BALKAN HERITAGE FIELD SCHOOL PROJECT (COURSE) 2014:
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.
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 COMPREHENISVE EXPERIENCE WITH CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY, PLEASE SEE ALSO THE ANCIENT GREEK PACK AND THE ANCIENT GREEK AND ROMAN PACK (EACH COMBINING TWO 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: a guest-house the SPA village of Varvara (district of Pazardzhik), Southern Bulgaria in the foothills of the 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. During the project work days all participants will be given a lift from the guest-house 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 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. Ask for details!
How to get there? 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. 1 1/2 - 2 hours) or Plovdiv (app.1 hour).
THE FIELD SCHOOL
Field School Session 1: 2 August - 16 August, 2014
Field School Session 2: 17 August- 31 August, 2014
Field School Session 3 (Session 1 Extended): 2 August - 23 August, 2014
Application Deadlines: until the places are filled or latest 1st of July, 2014
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 2014 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 2014 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 session (3) or the two project sessions (1&2) 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!).
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 read the BHFS Regulations for obtaining ToR!
Collaborative 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 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.
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 guest house located very close to Varvara Mineral Baths. The guest house has a small swimming pool with mineral water 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 guest-house tavern. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. Staying an extra day at the guest house costs 27 EUR. Single rooms in the guest-house are limited but available upon request for the supplement of 200 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 Varvara 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 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 (800 km/500 mi) or Istanbul, Turkey (500 km/300 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
The Admission fee includes educational and fieldwork activities, full-board accommodation (at local guest-house + 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, 2014:
REGISTRATION AFTER JANUARY 31st, 2014:
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: