Balkan heritage projects 2013:
ANCIENT GREEKS IN THE LAND OF DIONYSOS - EXCAVATION OF EMPORION PISTIROS, THRACE
Panagyurishte Gold Treasure (4th - 3rd century BC), found in the vicinity (60 km) of Pistiros.
Project type: field school (excavations) THE PROJECT IS SUITABLE FOR BOTH BEGINNERS AND ADVANCED IN FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY!
Site: Emporion Pistiros, between the small towns of Septemvri and Vetren, Southern Bulgaria.
Project Venue: the spa village of Varvara, Southern Bulgaria is situated 14 km away from the site, in the foothills of majestic Rhodopi Mountains. There are several spa & wellness hotels and swimming pools with mineral water in the village that is also a stop on the picturesque narrow gauge railway (the last functioning one in Bulgaria) from Septemvri to Dobrinishte.
Period(s) of occupation: Classical, Hellenistic (5th – 2nd century BC)
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 the village of Varvara 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.
Travel/access to the project venue: The village of Varvara is located in Thrace, Southern Bulgaria, 7 km from the municipal town of Septemvri. It may be reached by both bus and train from either Sofia (app. 1½-2 hours) or Plovdiv (app.1 hour).
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 as 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 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:
In 2013 the Ancient Greeks in the Land of Dionysus - Excavation of Emporion Pistiros, Thrace PROJECT envisions further excavation of the following site's areas:
The participants in both project sessions of the Field School 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.
All participants will receive:
New Bulgarian University grants 6 credits to students for participation in one project session and 9 credits for participation in two sessions. Transcripts of Records (ToR) are available upon request for an additional tuition fee! For details please read the BHFS Regulations for obtaining ToR!
Affiliation: Balkan Heritage Foundation, Pistiros Excavation Team: National Archaeological Institute with Museum at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, “Prof. Mieczyslaw Domaradzki” Archaeological Museum in Septemvri and New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria); “Pistiros” Association; University of Liverpool (England); Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic).
Dig Director/s: 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.
Field School Project Session 1: 2 July – 16 July, 2013
Field School Project Session 2: 16 July-30 July, 2013
Application Deadlines: until the places are filled or latest 1st of June, 2013
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
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 have some (at least theoretical) background in archaeological field techniques and methods. Participants will use the tools and equipment available at the site and are not expected to bring any additional equipment.
Experience required: No
BHFS Lecturers, Instructors and Trainers:
Lectures, workshops and field trainings:
Environmental, historical and cultural context of the site
Only for students in both project sessions:
Thracian royal tombs, Kazanlak and Starosel, Bulgaria
Old Town Quarter, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
The Roman Theater, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Room and Board arrangements: All participants are going to be accommodated in a guest house in the village of Varvara, in comfortable rooms (with two to three beds, bathrooms with WC and shower), equipped with air-conditioning, TV and Wi-Fi. The guest house has a small swimming pool with mineral water. Three meals per day are covered by the admission fee. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. The guest house is located very close to Varvara Mineral Baths.
Free time: Guided visits around the city of Plovdiv will be organized for all field school participants. Participants in two project sessions will visit also Thracian royal tombs in the Rose valley in and around Kazanlak (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Starosel. Possible leisure activities during the siesta and days off: visiting the local swimming pools with mineral water, hiking in the mountains, visiting local tourist sites, wine-tasting, traveling by the narrow gauge train to Velingrad (much larger spa and wellness town) or doing shopping and sightseeing in the neighboring cities of Pazardzhik and Plovdiv.
The Admission fee includes educational and fieldwork activities, full-board accommodation (hotel + 3 meals per day), tools, materials, excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees, Project handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance and administrative costs.
EARLY REGISTRATION BY JANUARY 31st, 2013:
The Early bird admission fee for 1 project session is 1124 EUR (app.1400 USD Check current exchange rates!).
The Early bird admission fee for 2 project sessions is 2248 EUR (app. 2660 USD Check current exchange rates!)
REGISTRATION AFTER JANUARY 31st, 2013
The regular admission fee for 1 project session is 1249 EUR (app.1550 USD. Check current exchange rates!)
The regular admission fee for 2 project sessions is 2373 EUR / app. 2900 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:
NOTE, 5% OF EVERY ADMISSION FEE FOR THIS PROJECT DIRECTLY SUPPORTS THE BALKAN HERITAGE PROTECTION FUND’S ACTIVITIES!