About our staff
Dr Gordon Thomas
PhD, MLitt, MA, FSA Scot
My background includes an early education and upbringing in both Scotland and Canada. I moved to Edinburgh in 1971 where I completed my first degree in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. A period of working free-lance as an archaeologist took me to many parts of the world and gave me a good grounding in field work, excavation and archaeological illustration. In 1982 I completed an MLitt in Archaeology on the subject of the Roman civilian settlements of Scotland and in 1995 I completed a PhD on the subject of the prehistoric buildings of Cyprus.
Roman pottery excavated at by Dr Thomas on his excavations at the site of Inveresk, Lothian, Scotland. Now on display in the Museum of Scotland.
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Near East
- Ancient Civilisations
- Landscapes & Monuments
- Material Culture
- Medicine, Science & Technology
I have worked on archaeological projects all over Britain, in Syria, Yugoslavia and in Cyprus where my main research has been focussed for the past thirty years. It was here that I developed an interest in prehistoric buildings, experimental archaeology and site formation processes.
- Experimental archaeology
- Ancient technologies, particularly lime plaster technology
- Roman Scotland
- Early farming communities in the Near East
- The early prehistory of Cyprus
Current research activities
The Lemba Experimental Village, Cyprus. View of the first completed building replicating a prehistoric structure with the foundations of the second building in the foreground.
Prehistoric Buildings of Cyprus and Experimental Archaeology: The Archaeology of prehistoric buildings and archaeological site formation processes are my two main areas of research interest. This has involved the study of prehistoric buildings during excavation, the identification of construction materials and deposits and the use of experimental archaeology to build full scale replicas to test construction ideas and to observe erosion/collapse patterns. This work has been carried out in Cyprus where the University operates an active research facility at Lemba in Paphos District.
Prehistoric Lime Plaster Technology: I have developed interests in the technology of ancient lime plaster making in the Near East and its social implications. This has involved carrying out extensive experiments into ancient lime plaster technologies in Cyprus
Illustration and Perception in Archaeology: I am currently developing research interests into the way art and illustration are used in archaeology both in publication and in presentation. I propose exploring avenues of perception and ways of reading images as a means of investigating the current use and practice of archaeological illustration.
I am currently preparing several books related to his research.
- Experimental Archaeology.
- Prehistoric Buildings and Archaeological Site Formation.
- Proceedings of a Conference on Experimental Archaeology
- Archaeology 1A [ARCA08004] (Contributor)
- Archaeology 1B [ARCA08005] (Contributor)
- Archaeology 2A: Scotland Before History [ARCA08005] (Convenor)
- Archaeology 2B: Archaeology in Action [AR08013] (Contributor)
- Theoretical Archaeology (ARCA10064) (Contributor)
- Archaeological Illustration (ARCA10014) (Convenor)
- Art and Architecture of Ancient Cyprus: archaeological perspectives (ARCA10048) (Convenor) (to be replaced by The Prehistory of Cyprus (Convenor))
- Early Farmers of the Near East: the transition from foraging to farming (ARCA10072) (Convenor)
Castle Law hillfort, Lothian, Scotland. View of the site from the SE with students on a first year field trip exploring the remains.
- Archaeological Illustration (PGHC11060) (Convener)
- Art and Architecture of Ancient Cyprus: archaeological perspectives ( PGHC11340) (Convenor) (to be replaced by: The Archaeology of Cyprus (Convener))
- Frontiers on Archaeology: Research seminars (PGHC11001) (Contributor)
- Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology (PGHC11079) (Contributor)
- Theoretical Archaeology (PGHC11329) (Contributor)
Thomas, G., The Archaeology of Prehistoric Buildings: the Lemba Experimental Village, Cyprus (2006) British Archaeological Reports International Series 1444, Oxford.
Thomas, G., Prehistoric Buildings and Their Impact on the Formation of Archaeological Sites: the Lemba Experimental Village, Cyprus. (Monograph in preparation).
Thomas, G., Experimental Archaeology, Routledge, London. (Monograph in preparation).
Thomas, G., The Domestication of Stone: early lime plaster technology in the Levant. In: Bolger, D., MacGuire, L., ed.The Development of Pre-State Communities in the Ancient Near East: studies in honour of Edgar Peltenburg. (2010) BANEA and Oxbow Books, Oxford Thomas, G., The Archaeology of Prehistoric Builings: the Lemba Experimental Village, Cyprus. In: British Archaeological Reports International Series 1444, (2006) Oxford
Thomas, G., House Form and Cultural Identity in Chalcolithic Cyprus. In: Clarke, J, ed. Archaeological Perspectives on the Transmission and Transformation of Culture in the Eastern Mediterranean: Levant Supplementary Series 2. (2005) Oxford University Press
Thomas, G., Early Lime Plaster Technology in the Near East: experimental work at the Lemba Experimental Village, Cyprus. In: Landesmuseum für Natur und Mensch, ed. Experimentelle Archaologie in Europa Bilanz 2004, Vol 3. (2005) Isensee
Thomas, G., “The Chalcolithic Settlement: the pits and buildings.” in Edgar Peltenburg (ed.) (2003) The Colonisation and Settlement of Cyprus: Excavations at Kissonerga Mylouthkia 1976-1996, Lemba Archaeological Project, Vol III.1, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology vol. LXX.4, Sävedalen, Paul Åströms Förläg, Sweden, 107-112 and 117- 127.
Thomas, G., “The Maa Chalcolithic Excavations” in V. Karageorghis and M. Demas (1988) Excavations at Maa-Palaeokastro 1979-1986. Nicosia, 267-289.
Thomas, G., “Prehistoric Cypriot building traditions and methods.” in E. Peltenburg (ed.) (1989) Early Society in Cyprus, Edinburgh, 62.
Thomas, G., “The structural components of buildings.” In Edgar Peltenburg (ed.) (1998) Excavations at Kissonerga Mosphilia, 1979-1992; Lemba Archaeological Project, Volume II.1A, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology, vol. LXX.2, Jonsered, Sweden, 54-64.
Thomas, G., Images of the Past: illustrating and imaging archaeology euroREA. 6, (2009) pp.8-12
Thomas, G., "House Form and Cultural Identity in Chalcolithic Cyprus", in Clarke, J. (ed.) (2005) Archaeological Perspectives on the Transmission and Transformation of Culture in the Eastern Mediterranean, Proceedings of a Conference held in Jerusalem: Council for British Research in the Levant Conference, Jerusalem. Levant Supplementary Series 2, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 118-124.
Thomas, G., “Early Lime Plaster Technology in the Near East: experimental work at the Lemba Experimental Village, Cyprus” Experimentelle Archäologie in Europa Bilanz (2004) 91-100.
Thomas, G., “The Lemba Experimental Village, Cyprus.” Rettung des Kultulerbes Projekte Rund ums Mittlemeer (2000) Schriften des Hornemann Instituts, Band 3 Vol 3, Euromed Heritage Exhibition, Hildesheim, Germany, Hamburg, 120-124.
Thomas, G., “The role of research and education in site management at the Lemba Experimental Village, Cyprus.” Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites Vol. 3 Numbers 1&2, (1999) 109-123.
Thomas, G., With P.Croft and E. Peltenburg (1999) Lemba and Kissonerga. The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Nicosia.
Thomas, G., Review of Wright, G.R.H. 1992 Ancient Building in Cyprus Leiden: Brill, in Journal of Hellenic Studies 115 (1995) 227-9.
Thomas, G., “Roman pottery report” contribution in A. J. Dunwell and L. J. F. Keppie “The Roman temporary camp at Dunning, Perthshire: Evidence from recent excavations.” Britannia XXVI (1995) 51-62.
Thomas, G., “Coarse pottery report” and “Samian Ware report” contributions in A. Dunwell et al 1995, “Excavations at Inveravon on the Antonine Wall, 1991.” Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland 125 (1995) 521-576, 550-557 and fiche.
Thomas, G., Review of Karageorghis, V. et al 1992 La Necropole d’Amathonte, Tombes 113-367 Dept. of Antiquities of Cyprus/Ecole Francais d’Athenes, Nicosia, in Classical Review New Series XLIV (2) 1994, 419.
Thomas, G., Review of Stager, L.E. and Walker, A.A. (eds.) (1989) The American Expedition to Idalion, Cyprus, 1973-1980. The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, in Palestine Exploration Quarterly Dec (1993) 172-4.
Thomas, G., “Excavations at the Roman Civilian Settlement at Inveresk, 1976-77” Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland 118 (1988), 140-176.
Thomas, G., “The re-excavation of the Inveresk hypocaust.” Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland 118 (1988), 177-179.