Project type: field school (excavations). The variety of activities and team flexibility make this project suitable for either beginners or advanced in Field Archaeology.
Site: Apollonia Pontica - sector of the the ancient city's sacred precinct (temenos) located on St. Kirik Island, Sozopol, Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.
Venue: Sozopol, Bulgaria
Period(s) of occupation: Archaic and Classical Greek, Hellenistic and Early Byzantine (seventh - third century BC and fifth - seventh century AD)
Collaborating Universities & Institutions: the Balkan Heritage Foundation, Apollonia Pontica excavation team, Archaeological Museum of Sozopol, New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria).
Dig director: Krastina Panayotova, PhD in Archaeology, Associated professor and Head of the Department of Classical Archaeology, National Institute of Archaeology and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Deputy dig director and chief instructor: Teodora Bogdanova, Ph.D. Candidate in Archaeology, Department of Classical
Archaeology, National Institute of Archaeology and Museum,
Field school coordinator: Nayden Prahov, PhD in Archaeology, Program Director of the Balkan Heritage Foundation and Expert Archaeologist at the National Centre for Underwater Archaeology, Ministry of Culture, Bulgaria.
Field school session 1: 27 June - 11 July, 2015
Field school session 2: 11 July - 25 July, 2015
Field School Session 3 (Session 1 Extended): 27 June - 18 July, 2015
For sessions 1, 1+2 and 3: 15 May 2015
For session 2: 1 June 2015
Minimum length of stay for volunteers: 1 session (two weeks)
Minimum age: 18
Number of field school places available: Maximum 35
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 25-35 C or higher.
All participants should bring clothes and cosmetics suitable for hot and sunny
weather. Bear in mind that chilly, windy and rainy days are very rare but not
uncommon. All participants are expected to prepare for the dig by reading the
BHFS handbook (the BHFS e-handbook will be sent by e-mail to all registered
students before the beginning of the project) and the recommended readings!
Participants will use the tools and equipment available at the site and are not
expected to bring any additional equipment.
If you are interested in an 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!
Ancient Apollonia Pontica (present-day Sozopol,
Bulgria) is one of the earliest towns on the
Despite being one of the largest and richest Ancient
Greek colonies in the
Epigraphic sources mention that the
The great discovery convinced the Bulgarian Government to declare the island a cultural heritage site and designate some of the abandoned military buildings to be turned into a Museum of the Maritime Contacts and Civilizations.
Come and help the project team to reveal the secrets of the lost
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 archaeological field work and finds' processing gained during the first two-week session, to attend a number of extra lectures and workshops for analyzing, recording and illustration of archaeological artifacts (esp. Ancient Greek pottery) and to join an excursion to the natural megalithic and archaeological site of Begliktash.
Only the participants who join the two project sessions (1&2) will take part in the workshop for conservation and restoration of pottery.
After the field school the participants could join the optional 5-day trip to Istanbul, Turkey.
All participants will receive:
55 / 85 / 120 astronomical hours of fieldwork in two / three / four-week sessions;
20 / 25 / 30 astronomical hours of Lectures (L), Workshops (W), and Field Instructions & Training (FIT) in two / three / four-week sessions;
10 / 15 astronomical hours of Guided Tours (GT) in two / three & four-week sessions;
10 / 15 / 20 hours of individual work in two / three & four-week sessions.
Lectures (L), Workshops (W), Guided Tours (GT) and Field Instructions & Training (FIT):
- Scale-drawing of Ground-plan and Cross-section (FIT);
- Field Photography (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)
By 7.00 pm - Arrival and check-in. Registration.
8.00 - 9.30 pm - Traditional Bulgarian welcome dinner.
A pick-up may be arranged from Burgas and Varna airports, train or bus stations upon request.
Presentation of the Balkan Heritage Field School and collaborative universities & institutions, the project and the participants. Ice-breaking. Town sightseeing and orientation walk.
During the second session participants who are attending either session 3 or the two project sessions will follow the agenda concerning regular working days.
6.30 - 7.10 am - Breakfast
7.10 - 7.30 am - Walk to the excavation site;
7.30 am - 1.00 pm - Fieldwork, including 30 min break*
1.00 - 5.30 pm - Lunch and siesta break
5.30 - 6.30/7.30 pm - Lectures/Workshops /Lab work
8.00 - 9.00 pm - Dinner
* in rare cases of rain, the project envisions finds' processing workshops, lectures and film projections
Lectures and workshops in the area of Ancient Greek History and Archaeology/Finds processing
BHFS team could organize/assist with organization of various leisure activities for participants during their free time such as visiting beaches and sites, attending cultural events, etc.
Days off for participants who join either session 3 or two project sessions.
Optional leisure activities: excursions, sites visiting, boating, sailing, fishing, etc.
Departure. Check-out by 11.30 am.
A drop-off may be arranged from Sozopol to Burgas and Varna upon request.
Boardman, J. 1999. The Greeks Overseas. Their Early Colonies and Trade (fourth edition). Thames & Hudson.
Bouzek, J. 2003. Studies of Greek Pottery in the Black Sea Area. Oxford.
Grammenos, D. V., Petropoloulos, E. K. 2003. Ancient Greek Colonies in the Black Sea. Vol. 1. Publications of the Archaeological institute of Northern Greece, Nr. 4.
Grant J., Sam Gorin and Neil Fleming. 2008. The Archaeology Coursebook: an introduction to themes, sites, methods and skills. Routledge.
Renfrew, Colin and Paul Bahn. 2006. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. New York.
Sparkes, B. 1991. Greek Pottery. The Introduction. Manchester University Press.
Theodore Pena, J. 2007.Pottery in the Archaeological Record.Cambridge University Press.
Tsetskhladze, Gocha R. 2006, 2008. Greek Colonisation: v. 1, 2: An Account of Greek Colonies and Other Settlements Overseas. Brill.
Project venue: the picturesque, small Black Sea coastal town of Sozopol, Bulgaria is a popular summer destination for tourists.
The Nearest Air Terminals: Burgas airport (45 km), Varna airport (160 km).Don't forget checking the low cost flight options! If participants arrive at one of these airports, a transfer to Sozopol 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 20 to 100 EUR. Ask for details!
How to get there? Bus lines connect Sozopol with Burgas, Sofia (the Bulgarian capital) and Plovdiv.
Accommodation: Accommodation is either at Dom Mladenovi guest house or at VMK Military Club, both of which have comfortable rooms with ensuite, with two to three beds, bathrooms with shower and WC, equipped with air-conditioning, refrigerators, TV and Internet. The hotels are located very close to the town beaches, the Old Town Quarter, the Archaeological Museum and within 15 min walking distance from the archaeological site. Wi-Fi is available on the first floor of the hotel. Staying an extra day costs 27 EUR. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional fee of 150 EUR per week.
For those who prefer higher class accommodation, the BHFS would recommend to make reservations with the following hotels in Sozopol: Hotel Casa del Mare and Hotel Fiesta. All participants who organize and pay extra for their own accommodation will receive a discount of 75 EUR (per week) off the admission fee.
See all accommodation options on our Information page!
Meals: Three meals (fresh, organic Bulgarian food) per day are covered by the admission fee. They usually take place (except the lunch packages during the excursions) in a local tavern. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. All participants who prefer to organize and pay extra for their own food will receive a discount of 75 EUR (per week) off the admission fee.
Participants must pay on their own for extra days and for single room accommodation as well as for extra meals, beverages, services and products!
Free time: Guided visits of Sozopol and Nessebar (UNESCO World Heritage Site) including their archaeological museums will be organized for all field school participants. Participants in session 3 and the two project sessions (1&2) will visit also the natural megalithic and archaeological site of Begliktash. The above mentioned trips are covered by the admission fee. During the summer Sozopol offers a lot of opportunities for sports and entertainment. Possible leisure activities during the siesta and days off in and around Sozopol are: swimming, sunbathing, beach sports including surfing, visiting local beaches and tourist (natural and heritage) sites, scuba diving, fishing, sailing & boating, attending cultural events, seeing movies in an outdoor cinema or just shopping.
Extra trips and excursions: The BHFS participants could take advantage of their stay in the Balkans and take trips to worth seeing historical sites and towns in the region.
Please follow the links above for excursion details and information on how to join!
Insurance: The admission fee does not cover insurance. It is necessary to arrange
your own insurance before your trip to
Weather: A southern European (subtropical) climate dominates in the region, making summers hot (30-40 C) but breezy. Rainy and chilly days in this season are rare but not excluded.
What to bring?
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.
The price in USD is for orientation. Please check current exchange rates!
Super Early Bird Admission fee for either session 1 or session 2 is 1189 EUR* / app.1329 USD - SAVE 210 EUR / 240 USD
Super Early Bird Admission fee for session 3 is 1784 EUR* / app. 1999 USD - SAVE 315 EUR / 360 USD
Super Early Bird Admission fee for two project sessions (1 & 2) is 2378 EUR*/ app. 2669 USD - SAVE 280 EUR / 320 USD
Early Bird Admission fee for one project session is 1259 EUR* / app.1419 USD - SAVE 140 EUR / 160 USD
Early Bird Admission fee for session 3 is 1889 EUR* / app. 2119 USD - SAVE 200 EUR / 230 USD
Early Bird Admission fee for for two project sessions is 2518 EUR* / app. 2829 USD - SAVE 140 EUR / 160 USD
The regular admission fee for either session 1 or session 2 is 1399 EUR* (app.1569 USD).
The regular admission fee for session 3 is 2099 EUR* (app. 2359 USD).
The regular admission fee for two project sessions (1 & 2) is 2658 EUR* (app. 2989 USD). (Includes 5% discount for participation in 2 sessions).
* All participants who are willing to organize either their food or accommodation or both separately, outside the project package, will receive a discount of 75 EUR per weeks (for each) and 150 EUR per week (for both) off the regular admission fee! For instance, if Your admission fee for two-week session is 1259 EUR (the Early bird) and you prefer to organize and pay extra for your food and accommodation oustide the project package, your admission fee will be reduced to 959 EUR (1240 USD).
Admission Fee Transfer Options:
- Bank transfer
- On-line transfers via the Balkan Heritage virtual POS Terminal VISA, MASTERCARD & MAESTRO cards are accepted.
For further information contact Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org!
* 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!
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 Regulations for obtaining Transcripts of Records!
Tuition fee: starting from 282 EUR for six ECTS credits / 423 EUR for nine ECTS credits