, so that might make it difficult. I am very grateful for all of the kindness and help given to me by him and all of my colleagues here.

Impressions of Siegen

The University of Siegen has a fantastic atmosphere of collaboration, we worked together with scientists from many different disciplines during our research, and we could always have interesting discussion with our colleagues, which would sometimes lead to new and interesting areas. The University is also able to provide all of the equipment needed for our scientific analysis. While the City of Siegen does not have so many exciting things to see compared with larger cities, it is noticeably improving very time I come back, and I hope to come back again soon.