Project type: field school (workshop). The variety of activities and team flexibility make this project suitable for both Beginners and Advanced (either volunteers or students) in conservation.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN EVEN MORE COMPREHENSIVE EXPERIENCE WITH CONSERVATION OF ROMAN ARTIFACTS, PLEASE SEE ALSO THE  Workshop for Conservation, Restoration and Documentation of Roman Pottery and Glass (6-27 June, 2015)!

Periods: Roman and Late Roman (second century BC - sixth century AD)

Venue: Archaeological site of Stobi, Macedonia -  


The Nearest Airports: Skopje, Macedonia (80 km) and Thessaloniki, Greece (160 km) - don't forget checking the low cost  flight options! If participants arrive by plane to these airports, a transfer to Stobi may be arranged by request. Individual or group transfers' price may vary depending on both distance and number of passengers from 30 to 110 EUR.
How to get there? Stobi is located in the center of the Republic of Macedonia. It can be easily accessed by: 1. travelling by bus or car on the highway E-75 (from Athens, Greece to Belgrade, Serbia and Central Europe  across Macedonia) - the highway exit STOBI is just in front of the site's entrance; 2. catching a bus/train from Skopje (Macedonia), Thessaloniki (Greece) - the stop is at Gradsko (5 km. away from Stobi), from there participants/visitors could get a taxi to Stobi or request a free pick-up available from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm on the arrival day (please ask for details); 3. from neighbouring towns of Negotino (15 km) and Kavadartsi (20 km) participants could get on a bus to Gradsko or on a taxi directly to Stobi.



Dates: 6-20 June 2015

Application Deadlines: 1 May, 2015

Minimum length of stay for volunteers: Two weeks

Minimum age: 18 (16, if the participant is accompanied by an adult family member)
Number of field school places available: Maximum 8
Language: English
Experience required: No

Special requirements: Good command of manual operations. It is recommended that participants bring their laptops having at least 5 GB free disk space and a mouse. Operation system recommended: Windows XP or newer, Mac OSX or newer. The average summer temperatures in the area are 25-38 C or higher. All participants should bring clothes and cosmetics suitable for hot and sunny weather,  although the weather in June might be sometimes chilly.

THE WORKSHOP:  In 2015 the WORKSHOP FOR CONSERVATION, RESTORATION AND DOCUMENTATION OF ROMAN POTTERY will be hosted for the 6th time by the National Institution Stobi, Macedonia at the Roman city of Stobi (nowadays an archaeological park). It provides an unique opportunity for students and volunteers  to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in Roman and Late Roman pottery conservation. It will guide the participants through the history and technology of Roman and Late Roman pottery and consequent stages of archaeological conservation, restoration, documentation and study. Both the theoretical and practical courses will be based on Roman pottery found in the ancient city of Stobi. During the workshop participants will work with authentic Roman and Late Roman shards. The project includes three modules: practical work in documentation and restoration of Roman pottery; lectures, trainings and behind-the-scenes study visits and excursions to the old town of Bitola, the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis, Ohrid and Ohrid lake (UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as to a traditional pottery workshop. Refer to the Course description and Workshop agenda!

By the end of the workshop the participants will:

  • be able to develop basic/further practical skills (depending on participant's initial level of qualification) in ancient pottery, conservation, restoration and illustration (both drawing and using graphic software);
  • deepen their knowledge through first-hand experience of Roman and Late Roman history and archaeology;
  • meet professionals who work in the areas of Classical Archaeology and pottery conservation, restoration and documentation.
  • get acquainted with the basic methods of documentation, conservation and restoration of Roman pottery;
  • learn about the forms, types and technology of Roman pottery.
All participants will receive:
  • Project handbook (in PDF version by e-mail and a hard copy on arrival);
  • Balkan Heritage Field School Certificate specifying the fieldwork hours, educational modules, and sites visited. 


New Bulgarian University grants 6 academic credits to students for participation in the project. Transcripts are available upon request for an additional tuition fee! 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT:  The historical references and archaeological excavations provide an evidence of continuous occupation of Stobi rooting to the Archaic (sixth century BC) and Classical period (fifth-fourth century BC). The first historic records that mention Stobi are by the Roman historian Titus Livy, and concern the period of the second century BC, when (in 197 BC) the Macedonian king Philip V defeated the Dardanians in the vicinity of Stobi. According to Livy, after the Roman conquests of Macedonia, Stobi became an important center for salt trading. In 69 AD Empreror Vespasian granted Stobi the rank of municipium and the right to mint its own coins. Salt trading and the strategic position between two rivers on the cross-road of the ancient road along the Vardar valley and the branches of Via Diagonalis and Via Egnatia, brought to the city long-term prosperity between the first and the third centuries AD. Several monumental buildings in Stobi are dated to this period: the Theater, the first City Wall, the Gate of Heraclea, part of the Forum Romanorum, Casa Romana, the Synagogue and the water supply system. In 267/269 AD the city suffered from raids by Goths and Herules. After their devastating attacks, Stobi was rebuilt, but following a different urban model. Most of the ruins visible today belong to buildings dated to this period. In the fourth century AD Stobi became an important Christian center and seat of mighty bishops. In the fifth and sixth century, Stobi was the capital city of the Roman province Macedonia Secunda, but suffered from the raids of Huns, Ostrogoths, Avars and Slavs. An earthquake in 518 AD marked the beginning of the end of urban life in Stobi. Some records mention a small Slav community that settled and lived here in later centuries. The last historical reference regarding Stobi is about the victory of the Byzantine troops over the military crew of Stobi in the eleventh century AD.

Collaborative Universities & Institutions: The  Balkan Heritage Foundation,  National Institution Stobi and New Bulgarian University.


Project Director: Silvana Blazhevska (Director of NI Stobi, Archaeologist).
Project Coordinators:
  • Angela Pencheva (Balkan Heritage Program Director, Archaeologist)
  • Jovan Radnyanski (Archaeologist, NI Stobi).
Project conservators:
  • Bilyana Jankulovska (Conservator, NI Stobi).
  • Nina Turlakova (Balkan Heritage affiliated Conservator).


Lectures (L), Workshops (W) and Guided Tours (GT):

  • Review of Basic Methods for Uncovering, "First aid", Consolidation in situ, Cleaning, Sorting out and Storing of Ceramic Artefacts (L);
  • Basic Techniques in Conservation and Restoration of Roman and Late Roman Pottery (L);
  • Ancient Traditions and Technologies in Ceramic Production (L);
  • Typology and Chronology of Roman and Late Roman Pottery (with Examples from Stobi) (L);
  • Archaeological Record and Illustration of Roman and Late Roman Pottery (L);
  • History of Stobi and Macedonia in the Roman and Late Roman period (second century BC - sixth century AD) (L);
  • Basic Methods for Uncovering, "First aid", Consolidation in situ, Cleaning, Sorting out and Storing of Ceramic Artefacts (W);
  • Conservation and Restoration of Roman and Late Roman Pottery (with fragmented pottery from Stobi) (W) - series of workshops;
  • Archaeological Documentation and Illustration (drawing, graphic reconstruction, image processing using graphic software, photographing, description etc.) of Roman and Late Roman Pottery (W) - series of workshops;
  • Bitola and Heraclea Lyncestis (GT);
  • Ohrid (UNESCO World Heritage Site) (GT).



First day

Arrival in Stobi by 7.00 pm* - Registration and check-in. Traditional welcome dinner. Orientation walk in Gradsko and town(s) nearby

*Participants, who travel by bus/train will be picked up from Gradsko bus/railway station. Pick-up transfer from one of the nearest airports: Skopje (Macedonia) and Thessaloniki (Greece) is available upon request!

Second day

Morning: Presentation of the Balkan Heritage Foundation and Field School, the National Institution Stobi, the project and the participants. Ice-breaking game. Sightseeing of the archaeological site of Stobi

Afternoon: LECTURES

Working days


7.50 - 8.30 am - Breakfast

8. 30 am - 1.00 pm - WORKSHOPS/LECTURES, with 30-min break*

1.00 - 4.00 pm - Lunch and siesta break

4.00 - 7.30 pm - WORKSHOPS/LECTURES 

8.00 - 9.00 pm - Dinner

The WORKSHOPS and LECTURES cover different aspects of the Roman pottery conservation, restoration and documentation methods and practices.

During the evenings the project team could organize or assist participants in organizing leisure activities such as films, sports and visits to the neighboring towns/villages.




Guided visit of Ohrid and the Ohrid lake (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Guided visit of the Old Town Quarter of Bitola and the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis



Working days

7.50 - 8.30 am - Breakfast

8. 30 am - 1.00 pm - WORKSHOPS/LECTURES with 30-min break*

1.00 - 8.00 pm - Lunch and free afternoon (optional visit to the towns nearby)

8.00 pm - .....- International evening (dinner and farewell party)


Departure day


Departure after breakfast

Drop-off to either Skopje (Macedonia) or Thessaloniki (Greece) airports is available upon request!


The archaeological base at Stobi

Accommodation and Food: Participants will be accommodated in the recently renovated air-conditioned cabins at the archaeological base next to the ancient ruins of Stobi, in rooms with two to three beds. Every cabin has 4 bedrooms + living room, 2 bathrooms with showers and WC. A washing machine and Wi-Fi are available for free. Three meals (fresh, homemade food) per day are covered by the admission fee. They usually take place (except the lunch packages during the excursions) at the base's premises. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted.
Free time: Films, sport games and visits to the neighbouring towns/villages are the options for the free time in the evenings. Guided visits to the town of Bitola, the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis, Ohrid and Ohrid lake (UNESCO World Heritage Site) will be organized for all field school participants and are covered by the admission fee.

Extra trips and excursions: The BHFS participants could take advantage of their stay in the Balkans and take trips to some worth seeing historical sites and towns nearby. The BHFS encourages participants in the current project to visit after the field school either Athens, Greece (650 km/400 mi) or Sofia, Bulgaria (300 km/190 mi). The BHFS can assist the participants who plan to organize their own trips with trip advices and recommendations, accommodation and tickets reservations, by providing historical information about the sites to be visited, arranging travel insurance and other tips. With our help these excursions could be cheap, easy, safe and pleasant. Look-up at other suggested travel ideas before/after the field school!



The Admission fee includes educational and fieldwork activities, tools, materials, full-board accommodation (including three meals per day), Project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance, excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees and administrative costs.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL by Jan 31st, 2015 ( SAVE app. 130 / $170 ):

The Early Bird Admission fee for the Project is 1169 EUR (app.1519 USD. Check current exchange rates!).

REGULAR Admission Fee after Jan 31st, 2015:

The regular admission fee for the Project is 1299 EUR (app.1688 USD. Check current exchange rates!)

Admission fee transfer options (for further information contact Admissions Office at

  - Bank transfer
On-line transfers  



* 5% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available in case of:

  1. Participation in more than 1 BHFS project or project session in 2015. (5% discount is valid for all projects/sessions to be attended).
  2. Membership in the Archaeological Institute of America.

* 10% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available in case of:

  1. Participation in any BHFS project/s in the past.

* 12% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available in case of:

  1. Group Participation (three or more people, who participate together in one project session in 2015 (the discount is valid for each participant)
* 15% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee is available in case of:
  1. Group Participation (three or more people, who participate together in more than one BHFS project or project session in 2015 (the discount is valid for each participant for all projects/ sessions to be attended).
  2. BHFS alumni, who participate in more than one BHFS project or project session in 2015. (15% discount is valid only for the second, third etc. project/session to be attended).