BALKAN HERITAGE FIELD SCHOOL PROJECT (COURSE) 2015:
ANCIENT GREEKS IN THE LAND OF DIONYSOS - EXCAVATION OF EMPORION PISTIROS, THRACE
Panagyurishte Gold Treasure (4th - 3rd century BC), found in the vicinity of Pistiros.
SUPER EARLY BIRD SPECIAL available for this project by November 30, 2014 - see details below!
Project type: field school (excavations). The variety of activities and team flexibility make this project suitable for both Beginners and Advanced in Field Archaeology.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN EVEN MORE COMPREHENSIVE EXPERIENCE WITH CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY, CHECK OUR PROJECT PACKS: ANCIENT GREEK PACK AND THE ANCIENT GREEK AND ROMAN PACK EACH COMBINING 2 DIFFERENT BALKAN HERITAGE FIELD SCHOOL PROJECTS!
Site: Emporion Pistiros, between the small towns of Septemvri and Vetren, Southern Bulgaria.
Period(s) of occupation: Classical, Hellenistic (5th - 2nd century BC)
Project Venue: "Villa Terres" is a newly built tourism SPA complex, located in the southern part of the village Karabunar, 8 km from the motorway exit "Trakia" on the way to Velingrad. During the project work days all participants will be given a lift from the hotel to the site (that is located 14 km away) and back.
The nearest air terminals: Sofia (Bulgaria, 85 km) and Plovdiv (Bulgaria, 50 km) - don't forget checking the low cost flight options! If participants arrive at the one of these airports, a transfer to the project venue in Karabunar may be arranged by request (Please, specify this in your application form!). Individual or group transfers' price may vary depending on both distance and number of passengers from 25 to 100 EUR. Ask for details!
How to get there? The village of Karabunar is located in Thrace, Southern Bulgaria, 9 km from the municipal town of Septemvri. It may be reached by both bus and train from either Sofia (app. 1 1/2 - 2 hours) or Plovdiv (app.1 hour).
THE FIELD SCHOOL
Field School Session 1: 26 July - 9 August, 2015
Field School Session 2: 9 - 23 August, 2015
Field School Session 3 (Session 1 Extended): 26 July - 16 August, 2015
Application Deadlines: until the places are filled or latest 1st of July, 2015
Minimum length of stay for participants: Two weeks
Minimum age: 18 (16, if the participant is accompanied by an adult family member)
Number of field school places available: Maximum 20
Project language: English
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 30-38 C or higher, that is why the participants should bring clothes and cosmetics suitable for hot and sunny weather. 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: In 1988 prof. M. Domaradzki (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) uncovered on the left bank of the Maritsa River (ancient Hebros) between the towns of Vetren and Septemvri (in present day Bulgaria) the ruins of the Ancient Greek trade centre (emporion) once located deep in Thrace, in the Odryssian kingdom (the strongest and mightiest of all Thracian kingdoms existing at the time). Prof. M. Domaradzki started regular excavations there and in 1990 his team found the stone inscription (known as "Vetren inscription") that helped the scholars to identify the site as the Ancient Greek emporion named Pistiros. Merchants from Greek coastal cities of Maroneia, Thassos and Apollonia lived and traded there with their Thracian neighbours under the supreme protection of the Thracian Odryssian kings. The emporion was also a major metallurgical centre and a key harbour for export of metals and metal products from Thrace to Greece in the Classical and Early Hellenistic periods (from the middle of the 5-th to the beginning of the 3-rd century BC). The trade contacts of the emporion are evident through finds of numerous imports such as Attic red-figured and black-glazed pottery, amphorae (mainly Thasian) and coins (including several hoards of cooper, silver and gold coins found during the excavations - they represent the coinage of different Odryssean kings (e.g. Amatokos I, Bergaios, Kotys I, Amatokos II, Teres II, Kersebleptes, Teres II), Greek cities (Thasos, Maroneia, Parion, Thracian Chersonese, Kypsela, Enos, Apollonia, Messabria etc.) and Macedonian rulers (Philip II, Alexander the Great, Kassandros, Demetrios Poliokretes, Lysimachos etc.).
Most of the ancient authors and the majority of the modern scholars consider the cult of Dionysos rooting in Thrace. It played a very important role in the emporion's religious life. For instance the Vetren inscription informs about the oath taken in the name of Dionysos by the Odryssian king: Kotys I (383-359 BC) and his successor from the citizens of Pistiros - this how they guaranteed the integrity of their lives, properties and activities in their town under the sovereignty of the Thracian kings.
Pistiros history in brief:
***In the course of time after 1988 the Pistiros Excavation Team lead by representatives of National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) was joined by the following institutions:
So far archaeologists uncovered the Eastern fortification wall of the emporion (having one gate, several towers, and a bastion - all built of stone blocks analogically to the Thassian fortification system), streets paved by stone plates, solid stone foundations of buildings as well as an efficient drainage system. Despite the long period of study there are still many questions concerning Pistiros to be answered - for instance:
The Field School: In 2015 the Ancient Greeks in the Land of Dionysus - Excavation of Emporion Pistiros, Thrace Project envisions further excavation of the following site's areas:
The project sessions available in 2015 include the following three modules: 1. fieldwork including excavation, maintaining a field journal on a daily basis, filling context sheets and labels, drawing an elevation plan / a ground plan/ a cross-section, 3D positioning of finds, taking coordinates with a level device, and taking photographs at the site; 2. lectures, workshops and field trainings in Classical and Field Archaeology, finds' processing and documentation; 3. excursions to various cultural and archaeological sites in the region such as the ancient town of of Plovdiv (Please refer to the Course Program and Agenda below!).
The participants who join either the three-week (3) and four-week (1&2) sessions will be able to develop further their skills and competences regarding the field work and finds processing, gained during the first two-week session and to attend a number of extra lectures, workshops and an excursion to some of the most remarkable Thracian royal tombs in the Rose valley in and around Kazanlak and Starosel, Bulgaria (Please refer to the Course Program and Agenda below!).
The participants who join the two project sessions (1&2) will be able to attend a 5-dayworkshop on advanced digital imaging and surveying for archaeological and architectural recording alongside the excavation (it is optional and covered by the admission fee), taught by Canadian professor Dr. George Bevan (Queens University, Canada). Students will continue to excavate in the morning session but will have the option of additional training in Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and photogrammetry of small finds such as coins or ceramics in the afternoon as well as of larger-scale features in excavated units on site. Further training will be given in the operation of a Total Station and the establishing of a survey control network on site.
All participants will receive:
CREDIT HOURS: New Bulgarian University grants 6 credits to students for participation in one project session (1,2,3) and 9 credits for participation in two sessions (1&2). Transcripts of Records (ToR) are available upon request for an additional tuition fee. For details please contact Admissions Office!
Collaborating Universities & Institutions: the Balkan Heritage Foundation, Pistiros Excavation Team: National Archaeological Institute with Museum at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Regional Museum of History, Pazardzhik, "Prof. Mieczyslaw Domaradzki" Archaeological Museum in Septemvri, "Pistiros" Association and New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria); University of Liverpool (England); Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) and Queen's University, Department of Classics, Canada.
Ass. Prof. Alexey Gotsev, PhD in Archaeology, Department of Thracian Archaeology, National Institute of Archaeology and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; Director of Pistiros Excavation Team.
Prof. Jan Bouzek, PhD in Archaeology, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic; Dig Director of the Czech Excavation Team at the emporion Pistiros;
Ass. Prof. Zofia H. Archibald, PhD in Archaeology; University of Liverpool - Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology Department, Great Britain; Dig Director of the British Excavation Team at the emporion Pistiros.
Project Coordinator: Angela Pencheva, Balkan Heritage Program Manager; PhD student in Classical Archaeology at Humboldt University-Berlin, Germany.
Lectures (L), Workshops (W), Guided Tours (GT) and Field Instructions & Trainings (FIT):
Only for students in the three-week session (3) and the two project sessions (1&2):
Only for students in the two project sessions (1&2)
The guest-house in Varvara, Bulgaria
Thracian royal tomb in Starosel, Bulgaria
Thracian royal tomb in Kazanlak, Bulgaria (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Plovdiv Old Town Quarter, Bulgaria
The Roman Theater, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
ACCOMMODATION AND FREE TIME
Accommodation and Food: in comfortable rooms with two to three beds (bathrooms with shower and WC), equipped with air-conditioning and TV in a local hotel. The hotel has a small swimming pool and provides cheap laundry service and free Wi-Fi. Three meals (fresh, organic Bulgarian homemade food) per day are covered by the admission fee. They usually take place (except the lunch packages during the excursions) in the hotelís restaurant. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. Staying an extra day at the guest house costs 30 EUR. Single rooms in the guest-house are limited but available upon request for the supplement of 240 EUR (for two-week period).
Free time: Guided visits to the Archaeological Museum, Roman monuments and the Old Town Quarter of Plovdiv will be organized for all field school participants. Participants in session 3 and the two project sessions (1&2) will visit also Thracian royal tombs in the Rose valley in and around Kazanlak (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Starosel. The above mentioned trips are covered by the admission fee. Possible leisure activities during the siesta and days off in and around Karabunar are: swimming in/sunbathing around a pool with mineral water, hiking in the Rhodopi Mountains, wine-tasting at one of many local wineries, visiting local tourist sites, traveling by the narrow gauge train to Velingrad (popular and larger spa and wellness town) or doing shopping and sightseeing in the neighboring cities of Pazardzhik and Plovdiv.
Extra trips and excursions: The BHFS participants could take advantage of their stay in the Balkans and take part in the optional excursions to worth seeing historical sites and towns in North-western Thrace (Bulgaria) during the field school.
THE ADMISSION FEE
The Admission fee includes: educational and fieldwork activities, full-board accommodation (hotel + 3 meals per day), tools, materials, Project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance, 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 either session 1 or session 2 is 1147 EUR / app.1479 USD* - SAVE 202 EUR / 260 USD*
Super Early Bird Admission fee for session 3 is 1742 EUR / app. 2249 USD* -SAVE 307 EUR / 400 USD*
Super Early Bird Admission fee for two project sessions (1 & 2) is 2293 EUR / app. 2959 USD* - SAVE 270 EUR / 350 USD*
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: December 1, 2014 - January 31, 2015 (includes 10% discount off the admission fees)!
Early Bird Admission fee for one project session is 1214 EUR / app.1539 USD*. SAVE 135 EUR / 175 USD*
Early Bird Admission fee for session 3 is 1844 EUR / app. 2249 USD* - SAVE 205 EUR / 265 USD*
Early Bird Admission fee for for two project sessions is 2307 EUR / app.2969 USD*. SAVE 256 EUR / 330 USD*
REGULAR Admission Fee after January 31, 2015:
The regular admission fee for either session 1 or session 2 is 1349 EUR / app.1739 USD*.
The regular admission fee for session 3 is 2049 EUR /app. 2649 USD*.
The regular admission fee for two project sessions (1 & 2) is 2563 EUR / app. 3309 USD*. (Includes 5% discount for participation in 2 sessions).
*(please 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!