BALKAN HERITAGE FIELD SCHOOL PROJECT (COURSE) 2015:
STOBI (THE CAPITAL CITY OF MACEDONIA SECUNDA) EXCAVATION PROJECT
Project type: field school (excavations). The variety of activities and team flexibility make this project suitable for either beginners or advanced in Field Archaeology.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN EVEN MORE COMPREHENSIVE EXPERIENCE WITH CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY, CHECK OUR PROJECT PACK - ANCIENT GREEK AND ROMAN PACK COMBINING 2 DIFFERENT BALKAN HERITAGE FIELD SCHOOL PROJECTS!
Period(s) of occupation: Late Hellenistic, Roman, Late Roman (Second century BC - Sixth century AD)
The nearest air terminals: 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.
THE FIELD SCHOOL
Field school session 1: 27 June - 11 July, 2015
Field school session 2: 11 July - 25 July, 2015
For Session 1: 15 May 2015
For Session 2: 1 June 2015
Minimum length of stay for volunteers: 1 session (two weeks)
Minimum age: 18 (16, if the participant is accompanied by an adult family member)
Number of field school places available: Maximum 20
Experience required: No
Special requirements: The project is not recommended for individuals with solar allergies or other special illnesses that might be exacerbated during the intensive outdoor activities. The average summer temperatures in the area are 25-35 C or higher. All participants should bring clothes and cosmetics suitable for hot and sunny weather. Bear in mind that chillier days are very rare but not uncommon. All participants are expected to get prepared for the dig by reading (at least) the BHFS handbook chapter about archaeological excavation techniques and methods (the BHFS e-handbook will be sent by e-mail to all registered students before the beginning of the project)! Participants will use the tools and equipment available at the site and are not expected to bring any additional equipment.
The Site: For more than a century the ancient city of Stobi has been attracting scientists from all over the World to reveal its secrets. The first reported excavations started during the World War I by German officers and the archaeologist F. Krischen.
Periods of excavations:
Despite all the excavation campaigns only 15% of the territory of Stobi, that is surrounded by the city wall, has been excavated.
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.
The Field School: In 2010 the field school project was concentrated on the Western Necropolis (in use from the first century BC to the fifth century AD) and the temple of Isis dated to the second and the third century AD. The excavations between 2011 and 2013 took place in the Northern Residential Area of Stobi, inhabited mainly in the Late Antiquity. The participants in the 2014 Field School are going to excavate the most representative residential building in Stobi so called "Theodossian Palace", located in the center of the ancient town, between the streets of Via Principalis Inferior and Via Principalis Superior. The name was applied by the assumption that the emperor Theodosius I was accommodated here during his visit of Stobi in 388 AD. During the Balkan Heritage Field School workshops for conservation and documentation of Roman and Mosaics at Stobi in 2012 and 2013 two of the endangered mosaics of the same building, were removed, consolidated and conserved on a new carrier. But before returning the mosaics to their previous place, there is a need for archaeological investigation of the areas underneath. Archaeologists expect to find there remains of the earlier and less known period of Stobi's history - the Hellenistic.
Two field school sessions are available in 2015, each composed by the following three modules: fieldwork including excavation, maintaining a field journal on a daily basis, filling out context sheets and labels, drawing elevation plans/ ground plans/ cross cross-sections, 3D positioning of finds, taking coordinates with a level device, and taking photographs at the site; lectures, workshops and field trainings in Classical and Field Archaeology, finds' processing and documentation (including pottery drawing, cleaning, sorting, conservation and restoration of artifacts) and excursions to the old towns of Bitola, the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis as well as to Ohrid and Ohrid lake (UNESCO World Heritage Site). (Refer to the Course Program and Agenda below!).
The participants who join the two project sessions (1&2) will be able to develop further their skills and competences regarding the archaeological field work and finds' processing, gained during the first two-week session. They will attend a number of extra lectures and workshops for analyzing, recording, illustration and conservation of archaeological artifacts (esp. Roman pottery and glassware); to participate in a field survey and site recording in the vicinity of Stobi and to take a trip during the project to the ancient Macedonian capital Pella and the royal burial complexes in Vergina (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Greece (it is optional and not covered by the admission fee).
All participants will receive:
CREDIT HOURS: New Bulgarian University grants 6 credits to students for participation in one project session and9 credits for participation in two sessions. Transcripts of Records (ToR) are available upon request for an additional tuition fee. For details please contact Admissions Office!
Collaborative Universities & Institutions: The Balkan Heritage Foundation, National Institution Stobi and New Bulgarian University.
Dig Director: Silvana Blazhevska (Director of NI Stobi, archaeologist)
Project Coordinator: Angela Pencheva (Balkan Heritage archaeologist, PhD student at Humboldt University-Berlin, Germany)
Instructors, Trainers and Area Supervisors:
Lectures (L), Workshops (W), Field Instructions & Trainings (FIT) and Guided Tours (GT):
Only for students in the two project sessions (1&2)
The archaeological base at Stobi
ACCOMMODATION AND FREE TIME
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:
- Participants can also join the optional 1-day excursion (not covered by the admission fee) to Pella and Vergina (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Greece on the 11th of July 2015 for an extra fee of 80 EUR. It is:
THE ADMISSION FEE
The Admission fee includes educational and fieldwork activities, tools, materials, Project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance, full-board accommodation (including three meals per day), excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees and administrative costs.
SUPER EARLY BIRD SPECIAL by November 30, 2014 (includes 15% discount off the admission fees)!
Super Early Bird Admission fee for one project session is 1104 EUR / app.1419 USD. SAVE 195 EUR / 260 USD (check current exchange rates!)
Super Early Bird Admission fee for for two project sessions is 2208 EUR / app.2849 USD. SAVE 260 EUR / 340 USD (check current exchange rates!)
REGULAR Admission Fee after November 30, 2014:
The regular admission fee for one session is 1299 EUR (app.1688 USD. Check current exchange rates!)
The regular admission fee for two project sessions is 2468 EUR / app. 3208 USD (including 5% discount for participation in 2 project sessions!). Check current exchange rates!)
Admission fee transfer options (for further information contact Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org):
DISCOUNTS OFF THE REGULAR ADMISSION FEE:
* 5% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available in case of:
* 10% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available in case of:
* 12% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available in case of:
* 15% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee is available in case of:
NOTE, 5% OF EVERY ADMISSION FEE FOR THIS PROJECT DIRECTLY SUPPORTS THE BALKAN HERITAGE PROTECTION FUND'S ACTIVITIES!