Republic of Macedonia

Workshop for Conservation, Restoration and Documentation of Roman Pottery and Glass

Period: Roman and Late Roman
Code: RPGDR.WRK 16
Session: 4 - 25 June, 2016
Academic credits available: 9
Admission fee starting from: 1619 EUR (app. 1819 USD)

The Project and the Course

General information

Project type: field school & conservation workshop. The variety of activities and team flexibility make this project suitable for both Beginners and Advanced (either volunteers or students) in conservation.

Artifacts & monuments in the project's focus: Pottery of the ancient city of Stobi, Republic of Macedonia.

Periods in the project's focus: Roman and Late Roman (second century - sixth century AD)

Collaborating Universities & Institutions: Balkan Heritage Foundation, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria; NI Stobi, Republic of Macedonia

Workshop director: Silvana Blazhevska (Director of NI Stobi, MA in Archaeology)

Chief conservator: Bilyana Jankulovska (Senior Conservator, NI Stobi)

Field School coordinators: Angela Pencheva (Archaeologist, Balkan Heritage Foundation; Ph.D. Candidate, Humboldt University-Berlin, Germany) and Jovan Radnyanski (archaeologist, NI Stobi)

Venue: Archaeological site of Stobi, Republic of Macedonia. The Hellenistic, Roman and Late Roman city was a significant urban center in Antiquity and capital of the Roman province Macedonia Secunda in the Late Antiquity. Stobi was included in the 2012 world monuments watch list among the monuments with universal significance - Read more here!

Dates: 4 - 25 June, 2016

Application Deadlines: until the places are filled, or latest 1 May, 2016

Minimum length of stay: Three weeks.

Minimum age: 18 (16, if the participant is accompanied by an adult family member).

Number of field school places available: Maximum 8

Language: English

Experience required: No

Special requirements: Good physical condition and command of manual operations. Participation in 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 25-38 C or higher. All participants should bring clothes and cosmetics suitable for hot and sunny weather, although the weather in June might be sometimes chilly. It is recommended that participants bring their laptops having at least 20 GB free disk space and a mouse. Operation system recommended: Windows XP or newer, Mac OSX or newer. All participants are expected to prepare for the workshop by reading at least the BHFS handbook (the BHFS e-handbook will be sent by e-mail to all registered students before the beginning of the project) and other recommended readings! Participants will use the tools and equipment available at the site and are not expected to bring any additional equipment.


The Workshop

In 2016 the Workshop for Conservation, Restoration and Documentation of Roman Pottery and Glass will be hosted again by the National Institution Stobi, Macedonia at the Roman city of Stobi (nowadays an archaeological park). It provides an unique opportunity for students and volunteers to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in Roman and Late Roman pottery and glass conservation. It will guide the participants through the history and technology of Roman and Late Roman pottery and glass and consequent stages of their study, conservation, restoration and documentation. Both the theoretical and practical courses will be based on Roman pottery and glass found in the ancient city of Stobi. During the first two project weeks participants will work with authentic Roman and Late Roman shards and with replicas of Roman glass vessels, produced by authentic Roman technology during the third project week.The project includes three modules: practical work in documentation and restoration of Roman pottery and glass; lectures, training and behind-the-scenes study visits and excursions to the town of Bitola, the archaeological site of Heraclea LyncestisOhrid and Ohrid Lake (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Ancient Macedonian capitals in Pella and Vergina (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Greece as well as to a traditional pottery workshop. Refer to the Course description and Workshop agenda below!


By the end of the workshop the participants will:

  • be able to develop basic/further practical skills (depending on participant's initial level of qualification) in ancient pottery and glass conservation, restoration and illustration (both drawing and using graphic software);
  • deepen their knowledge through first-hand experience of Roman and Late Roman History and Archaeology;
  • meet professionals who work in the areas of Classical Archaeology and Pottery and Glass Conservation, Restoration and Documentation.
  • get acquainted with the basic methods of documentation, conservation and restoration of ancient pottery and glass;
  • learn about the forms, types and technology of Roman pottery and glassware.


All participants will receive:

  • Project handbook (in PDF version by e-mail and a hard copy on arrival);
  • Balkan Heritage Field School Certificate specifying the fieldwork hours, educational modules, and sites visited.



Archaeological and historical context

Why Stobi? The first historic records to mention Stobi were written by the Roman historian Titus Livy (ca. 197 BCE). According to Livy, Stobi became an important center for salt trading after the Roman conquest of Macedonia and the establishment of Pax Romana. In 69 CE, Emperor Vespasian granted Stobi the rank of municipium and the right to mint its own coins. Stobi was not only an important salt trading center but also strategically located at the crossroads of the ancient roads that ran along the two rivers Axios and Erigon. The first road connected the North and South of the Balkans as it does today, while the second to the southwest connected Stobi with the Via Egnatia near Heraclea Lyncestis and to the northeast continued to Serdica.

This commercial and strategic position brought Stobi long-term prosperity, especially in the period between the 1st and 3rd centuries CE. Several monumental buildings in the city are dated to this period: the Theater, the first City Wall, Porta Heraclea, the Public Building with Arches (most probably the Stobi library), the Casa Romana, the Synagogue, as well as the water supply system. In 267 CE the city suffered from raids conducted by the Goths and Herulean. At the end of the 3rd century Stobi was devastated by an earthquake; it was later rebuilt but following a different urban plan. Most of the ruins visible today belong to buildings dating to this period.

In the 4th century CE, Stobi became an important Christian center and the seat of powerful bishops. Late, in the 5th-6th centuries, Stobi was the capital city of the Roman province Macedonia Secunda, but suffered from the raids of Huns, Ostrogoths, Avars and Slavs. The constant threat of barbarian raids as well as certain climatic changes lead to the gradual abandonment of the city in the second half of the 6th century CE.Some records mention a small Slav community that settled and lived there in later centuries. The last historical reference regarding Stobi describes the victory of the Byzantine troops over Stobi’s local militia during the 11th century CE. 

The Program


Lectures (L), Workshops (W) and Guided Tours (GT):   

  • Review of Basic Methods for Uncovering, "First aid", Consolidation in situ, Cleaning, Sorting out and Storing of Ceramic and Glass Artefacts (L);
  • Basic Techniques in Conservation and Restoration of Roman Pottery (L);
  • Basic Techniques in Ancient Glass Conservation and Restoration(L);
  • Ancient Traditions and Technologies in Ceramic Production (L);
  • History of Preroman and Roman Glass Technology (L);
  • Typology and Chronology of Roman and Late Roman Pottery and Glass (with Examples from Stobi) (L);
  • Archaeological Record and Illustration of Roman Pottery and Glass (L);
  • History of Stobi and Macedonia in the Roman and Late Roman period (second century BC - sixth century AD) (L);
  • Basic Methods for Uncovering, "First aid", Consolidation in situ, Cleaning, Sorting out and Storing of Ceramic Artefacts - training/workshop (W);
  • Conservation and Restoration of Roman Pottery (with fragmented pottery from Stobi) (W) - series of workshops;
  • Archaeological Documentation and Illustration (drawing, graphic reconstruction, image processing using graphic software, photographing, description etc.) of Roman Pottery (W) - series of workshops;   
  • Basic Methods for Uncovering, "First aid", Consolidation in situ, Cleaning, Sorting out and Storing of Glass Artefacts (W) - series of workshops;   
  • Recording and Documentation of Roman Glass Shards and Vessels (W);
  • Conservation and Restoration of Roman Glass Vessels (with Fragmented Replicas of Roman Vessels, Produced after Authentic Roman Glass Technology) (W) - series of workshops:
    • Composition of Ancient Glass;
    • Deterioration of Ancient Glass;
    • Cleaning of Ancient Glass;
    • Ancient Glass Restoration;
    • Gap Filling;
  • Bitola and Heraclea Lyncestis (GT);
  • Pella and Vergina (UNESCO World Heritage Site) (GT);
  • Ohrid (UNESCO World Heritage Site) (GT)      
  • Lectures will take place at the cabins, lab and the site.  
  • Workshops will take place at Stobi's lab.
  • Instructions and training - will take place at Stobi's lab.

The Agenda


First day

Arrival at archaeological site of Stobi by 7.00 pm, check-in and registration. Short orientation walk in Gradsko.

8/8.30 - 10.30 pm - Traditional welcome dinner. 

A pick-up may be arranged from one of the nearest airports: Skopje (Macedonia) and Thessaloniki (Greece) upon request.

Participants, who travel by bus/train will be picked up from Gradsko bus station or Stobi railway station.

Arrival date: 4 June, 2016

Second Day

Morning: Presentation of the Balkan Heritage Field School and collaborating universities & institutions, the project and the participants. Ice-breaking and orientation. Sightseeing of the archaeological site of Stobi.

Afternoon: Lectures.

Work days

7.50 am - 8.30 am - Breakfast

8.30 am - 1.00 pm - WORKSHOPS/LECTURES, with 30-min break*

1.00 pm - 4.00 pm - Lunch and siesta break.

4.00 pm - 7.30 pm - WORKSHOPS/LECTURES

8.00 pm - 9.00 pm - Dinner

The WORKSHOPS and LECTURES cover different aspects of the Roman and Late Roman pottery and glass conservation, restoration and documentation methods and practices.

During the evenings the project team could organize or assist participants in organizing leisure activities such as films, sports and visits to the neighboring towns/villages. 

First weekend

Saturday:Guided visit of the Old Town Quarter of Bitola and the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis

Sunday: Guided visit of Ohrid and the Ohrid Lake (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Last Work day

7.50 am - 8.30 am - Breakfast

8.30 am - 1.00 pm - WORKSHOPS/LECTURES with 30-min break*

1.00 pm - 4.00 pm - Lunch. Presentation of the workshop results.

4.00 pm - 8.00 pm - Free late afternoon (optional visit to the towns nearby)

8.00 pm - .....Dinner and farewell party

Second Weekend

Guided visit of Pella and Vergina (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Greece

Departure day

Departure after breakfast

Drop-off to either Skopje (Macedonia) or Thessaloniki (Greece) airports is available upon request!


Departure date: 25 June, 2016

Reading background   


Anderson-Stojanovic,V.R., Stobi, The Hellenistic and Roman Pottery, 1992

Bray Ch., Dictionary of Glass, Materials and Techniques Pennsylvania Press, 2001   

Davison S., Conservation and Restoration of Glass, Oxford, 2006

Hayes, John W., Handbook of Mediterranean Roman Pottery, 1997  

Koob S. P., Conservation and Care of Glass Objects, London, 2006

Peacock, D.P.S., Pottery in the Roman World, 1982, London

Wiseman, J.R. and Mano-Zissi D., Stobi: A City of Ancient Macedonia, Journal of Field Archaeology, 3(3): 269-302, 1976

Travel & Accommodation & Practicalities    


The Nearest Airports: Skopje, Macedonia (80 km) and Thessaloniki, Greece (160 km) - don't forget to check 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 bus stop is at Gradsko (5 km. away from Stobi), from there participants 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); tha railway is next to the site 3. from neighboring towns of Negotino (13 km) and Kavadartsi (20 km) participants could get on a bus to Gradsko or on a taxi directly to Stobi.

Accommodation & Meals

Accommodation: in the recently renovated air-conditioned cabins at the archaeological site next to the ancient ruins of Stobi, in rooms with two to three beds. Every cabin has 4 bedrooms + living room, 2 bathrooms with showers and WC. Washing machine and Wi-Fi are available for free. There are outdoor and indoor dining and social spaces.

Meals: Three meals per day are covered by the admission fee. They usually take place (except the lunch packages during the excursions) at the site's dining room or outdoors next to it. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, gluten-free etc.) are difficult to maintain in this location.

Participants must pay on their own for extra meals, beverages, services and products! No single room accommodation is available at Stobi!

Free Time & Trips

Films, sport games and visits to the neighboring 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) as well as ancient Macedonian capitals in Pella and Vergina (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Greece will be organized for all field school participants and are covered by the admission fee.

Technicalities & Practicalities

Insurance: The admission fee does not cover health insurance. It is necessary to arrange your own insurance before your trip to Republic of Macedonia! There are hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in all the larger towns. Foreign tourists must pay for health services, but might receive a refund if their home country has signed the Health Insurance Convention with Macedonia (you should check this information with your Ministry of Health).

Weather: Moderate continental climate dominates in Stobi. Summers there are usually hot (up to 40-45 C; 100 – 110 F). Rainy and chilly days in this season are rare but not excluded.

What to bring?

  • A pair of working shoes (sneakers, running shoes) and a pair of comfortable shoes for walking/hiking;
  • Clothing suitable for an outdoor working environment: sun-hat and light clothes with long sleeves and legs (protecting from the sun and insects), including a light raincoat (consider weather conditions - hot and sunny, but rain may fall as well);
  • Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop having at least 20 GB free disk space, a mouse and an USB flash drive. Operating system recommended: Windows XP or newer; Mac OS X 10.0.0 or newer.
  • Medication - only prescription medicines you may need. It is not necessary to bring non-prescription medicine from your country since you can buy all basic non-prescription drugs in Macedonia.   
  • Don’t forget to bring a converter to EU type electricity wall-plug if needed.
  • A good attitude for work, fun, study and discoveries ;)
  • Conservation & Documentation tools and materials are available at the site.

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.

The price in USD is for orientation. Please check current exchange rates! 


Early Bird Special by January 31st, 2016:

The Early Bird admission fee for the Project is 1619 EUR (app. 1819 USD) - SAVE 180 EUR / 210 USD   


Regular Admission Fee - after January 31st, 2016:

The regular admission fee for the Project is 1799 EUR (app. 2019 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!


Discounts off the regular admission fee:

 * 5% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available in case of:

  1. Participation in more than 1 BHFS project in 2016. (5% discount is valid for all project sessions to be attended).   
  2. Membership in the Archaeological Institute of America.

* 10% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available in case of:

  1. Participation in any BHFS project in the past.

* 12% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available in case of:

  1. Group participation (three or more people, who participate together in one BHFS project in 2016 (the discount is valid for each participant).

* 15% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee is available in case of:

  1. Group participation (three or more people, who participate together in more than one BHFS project in 2016 (the discount is valid for each participant for all projects/ sessions to be attended).
  2. BHFS alumni, who participate in more than one BHFS project in 2016. (15% discount is valid only for the second, third etc. project to be attended).
  3. BHFS alumni, who participated successfully in the same project in the past.

Note, 5% of every admission fee for this project directly supports the Balkan Heritage Protection Fund's activities!


For more information about scholarships, low-cost flights, hotels, etc. please feel free to contact us or look at our recommended links

Academic credits


New Bulgarian University grants 9 academic credits to students for participation in the course. Transcripts are available upon request for an additional tuition fee! For details please read the Regulations for obtaining Transcripts of Records!

Tuition fee: starting from 423 EUR for nine ECTS credits.



Republic of Macedonia

Workshop for Conservation, Restoration and Documentation of Roman Pottery and Glass

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