Liye Xie

Liye Xie

Liye Xie, Ph.D. (University of Arizona, 2014)
Assistant Professor, Mississauga Campus (UTM)

(905) 828-3782
Office: HSC 346 (Main), AP 242 (St. George)

Research Keywords: Archaeology, experimental archaeology, use-wear analysis, technological changes, groundstone tools, bone tools, prehistoric land-use strategies, and cultural transmission.

Research Region: China

Research Bio

Dr. Xie is a problem-oriented, interdisciplinary researcher and a lifetime learner. Her research focuses on technological adaptations that underwrote the emergence and intensification of agriculture, sedentism, and social complexity. She employs broad ranges of theories and research strategies in order to explain technological choices by people in the past. She specializes on the acquisition, production,  and consumption of bone and ground/polished stone tools, spanning the incipient Neolithic period to Early Bronze Age in various regions of China. Many of her projects involve use-wear analysis and intensive archaeological experimentation.

With over a decade of experience in studying prehistoric technologies, Dr. Xie’s work demonstrates that activities and conceptions associated with technology are closely tied to almost all aspects of human lives, in prehistory as today. These links range from basic consideration such as resource management and production, to the division of labor, cultural transmission, settlement patterns, and community organization.

Dr. Xie’s next project deals with labor organization and social complexity in relation to large Neolithic earthworks in the Lower Yangzi Basin and Middle Yellow River Valley. It will focus on the concentration of power through recruiting labor and craftspeople in large prehistoric architectural projects.

To learn more about Dr. Xie’s academic path and research plans, please check


2016 (First author). Functionality and Morphology: Identifying Si Agricultural Tools from among Hemudu Scapular Implements in Eastern China. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s10816-015-9271-x.

2015 (First author). Labor costs for prehistoric earthwork construction: experimental and archaeological insights from the Lower Yangzi Basin, China. American Antiquity 80 (1): 67-88.

2008  (Sole author)  二里头遗址石斧和石刀的微痕分析(Functional analyses of stone axes and knives from the Erlitou site),中国早期青铜文化——二里头文化专题研究 (Early Bronze Age Culture in China: Monographs on Erlitou Culture), edited by the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Science Press, Beijing, pp.355-469.

2008  (First author). 钻孔运动方式实验与微痕分析报告(An experimental study of drilling use-wear), 石器微痕分析的考古学实验研究 (Archaeological Study of Lithic Use-Wear Experiments), Chapter 6, edited by C. Shen and X. Gao, Science Press, Beijing, pp.107-144.

2006  (First author) 二里头遗址的改制石器初探(A study of reworked stone artifacts from the Erlitou site), 二十一世纪的中国考古学 (Chinese Archaeology in the 21St Century), edited by the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Wenwu Publishing House, Beijing, 2006, pp. 375-387.

Graduate Students

Tiziana Gallo

Prospective Graduate Students

I am interested in supervising students working on ancient technology, prehistoric landscape modification, or Chinese archaeology. Students with experience in conducting archaeological experiments, or who plan to include experimental archaeology in their research, are especially welcomed.