Ben Gourley

Ben Gourley


Ben Gourley has a BA in Classical Archaeology from Queens University, and an MA from the University of British Columbia. In 1998 he moved from Canada to the UK to study at the IOAAS in York and received a second MA (this time in Architectural Conservation), after which he worked in UK and the Mediterranean before joining the department for nearly a decade as a project and fieldwork officer.

He now splits his time between freelance commercial work and departmental teaching and research. With colleague Nigel Copsey, he runs courses for the University and the public in buildings conservation under the aegis of the Centre for Traditional and Sustainable Building. 

Research interests include in the development of new methods of recording sites and buildings, and also the study and practice of traditional craft skills in conservation amongst other things. Ben teaches survey, fieldwork, conservation, and computing at postgraduate and undergraduate levels.



  • Topographical Survey
  • Vernacular buildings
  • Buildings Survey
  • Geophysical Survey
  • Geographic Information Systems

Research groups

  • Archaeological Information Systems
  • Landscape and society
  • Material Cultures

Research Interests


Archaeological work has largely been focused on landscapes, and with a regional focus on the Eastern Mediterranean, and includes geophysical and archaeological survey projects at the ancient Sikyon (in collaboration with the University of Thessaly), Stymphalos (Canadian Institute of Archaeology in Athens) and the Saronic Gulf (Kenchreai Excavations, and the Saronic Harbors Archaeological Research Project).

Conservation and buildings archaeology interests are focussed around the conservation of traditional building technologies and craft skills; Recent surveys have focused on timber from a construction and carpentry in practice in medieval York, and the use of earth as building material in the vernacular traditions of northeast yorkshire.



  • Barrett, J.H., L.R. Farr, D. Redhouse, S. Richer, J. Zimmermann, L. Sharpe, S. Ovenden, J. Moore, T. Poller, K.B. Milek, I.A. Simpson, M. Smith, B. Gourley & T. O’Connor, (2012). Quoygrew and its landscape context, in Being an Islander: Production and Identity at Quoygrew, Orkney, AD 900-1600, ed. J.H. Barrett. (McDonald Institute Monographs.) Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 25-46.
  • Lolos,Y. and Gourley B. (2011) ‘The town Plan of Ancient Sikyon’ Archäologischer Anzeiger: Jahresbericht 2011
  • Gourley, B. (2012 forthcoming) “Notes From Home: Aeinaias Tacticus and 4th century defense in practice at Ancient Stymphalos’ in Prezler. M (ed.) Aeneas Tacticus:
War, Politics and Literature in Classical Greece: Conference proceedings, September 2010.
  • Copsey, N., Gourley, B., Allen, R. (2010) ‘Mud Mortars in Masonry Construction’ Proceedings of the 2nd Historic Mortars Conference: RILEM, Prague.2010 e-ISBN: 2-912143-59-4
  • Gourley, B., Lolos,Y., Sarris, A ,(2009) 'Application of Integrated Geophysical Prospection Techniques for Mapping Ancient Sikyon, Greece', Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Advances in Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management, Rome 30/9-4/10, 2008
  • Gourley, B. (2009) ‘A review of Aspinall, Gafney and Schmidt, Magnetometry for Archaeologists,’ Antiquity Volume 83 Number 320 June 2009
  • Lolos, Y., Gourley, B. ,Sarris, A., Hayward, C., Trainor, C., Kiriantzi, E.,  and Papadopoulos , N. (2008) 'Surveying the Sikyonian plateau: integrated approach to the study of an ancient cityscape', Proceedings of the 5th Symposium of the Hellenic Society of Archaeometry, Athens 8-10/10/2008.
  • Lolos, Y. Gourley, B. and Stewart, D. (2007) ‘The Sikyon Survey Project: A Blueprint For Urban Survey’, JMA 20 No. 2: 267-296
  • Williams, H and Gourley, B. (2007) ‘The Urban Plan of Ancient Stymphalos’, AIA annual meeting San Diego: Session 5D: Greek Cities and Urban Development 
  • Gourley, B and Williams, H. (2005) 'The fortifications of Ancient Stymphalos' Mouseion 5 pp. 213-259
  • Williams, H et al.  (2002)  “Excavations at Ancient Stymphalos, 1999-2002,” Mouseion 2, 135-187.
  • Williams, H et al. (1998)  “Excavations at Ancient Stymphalos, 1997,” EMC/CV n.s. 17: 261-319.
  • Hurd, J. and Gourley, B. (Eds.) (2000) Terra Britannica: A Celebration of Earthen Structures in Great Britain and Ireland. James and James (ISBN 1902916131)
  • Gourley, B. (1999) The Mausoleum of Thomas Espin Louth: research and conservation. Unpublished MA dissertation. Department of Archaeology
  • Williams E. H.  , S. M. Cronkite- Price , G.P. Schaus, B. Gourley and  H. Lutomsky  (1997) "Excavations at Ancient Stymphalos, 1996" EMC/ CV  XLI - N.S.  16, 1997  pp. 22-73

Contact details

Ben Gourley
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor

Tel: (44) 7990 877 121
Fax: (44) 1904 433902