Nigel Meeks


+44 (0)20 7323 8596

Nigel undertakes the scientific examination of a variety of non-ferrous metalwork and composite objects as part of the museum’s research into ancient technology of antiquities, and the technological study for catalogues and exhibitions.

He is in charge of the Scanning Electron Microscopy and EDX analysis suite and their application to not only metallurgical studies but also to a wide range of materials in the museum collections. Other complementary optical microscopy techniques are also used.

His specialist area of study is metalworking techniques of mainly the Bronze Age and Iron Age, involving the full range of metalworking technologies from ore, smelting and through metalsmithing techniques to the finished products made by craftsmen.

Current projects

Iron Age Torc hoards from Snettisham and recent discoveries

Omani silver jewellery

Bronze Age axe hoard from Langton Matravers, Dorset

Egyptian gold jewellery

Previous projects

Greek classical gold Jewellery

Braganza fibula

Aigina Treasure

Central and South American gold object technology

Inscriptions and toolmarks on Mesopotamian cylinder seals and Chinese Jade

Iron Age gold penannular ‘tress’ rings

Gold refining at Sardis

Roman high and Chinese high tin bronze mirrors

Roman tinned mirrors

Recent publications

Meeks, N.D. 2011, The Braganza Fibula. Scientific Investigation and Technology, (ed) Alicia Perea, La fibula Braganza, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), Madrid, pp37-96

L i, X.J., Martinon-Torres, M., Meeks, N., Xia, Y. and Kun, Z., 2011, ‘Inscriptions, filing and polishing marks on the bronze weapons from the Qin Terracotta Army in China’, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 38, Issue 3, March 2011, Pages 492-501

Aude Mongiatti, Nigel Meeks and St John Simpson, 2010, A gold four-horse model chariot from the Oxus Treasure: a fine illustration of Achaemenid goldwork, The British Museum Technical Research Bulletin, Vol.4, pp27-38.

Nigel Meeks, 2009, The Aigina Treasure: technical report. In The Aigina Treasure, the Aegean Bronze Age jewellery and a mystery revisited, Lesley Fitton, ed, The British Museum Press.

Michela Spataro, Nigel Meeks, Mavis Bimson, Aileen Dawson and Janet Ambers, 2009, Early porcelain in seventeenth-century England: non-destructive examination of two jars from Burghley House, The British Museum Technical Research Bulletin, Vol.3, pp37-46.

Nigel D. Meeks, Paul T. Craddock & Stuart P. Needham, 2008, Bronze Age Penannular Gold Rings from the British Isles: Technology and Composition, Jewellery Studies, volume 11.

Paul Craddock, Nigel Meeks and Simon Timberlake, 2007, On the edge of success: scientific examination of the products of the Early Mines Research Group smelting experiments, in Metals and Mines. Studies in Archaeometallurgy, ed Susan La Niece, Duncan Hook, Paul Craddock, Archetype Publications in association with The British Museum, London, pp37- 45,

Sax, M., Meeks, N.D., Ambers, J., Michaelson, C., 2007. The introduction of rotary incising wheels for working jade in China. In: Douglas, J.G., Jett, P., Winter, J. (Eds.), Scientific Research on the Sculptural Arts of Asia, Proceedings of the Third Forbes Symposium at the Freer Gallery of Art. Archetype Publication,

Nigel Meeks & Maria Filomena Guerra, 2005, "Les colliers bj 517 de la collection Campana et BM 1980,2-1,118 du British Museum", in the catalogue of the exhibition Trésors antiques, bijoux de la collection Campana, musée du Louvre,

Meeks, N., La Niece, S. and Estévez, P., 2002, "The technology of early platinum plating: a gold mask of the La Tolita culture, Ecuador.", Archaeometry, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 273-284.

Meeks, N.D., Caroline Tulp & Anders Söderberg, 2001, “Precision lost-wax casting”, in Proceedings of the 1st Internatiomal workshop on Experimental and Educational aspects of Bronze Metallurgy, Wilhelminaoord, October 1999, eds. C. Tulp, N.D. Meeks & R. Paardekooper, , pp56-78, VAEE The Netherlands.

Meeks, N. D., 2000 “Scanning Electron Microscopy of the Refractory Remains and the Gold from Sardis”, in King Croesus’ Gold: Excavations at Sardis and the History of Gold Refining, eds., A. Ramage & P.T. Craddock, British Museum Press, London, chapter 5, pp 99-156.

Meeks, N.D. & La Niece, S., 2000, "Diversity of Goldsmithing Traditions an the Americas and the Old World", in Precolombian Gold: Technology Style and Iconography, ed. Colin McEwan, pp220-239, British Museum Press.