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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Mr Stephen Humphreys

Contact Mr Stephen Humphreys

Academic background/Biography

I completed a BA in History at the University of North Texas (2004). I hold an MA in Archaeology (2014) and another in Theology (2014) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. My dissertation analyzed the implications of olive presses and bread ovens discovered within 7th century ecclesiastical contexts on Cyprus. I began my PhD at Durham University in the Fall of 2014.

I have excavated in Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, and the UK. I also have extensive experience teaching undergraduate courses (250+ hours), having previously served as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies at Texas A&M University from 2008-2010. In 2016 I became the Director of Operation Nightingale USA, a non-profit organisation dedicated to rehabilitating and reintegrating disabled American military veterans through the medium of archaeology.

Research Topic

Ecclesiastical Control of Water Systems in Late Antique Palestine


The clergy played an established role in the maintenance of the Late Antique urban environment. While, the importance of water in Christian cultic practice has been thoroughly explored, the study of ecclesiastical influence over utilitarian use of water has only recently begun. Furthermore, studies of both topics have relied heavily upon textual sources and have therefore focused on practices of the urban elite. The present study will emphasize the intentional placement of churches in the arid and semi-arid landscape, utilizing ArcGIS to articulate the role of village churches in local water management systems. 


2015 University College Travel Scholarship (£300)

2015 Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies Student Bursary (£300)

2015 Council for British Research in the Levant Travel Grant (£800)

2015 American Schools of Oriental Research Excavation Fellowship ($1,000)

Conference contributions

2015: ‘Rehabilitation Archaeology in America: Paying for Operation Nightingale USA' Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference 14-16 December

2014: ‘A Spatial Analysis of the Tel Gezer Regional Survey Project’ Southwest Regional ASOR 7-9 March

2014: ‘A Diachronic Analysis of Commerce and the Church in Late Antique Cyprus’ Southwest Regional ASOR 7-9 March

2013: ‘The New Face of Kourion: A Preliminary Report on Three Mosaics Uncovered During the 2012 Excavation Season’ Southwest Regional ASOR 9-10 March

Teaching Areas

  • Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations – BA Level 2, 2015 (15 hours/year.)
  • Pottery Illustration – BA Level 1, 2015 (6 hours/year.)