Dr Mary Shepperson

Mary Shepperson is an archaeologist specialising in the urban archaeology of the Middle East. Currently working as a research associate at the University of Liverpool for the ArCHIAM research centre.

+44 (0)7773648704
Liverpool School of Architecture
University of Liverpool
Abercromby Square
Liverpool L69 7ZN



Mary completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Cambridge and University College London, where she completed her PhD in 2012. Her doctoral research explored the effects of sunlight and climate on the development of urban architecture in the early cities of Bronze Age Mesopotamia.

She has always been very active in the field and has excavated extensively in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Lebanon and the UK. Mary specialises in the excavation of complex urban architecture, especially mudbrick.

Recent projects include excavations in southern Iraq at Tell Khaiber and Charax Spasinou, and at the British Museum excavation at Qalatga Darband in Iraqi Kurdistan. She was the Site Archaeologist for the Citadel of Erbil from 2013 – 2016, supervising excavations and training Kurdish archaeologists.

Since January 2017 Mary has written monthly articles for The Guardian’s science network.

Research, scholarly and professional interests

  • The development of urbanism in the ancient Near East
  • Use of sunlight and adaptation to climate in ancient architecture
  • Purposeful manipulation of the sensory environment in ancient architecture
  • City walls and fortifications in the ancient Near East and their impact on urban development
  • Conflict archaeology of the Iran-Iraq war
  • Settlement archaeology in Iraq and Syria
  • Burial archaeology in Egypt

My recent publications



  • University of Liverpool


  • University College London
  • University of Cambridge

Areas of expertise

  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Heritage

Recent projects