Ancient Greeks in the Land of Dionysos - Excavation of Emporion Pistiros

Period: Classical Greek and Hellenistic
Code: PIS 24
Session: 21 July - 18 August, 2024
Academic credits available: 9
Cost starting from: 3599 EUR/approx. 3599 USD

The Project and the Course

General Information

Project type: field school & archaeological excavations. The course is a balanced combination of lectures in the field of Classical Archaeology, with a focus on Thrace and fieldwork on the site of the Greek emporion Pistiros.       

The course is designed primarily for students in Classical Archaeology, Anthropology, History, Art History, and other related scientific fields but the variety of activities and the team's professionalism and flexibility make this project suitable for both beginners and advanced students in Classical Archaeology. 

The field school started: 2013

Site: Emporion Pistiros, between the small towns of Septemvri and Vetren, Southern Bulgaria.

Project venue: Villa Velis is a tourist complex including a SPA hotel and a winery. It is located in the southern part of the village of Karabunar, 8 km from the motorway exit "Trakia" on the road to Velingrad. During the project work days all participants will be provided with transportation from the hotel to the site (that is located 14 km away) and back.   

Period(s) of occupation: Late Classical, Hellenistic (5th - 3rd century BCE)     

Major field school topics/activities: Archaeological field techniques and methods for excavation and documentation; Ancient Greek and Thracian archaeology in the light of their trade and religious interaction at the site; RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) documentation of Late Classical and Hellenistic finds, excursions to significant heritage sites in Thrace, Bulgaria.

BHF partners in this project: Septemvri Archaeological Museum "Prof. Mieczyslaw Domaradzki", Pistiros Excavation Team from the National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Pazardzhik Regional Museum of History, "Pistiros" Association and New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria)

Dig co-directors: Asst. Prof. Alexey Gotsev (PhD in Archaeology), National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Emil Nankov (PhD in Archaeology), National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Field school coordinator: Dr. Angela Pencheva (PhD in Classical Archaeology), Balkan Heritage Program Manager and Lyuba Manoilova (PhD candidate in Anthropology)

Visiting professors: Assoc. Prof. Tzvete Lazova (New Bulgarian University); Ass. Prof. Maya Vassileva (New Bulgarian University); Kristen Johnes (PhD Student, Department of Geography & Planning, Queen's University, Canada); Dr. Richard Wenghofer, (Associate Professor of Ancient Studies, Department of History, Anthropology, and Ancient Studies, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada) Lidia Domaradzka Epigraphist at Sofia University Gavrail Lazov, Archaeologist and Museologist; Valentina Taneva, Archaeologist and Numismatist at National Historical Museum, Pazardjik; Maya Nikolova, Pottery Conservator at the Archaeological Museum "Prof. M. Domaradski", Septemvri, Bulgaria;

Field school sessions available:     

  • Field school four-week session: 21 July- 18 August, 2024

Application deadlines: until the places are filled or 21 June, 2024

Minimum length of stay for participants: four 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   

Academic credits available: 9 ECTS credits are available through New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria. 

Experience required: No previous experience is required.

Special requirements: Participation in the project is not recommended for individuals with solar allergies or other special illnesses that might be exacerbated during intensive outdoor activities. The average summer temperatures in the area are 25-38° C (77 - 100° F) or higher. All participants should bring clothes and toiletries suitable for hot and sunny weather but should also prepare for possible rainy, windy and chilly days. Participants are also expected to prepare for the dig by reading at least the BHFS handbook that will be sent by e-mail 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 participants should have medical insurance including repatriation. The participants should inform the project staff about any health issues, allergies, and food preferences.         


The Site and the Excavation Project   

The ruins of an Ancient Greek trade center (emporion) in the heart of Thrace – on the left bank of Maritsa River (ancient Hebros), between the towns of Vetren and Septemvri, were discovered by Prof. M. Domaradzki in 1988. He started regular excavations and in 1990, his team found a stone inscription (known as "Vetren inscription") that helped the scholars 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 neighbors under the supreme protection of the Thracian Odrysian kings (the biggest and mightiest Thracian Kingdom at that time). Up to the moment Pistiros is the only certainly identified emporion in the heart of Thrace. That is why excavation of the site are significant source of information for the political, economical and cultural history of the Odrysian kingdom and Thrace in this period. 

The emporion was also a major metallurgical center and a key harbor for export of metals and metal products from Thrace to Greece in the Classical and Early Hellenistic periods (from the middle of the 5th to the beginning of the 3rd century BCE). The trade contacts of the emporion are evident through finds of numerous imports such as Attic red-figured and black-slip pottery, amphorae (mainly Thassian) and coins (e.g. several hoards of copper, silver and gold coins found during the excavations - they represent the coinage of different Odrysian kings (e.g. Amatokos I, Bergaios, Kotys I, Amatokos II, Teres II, Kersebleptes, Teres II), Greek cities (Thassos, Maroneia, Parion, Thracian Chersonese, 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 rooted in Thrace. Apparently, 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 Odrysian king: Kotys I (383-359 BCE) and his successor from the citizens of Pistiros - this is 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:   

  • around 500 BCE - Date of the earliest artifacts found on the territory of Pistiros.
  • 475 - 450 BCE - Date of the earliest Attic pottery found at the site - the foundation of Pistiros (like the foundation of the most Greek apoikias elsewhere) was probably preceded by various previous colonial economic and political activities. Greek economic and cultural penetration in the interior of Thrace was intensified after the Persian withdrawal from the Balkans following the battles of Marathon (490 BCE) and Salamis (480 BCE);
  • 450 - 425 BCE - Foundation of the emporion by colonists from the Aegean cities of Maronia, Thassos and Apollonia. Major structures and features of fortification and drainage system were constructed along with tracing and paving of the streets;
  • 370s BCE - Period of significant reconstructions in the emporion during the reign of the Thracian Odrysian king Kotys I;
  • 359 - 357 BCE - Citizens of Pistiros re-contracted their rights and obligations with the successor of Kotys I;
  • 350/345 BCE - The emporion suffered from the invasion of Philip II Macedon in Thrace;
  • 300 BCE - Devastation of Pistiros by the Celts;
  • 278 BCE - Massive invasion of the Celts in the Balkans: Ultimate devastation of the emporion. Afterwards the settlement lost its trading importance and turned into a metal production centre with local importance.   

So far, archaeologists have uncovered the eastern fortification wall of the emporion (having one gate, a tower, and a bastion - all built of stone blocks analogically to the Thassian fortification system), streets paved by stone plates, solid stone foundations of two buildings as well as an efficient drainage system. Buildings of different types are indicating at least two different chronological horizons of the site's existence. The investigation of their characteristic features and shapes, as well as the emporion's planning are among the major research questions concerning Pistiros, together with the following others: 

  • what is the dynamic of architectural evolution of the settlement following the disasters such as devastation, earthquakes, fires and floods;
  • which ancient cults were practiced in Pistiros;
  • what were the relations and the interactions between the different ethnic groups in Pistiros: Greeks, Thracians, Celts.

In the years since 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:    

  • Archaeological Museum "Prof. M. Domaradzki", Septemvri, Bulgaria;
  • National Museum of History, Sofia, Bulgaria;
  • Regional Museum of History, Pazardzhik, Bulgaria;
  • Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria;
  • The Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic;
  • Liverpool University, Great Britain;
  • The French School at Athens, Greece;
  • Balkan Heritage Foundation, Bulgaria.


The Field School

BHFS field school at Pistiros was concentrated in the southeastern sector, located next to the fortification wall during the in the past 10 years (2013-2023) . The excavations there are focused on defining the chronology of the site’s building phases. The excavations uncovered paved streets, remains of houses, pits, and a well which belong to the latest phase of the site’s existence, dated approx. to the first quarter of the 3rd century BCEbefore the Celtic invasion in the Balkans which caused serious damage to most cities in Thraceand Macedonia. An earlier building’s phase, located below the street level, is represented by a horizon of so-called “negative features”, dated around the second half of 4th CBC. According to parallels with some similar dugouts, discovered in the Greek apoikias on the Black Sea coast, the team suggests that these are remains of similar structures. Unfortunately, in the past, the biggest part of the emporion has been flooded by the nearby flowing Maritza River which led to serious destruction. This is the reason that makes the reconstruction attempts of the above-ground structures of these buildings very difficult. Presumably, the houses used to have mud brick walls which have completely melted. Their compaction and color are almost the same as the natural soil. Remains of fired plaster with imprints of wooden beams suggest wooden roof construction but we still do not have clear evidence for its exact structure. The discovered wattle and daub pieces were probably parts of some dividing walls. Up to the current moment, there are six partially excavated structures of this kind located in the field school sector. Their fill is very soft soil with a grayish color, presumably a result of the decayed organic materials. The materials discovered in all the above-mentioned features consist of fragments and intact vessels both locally handmade and wheel-made, as well as imported; a large number of loom weights; handmade clay figurines, amphora fragments, animal bones and pieces of wattle and daub. The excavation in the northwestern sector of the site was excavated for the first time time in 2023. The goal of the investigations there is to trace the remains of the fortification wall in а NW direction and uncover any additional structures both inside and outside the fortified area. The efforts revealed the foundations of the fortification wall as well as one of the two street levels documented in adjacent squares on the site.

The participants in 2024 in Ancient Greeks in the Land of Dionysos - Excavation of Emporion Pistiros will be included in the further excavation of the same sectors. 

The field school in 2024 includes the following three modules:    

  • 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;    
  • Lectures, workshops and field training in Classical and Field Archaeology, finds processing and documentation;    
  • Excursions to various cultural and archaeological sites in the region such as the ancient town of Philippopolis, present day  Plovdiv (Please refer to the Course Program and Agenda below!).


Students who must prepare field reports and presentations for their universities can receive additional instruction and assistance.

All participants will receive:

  • Project handbook (in PDF version by e-mail)
  • Balkan Heritage Field School Certificate specifying the fieldwork hours educational modules, and sites visited  
  • T-shirt.



The Team   

Instructors, Trainers and Area Supervisors:

  • Angela Pencheva (

    PhD in Classical Archaeology); Adjunct Professor, CPCE, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria;


  • Tzvetelina Slavkova (PhD Student in Classical Archaeology), Archaeologist the Archaeological Museum "Prof. M. Domaradzki", Septemvri, Bulgaria;
  • Viara Petrova (PhD Student in Classical Archaeology), Director of the Archaeological Museum "Prof. M. Domaradzki", Septemvri, Bulgaria;     
  • Dr. Emil Nankov (PhD in Archaeology, NAIM-BAS)
  • Lyuba Manoilova (Phd Student in Anthropology), BHF office and project coordinator   
  • Kristen Jones (PhD Student, Department of Geography & Planning, Queen's University, Canada)

The Program

          The field school sessions provides a minimum of 170 hours of fieldwork and training, workshops, lectures and guided tours as follows:   

          Field Work   

          • Practicing basic excavation techniques;
          • Use of tools and working techniques;
          • Creating field documentation - field journal, context sheets and labels, ground plans and cross-sections, photographs, etc;
          • Identifying and sorting of archaeological finds;           



          • Archaeological documentation of pottery (drawing, graphic reconstruction, photographing, description, etc.);    
          • Cleaning of pottery;   
          • Technical Photography;
          • Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI): capture of museum artifacts and processing; 



          • Introduction to the History of Ancient Thrace in the First Millennium BCE;
          • Emporion Pistiros: History and Archaeology;   
          • Thrace and Persia (after the late 6th BCE)
          • Epigraph Monuments and Artifacts from in Pistiros;
          • Typology of Pottery from Pistiros in the Late Classical and Hellenistic Period;   
          • Circulation of Ancient Coins in Pistiros;       
          • Urbanization of Ancient Thrace;   
          • Classical and Hellenistic Toreutic from Thrace;   
          • Ancient Thracians: Between Ethnographic Imagination and Historical Reality;
          • Pottery Conservation;
          • Burial Customs and Sepulchral Architecture in Thrace (5th - 3rd century BCE);


  • Stratigraphy and Chronology;   
  • Unraveling the mystery of a humble weapon: (Sling) Bullet Point on the Military Campaign of Philip II and Alexander III in Thrace;
  • Dating Artifacts and Materials;
  • Three Dimensional Positioning of Finds, Features and Structures;   
  • Basic Field Methods and Practices for Excavation and Documentation;
  • Introduction to the Field Journal, Context Sheets, Log Book and Other Forms of Archaeological Documentation;
  • Excavations Preparation. Preliminary Indoor Research;
  • Excavation Completion. Post Excavation Work and Analyses;
  • From the Field to Storage: Review of Basic Methods for Uncovering, "First Aid", Consolidation in Situ, Cleaning, Sorting, Labeling, Documenting and Storing Ceramic Artifacts;          

   Guided Tours   

Students who must prepare field reports and presentations for their universities can receive additional instruction and assistance.

  • Fieldwork - expect to perform all types of fieldwork at the site, from digging, and brushing to mapping and sampling as well as finds processing along with lab work.
  • Lectures will take place at Villa Terres or Septemvri Archaeological Museum.
  • Workshops will take place at the site, Villa Terres or Septemvri Archaeological Museum.
  • Field instructions and training - will take place at the site.

The Agenda


First day

Arrival date: 21 July, 2024    

Arrival and check-in by 7.30 pm.

8.00 pm - Traditional Bulgarian Welcome dinner.


Second day

Morning: Presentation of the Balkan Heritage Field School and collaborative universities & institutions, the project and the participants. Ice-breakers.

Afternoon: Site seeing of Pistiros and the Septemvri Archaeological Museum "M. Domaradzki".   

8.00 pm - 9.30 pm - Dinner.


Working days

6.30 am - 7.00 am - Breakfast

7.10 am - 7.25 am - Travel to the site

7.30 am - 10.30 am - Fieldwork*

10.30 am - 11.00 am - Break

11.00 am - 1.00 pm - Fieldwork*

1.00 pm - 5.00 pm - Lunch and siesta break

5.00 pm - 6.30 pm - Lectures/Workshops/Finds processing **

7.30 pm - 9.00 pm - Dinner


*In rare cases of rain, the field school program provides substitute activities including finds processing workshops and film projections at Villa Terres.


**Lectures and workshops in the area of Classical and Field Archaeology, focused on Ancient Greek and Thracian culture in Pistiros and advanced digital imaging and surveying for archaeological and architectural recording.

Excursion Schedule

The following excursions are included in the field school program and covered by the reimbursement payment:   

27 - 28 July (Saturday & Sunday): Visit to the ancient town of Plovdiv – European capital of Culture 2019        

3 August (Saturday): 1-day excursion to the Thracian royal tombs in the Rose Valley in and around Kazanlak (UNESCO World Heritage Site)  

11 August (Sunday): 1-day excursion to Northwestern Thrace (Bulgaria): Koprivshtitsa (a historical town and architectural reservation keeping the traditional look of Bulgarian towns in the 18th and 19th century); Panagyurishte (including the History Museum with the famous golden treasure of Panagyurishte).

Participants who attend the four-week project sessions will join all the tours.

Days off

4 August

Last day

Departure date: 18 August, 2024


Departure day. Check-out by 12.30 pm.


Transfers to the airports in Sofia and Plovdiv can be arranged for an additional fee upon request.

Villa Terres provides a SPA center with sauna, steam bath and swimming pool for free to all field school participants as well as ATVs and bikes for hire. The BHFS team can assist with the organization of additional leisure activities for participants upon request such as hiking, wine-tasting outside the Villa, movies etc.

Reading Background   

Archibald, Z. H. The Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace: Orpheus Unmasked (Oxford, 1998)      

Bouzek, J., M. Domaradzki, Z. Archibald (eds.) - Pistiros I. Excavations and Studies (Prague, 1996).

Bouzek, J., L. Domaradzka, Z. Archibald (eds.) - Pistiros II. Excavations and Studies (Prague, 2002).

Bouzek, J., L. Domaradzka, Z. Archibald (eds.) - Pistiros III. Excavations and Studies (Prague, 2007).

Bouzek, J., L. Domaradzka, Z. Archibald (eds.) - Pistiros IV. Excavations and Studies (Prague, 2010).

Bouzek, J., L. Domaradzka, A. Gotzev, Z. Archibald (eds.) - Pistiros V. Excavations and Studies (Prague, 2014).      

Bouzek, J., Militky J. (eds.) - Pistiros VI. Pistiros Hoard (Prague, 2016)   

Bouzek. J. - The outline of the chronology of Pistiros. – Studia Hercynia XVII/1, Pistiros V supplementum, Pragae, 2013, 5-7.

Bouzek, J., Domaradzka, L. (eds.). The Culture of Thracians and their Neigh­bours. Proceedings of the International Symposium in Memory of Prof. Miec­zysław Domaradzki, with a Round Ta­ble 'Archaeological map of Bulgaria’. BAR International Series 1350. Oxford, 2005.

Bouzek, J., Domaradzki, M.†, Doma­radzka, L., Taneva, V. Fortification and Ur­ban Planning of Emporion Pistiros (Adžijska Vodenica). – Archeologia (Warszawa) LII 2001, Warszawa 2002, 7 – 18.

Bouzek, J., Domaradzka, L., Gotzev, A., Ivanova E., Katincharova, D., Kolaro­va, V., Lazov, G., Taneva, V., Youroukova, Y. Pistiros and the Celts. (In:) Proceedings of the 3rd International Congress on Black Sea Antiquities. Eirene 42, Prague 2006, 124 – 129.

Bouzek, J., Domaradzka, L. The Empo­rion Pistiros near Vetren between great­er Powers, 450 – 278 B.C. (In:) Thrace in the Graeco-Roman World, Athens 2008, 86 – 94.

Bouzek, J., Domaradzka, L. Pistiros and the North Aegean Greek Cities. Ancient Macedonia. Proceedings of the 7th Inter­national Symposion on Ancient Mace­donia. Thessaloniki 2007, 2009, 745 – 758.

Bouzek, J., Domaradzka, L. Pistiros. Facts and Opinions. Eirene XLV/2009, Prague 2009, 147 – 154.

Bouzek, J., Domaradzka, L. Pistiros and Inland Emporia in the Balkans: Greeks, Thracians, and their Neighbours. – Eirene XLVI/2010/I – II, Prague 2010, 157 – 160.

Bouzek, J., Domaradzka, L. Greeks in Inner Thrace. Eirene XLVII/2011/I – II, Prague 2012, 45 – 60.   

Grant J., S. Gorin and N. Fleming.The Archaeology Coursebook: an introduction to themes, sites, methods and skills. Routledge. 2008.

Taneva, V. The Potter’s Kiln Found at Pistiros. Eirene XLVII/2011/I – II, Prague 2012, 25 – 28.   

Valeva, J., Nankov, E., Graninger D. (ed.) A Companion to Ancient Thrace, Wiley Blackwell, 2015.   


Travel & Accommodation & Practicalities


Project venue: Villa Terres is located in the village of Karabunar, 84 km/52 mi away from the Bulgarian capital Sofia and just 8 km/5 mi away from "Trakia" motorway exit to Velingrad. The distance from the villa to the site is approx. 15 km/9,5 mi, approx. 15/20 min drive. Daily BHFS shuttle service is arranged for the participants to bring them to the site and back. The site has running water, electricity and a squat toilet.

The nearest air terminals: Sofia (Bulgaria, 84 km/ 52 mi) and Plovdiv (Bulgaria, 50 km/ 34 mi). If participants arrive at one of these airports, a transfer to Villa Terres in Karabunar may be arranged by request. Individual or group transfer prices may vary, depending on the number of passengers, from 25 to 100 EUR. Ask for details!

How to get there?: Participants who individually arrange their travel will be expected to arrive at Villa Terres on the arrival day by 7.00 pm. It may be reached by bus from Sofia (app. 1 ½ hrs). A detailed travel info sheet will be provided to enrolled students.  

Visa requirements: Citizens of EU, EEA, USA, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for up to 90 days or any of Bulgaria’s neighboring countries, except Turkey. However, the Turkish government facilitates tourism by providing the option for obtaining an e-visa at www.evisa.gov.tr/en/. Citizens of all other countries may need a visa.The Balkan Heritage Foundation can send an official invitation letter that should be used at the relevant embassy to secure a visa to the program. For further details please visit our Visa information page.


Accommodation & Meals

Accommodation*: Villa Terres, Karabunar, Bulgaria - in comfortable rooms with two to three beds (bathrooms with shower and WC), equipped with a/c and TV in a local newly built hotel. The hotel has a small swimming pool and SPA, free of charge for the participants in the field school. There are cheap laundry services and free Wi-Fi is provided. Extra night - 60 EUR (per night per person), Single room - 750 EUR (for four-week period).   

 *Subject to change. May be substituted with similar level accommodation.

Meals: Three meals (fresh, organic Bulgarian homemade food) per day are covered by the reimbursement payment and usually take place in the hotel’s restaurant. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. Brown-bag lunches during the excursions and days off.

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 & Trips

Free time:  Possible leisure activities during the siesta and days off in and around Karabunar are: swimming / sunbathing at the hotel pool, 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 shopping and sightseeing in the neighboring cities of Pazardzhik and Plovdiv.   


Technicalities & Practicalities

Insurance: The reimbursement payment does not cover insurance. It is mandatory to arrange your own health insurance before your trip to Bulgaria. The insurance must cover as a minimum the following risks: medical treatment in case of an accident or disease, as well as costs related to evacuation and repatriation. All EU citizens can use Bulgarian medical services, as long as they can provide evidence of their home-country health insurance with a card/certificate, etc.


Weather: South-European climate dominates in the field school area, making summers hot (30-40° C, 86-104° 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);   
  • Wide brim hat.   
  • Small backpack (for your water bottle, snacks, camera, etc.)   
  • Swimming suit.
  • 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 Bulgaria.
  • A converter to EU type electricity wall-plug if needed.
  • A good attitude for work, fun, study and discoveries ;)

NB! Excavation & documentation tools and materials including working gloves are available at the site!


The Cost    


All field schools are conducted as non-profit projects by the Balkan Heritage Foundation, Bulgaria. Their costs, including students' costs related to participation in the field school are covered by the reimbursement payments made by field school students.

BHFS project reimbursement payment covers: Educational and fieldwork activities, full-board accommodation (hotel + 3 meals per day), tools, materials, project handbook or readings, issue of Certificate of Attendance, administrative costs, travel related to the fieldwork and the excursions included in the field school program plus relevant entrance fees.

BHFS project reimbursement payment does not include: travel costs to and from the project venue or related to activities not included in the field school program; medical products and services and any expenses related to medical quarantine (food delivery, accommodation, etc.).


The costs in USD are approximate. Please check the current exchange rates!


Early Bird Cost -  until February 29, 2024:


Early Bird Cost for a four-week project session is 3599 EUR/ approx. 3599 USD


Regular Cost - after February 29, 2024:


The Regular Cost for a four-week project session is 3799 EUR/ approx. 3799 USD


All students registered for BHFS season 2020 should contact BHFS Admissions office at b[email protected] for further information about the conditions of their participation in season 2024. 

Reimbursement Transfer Options:

- Bank transfer
- Online transfers via the Balkan Heritage virtual POS Terminal. VISA, MASTERCARD & MAESTRO cards are accepted.      
Wise money transfer

For further information contact Admissions Office at: [email protected]!

 Discounts off the regular cost:

* 5% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:

  1. Participation in more than one BHFS project in 2024 (discount applies to the second, third, etc. project).
  2. Membership in the Archaeological Institute of America.

* 10% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:

  1. Participation in any BHFS project/s in the past.

* 12% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:

  1. Group Participation (three or more people who participate together in one BHFS project in 2024). The discount is valid for each participant.

* 15% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost is available for:

  1. Group Participation (three or more people, who participate in more than one BHFS project in 2024 (the discount is valid for each participant).
  2. BHFS alumni, who participate in more than one BHFS project in 2024. (discount applies to the second, third, etc. project).
  3. BHFS alumni who attended a full project in the past and return to the same project.


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

Academic Credits   


ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credit units are available for students attending European universities .They shall enroll directly through the Balkan Heritage Field School. New Bulgarian University grants 9 ECTS credits for attending the four-week session. Transcripts of Records (ToR) are available upon request for an additional tuition fee. For details: Regulations for Obtaining Transcripts of Records.


US credit units are available to all students. They shall apply to the BHF-IFR Program for the Balkans and enroll through the Institute for Field Research (IFR), USA. They will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through our academic partner Connecticut College and will receive a letter grade. The tuition fee is included in the IFR admission fee.   


Participants in the field school who do not need academic credit units are not expected to pay for them.




Ancient Greeks in the Land of Dionysos - Excavation of Emporion Pistiros

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