The Balkan Heritage Foundation (BHF) is a Bulgarian public,
non-profit, non-governmental organization. It was established in 2008 by a team
of a cross-institutional program implementing archaeological field schools other
cultural resource management projects since 2003. Its head office is situated in
Stara Zagora and another front office (the one of the Balkan Heritage Field School) is located in the capital Sofia. Four
branches of the foundation exist in Varna, Mezek, Dragoman and Emona (Bulgaria).
The Balkan Heritage
mission is to support the protection, conservation, management and promotion of cultural and historical (both tangible and intangible) heritage of Southeastern Europe as
for sustainable development
of the region.
Balkan Heritage Foundation collaborates on local and global level with
universities, museums, research institutes, media, business companies, governmental
and non-governmental organizations. It raises funds and consequently funds
projects implemented by research institutes and scientific teams, universities,museums, municipalities and local
The Balkan Heritage Foundation seeks to:
- enhance the utilization of cultural
heritage and improvement of the management of cultural heritage as preconditions for
sustainable development in SE Europe;
- facilitate the global "access", both direct and virtual, to the Balkan heritage especially for international scholars,
students, donors and tourists;
- raise the level of global cooperation
and exchange of ideas, know-how, expertise and resources concerning Balkan
- foster unification of the heritage nomenclature
(terms, periods, names etc.) and online publications of capital fundamental
writings and summaries concerning Balkan archaeology, art, history and culture in
English- especially those which concern civilizations, cultures, sites and artifacts that are
globally less known;
- build and develop links among major
Balkan heritage stake-holders.
Since it was founded, the foundation has
been implementing and/ or financially supporting the following programs, projects and activities:
Balkan Heritage Field School
Heritage Field School is a
program fully managed and funded by the Balkan Heritage Foundation. Since 2003, it has
implemented 36 projects with the participation of Bulgarian, Macedonian, Canadian, Japanese, US and French archaeologists,
conservators and heritage experts as well as more than 1100 students and volunteers from all over
the world in: Mezdra, Dragoman, Stara Zagara, Emona, Varna, Sozopol, Mezek, Sofia, Ilndentsi, Septemvri and Pazardzhik (Bulgaria), Bitola and Stobi (Republic of Macedonia). Each field school project involves experts
and students and combines elements of academic and non-formal education: lectures and training
courses, excavations, workshops, lab work and field trips that enable students to gain valuable
hands-on experience and excursions to attractive archaeological and cultural sites around the project's
location. All the field school projects are implemented in cooperation with, and accredited as
academic courses, by New Bulgarian University, Sofia.
Support For Archaeology And Heritge Conservation In
South-Eastern Europe Program
Within this program the Balkan Heritage Foundation has
funded the following archaeological, conservation and documentation projects:
Excavation of Tell Yunatsite, Bulgaria (since
2013) - in
cooperation with the Regional Museum of History in Pazardzhik (Bulgaria). Excavation of the lower Chalcolithic layers in the so
called Vassil Mikov’s trench of the multi-period tell.
Excavation of the Ancient Greek Emporion
Pistiros, Bulgaria (since 2013) – in
cooperation with the Regional Museum of History in Pazardzhik and Archaeological
Museum of Septemvri (Bulgaria). Excavations at the
Classical and Hellenistic emporion located deep in Ancient Thrace near
present-day Septemvri, Bulgaria.
Apollonia Pontica Excavation Project (since 2011)- in cooperation with Apollonia Pontica Excavation Team (Bulgaria). Excavation of the multi-period (Ancient Greek, Late Antique and Medieval) site on the island of St. Kirik (next to Sozopol, Ancient Apollonia Pontica), Bulgaria.
Excavation Project (since 2011) - in cooperation with Blagoevgrad Regional
Museum of History, New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria) and the Institute of
Archaeology and Ethnology, Nanterre (France).
Excavations at the Early Neolithic settlement (6000 – 5500 BC) established by one
of the earliest farming communities in Europe near Ilindentsi, Bulgaria.
Stobi Excavation Project (since 2010) - in cooperation with National Institute
Stobi (Republic of Macedonia). Excavations at the
Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique city of Stobi, Macedonia.
Workshops for Documentation, Conservation and
Restoration of Roman and Late Roman Pottery, Glassware, Mural Paintings and
Mosaics at Stobi, Macedonia (since 2010) - in cooperation with National Institute
Stobi (Republic of Macedonia). In the period 2010-2014 the
local and the visiting Balkan heritage affiliated conservators completely restored more than 70 (ceramic) and 9
(glass) Roman vessels and wall-painting fragments from the collection of National Institute of Stobi and
successfully implemented projects for conservation of wall-paintings and mosaics at the
Episcopal basilica, mosaics at the House of Peristeria, the House with a
triclinium and the Theodossian Palace as well as the fountain at the House of
Peristeria in Stobi.
Workshop for Documentation, Conservation and
Restoration of Ancient Greek and Hellenistic Pottery in Sozopol and Emona,
Bulgaria (since 2009) - in cooperation with Archaeological Museum of Sozopol
and Apollonia Pontica Excavation Team (Bulgaria). It deals with artefacts found in the necropolis of
Apollonia Pontica (present-day Sozopol on the Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria). In the period 2009-2014 thank to the Balkan
Heritage affiliated conservator Daniela Cherneva (Senior conservator at the National Museum of History, Sofia) and
the field school participants more than 100 Ancient Greek vessels from the
collection of the Archaeological Museum of Sozopol were completely restored.
Photo Research Expedition to Medieval Balkan Churches (since
2008) - in cooperation with New Bulgarian University and Conservation of
Sculptures Monuments & Objects (a private Canadian company). An expedition for documentation of abandoned medieval
churches and chapels (with focus on their frescoes) in remote areas of Western
Bulgaria. The objective is: development of a contemporary database, publication
of a ‘Corpus of Medieval Frescoes from Western Bulgaria’ and creating
preconditions for further projects to support the sites in danger through
conservation, restoration, development/improvement of the site's management and
fund-raising. By 2014 twelve churches from the region have been visited and
Djanavara Excavation Project (2009 - 2011) - in cooperation with Varna Regional Museum of History
(Bulgaria). The excavations in
2009-2011 on Djanavara hill in Varna, Bulgaria revealed that the remains of a
monumental Early Byzantine church excavated there back in the early 20-th
century belonged to a monastery, which was destroyed by the raid of Avars and
Slavs in the early seventh century AD.
Heraclea Lyncestis Excavation Project (2008 - 2012) – in
cooperation with National Institute and Museum Bitola (Republic of Macedonia) and Youth
Cultural Center Bitola (Republic of Macedonia).
Excavations at the Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique city Heraclea Lyncestis
near Bitola, Macedonia - concentrated in the area in front of the monumental
Roman Theater built in the second
Augusta Trajana – Beroia – Borui Rescue Excavation Project (2008-2009) - in cooperation with Stara Zagora Regional Museum of History (Bulgaria). Rescue excavations of Roman urban structures (city walls, residential and public buildings, an aqueduct), a medieval church and a cemetery under the 15th century-Ottoman mosque Eski Dzami in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.
Advocacy and Voluntarism Program
Exchange of volunteer and professionals - 2 long-term
volunteer exchanges hosting an American and an Australian volunteer in the
period 2012-2014. A dozen small-scale volunteers and professionals exchange
projects were realized within the period 2009-2013 predominantly with
participants from Bulgaria, USA, Canada and Japan supporting the realization of
archaeological and conservation projects in Bulgaria and Macedonia.
Volunteer work camps supporting cultural heritage protection - in cooperation with Stara Zagora Regional Museum of
History, municipalities of Dragoman and Svilengrad (Bulgaria) and Youth
Cultural Center Bitola (Macedonia).In 2008-2009 four work camps took place in Bitola
(Macedonia), Stara Zagora, Dragoman and Mezek (Bulgaria). App. 40 volunteers
contributed to the undergoing study projects (esp. excavations in Stara Zagora
and Bitola as well as an expedition in Dragoman area) and maintenance of local
cultural sites and tourist facilities (in Stara Zagora and Mezek).
Campaigns for raising public awareness on local heritage issues in Stara Zagora (2008) and
Mezek (2009), Bulgaria.
Development of regional strategies for the
utilization and management of cultural heritage and development of cultural
tourism for municipalities of
Svilengrad and Dragoman, Bulgaria.
BALKAN HERITAGE FOUNDATION
204 Sveta Troitsa str.,
BG - 6004 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Phones: + 359 898 681366
E-mail: bal[email protected]