Project type: This field school consists of two parts. The first part features archaeological excavations and the second is an intensive course in bioarchaeology focusing on human osteology. The variety of activities and the team's professionalism and flexibility make this project suitable for both beginners and advanced students in either field or Classical Archaeology. Individual program and task assignments are available to advanced students.
Field school start date: 2011 - 2019 on St. Kirik island; 2023 start of field school at Messarite
Site: Messarite - located 2 km southwest of Apollonia Pontica (today's Sozopol on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast) - it is part of the ancient city's broader area where the remains of an ancient road, foundations of buildings and burial structures are located.
Project venue: Hotel Polina Beach is located in the new part of Sozopol, a 15 minute walk from the town center and the larger beach "Harmanite". It offers rooms with great sea views, a restaurant and a pool. It is also a 15 - minute walk from the venue to the excavation site.
The second part of the field school will be conducted at the "Archaeological Reserve with Museum - Deutum" in Debelt (approx. 20 km from Burgas) where the facilities provide suitable conditions for lab work.
Period(s) of occupation: Classical Greek, Hellenistic (5th - 3rd century BCE)
The project partners: Balkan Heritage Foundation (BHF), Bulgaria, Apollonia Pontica Excavation Team from National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Archaeological Museum of Sozopol, University of Idaho (US), New Bulgarian University
Dig director: Krastina Panayotova, PhD in Archaeology, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Classical Archaeology, National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Deputy dig director and chief instructor: Teodora Bogdanova, Ph.D. in Archaeology
Four-week session: 10 June - 08 July, 2023
Major field school topics/activities: Ancient Greek colonization, culture and religion; Archaeological field techniques and methods; finds and sample processing; training in human osteology (osteobiographies, identifying pathological conditions and signs of trauma), trips to significant heritage sites along the western Black Sea Coast.
Application Deadlines: Until the places are filled, or 10 May 2023
Minimum length of stay: 1 session (four weeks)
Minimum age: 18
Number of field school places available: Maximum 15
Project language: English
Academic credits available: Students can receive up to 9 ECTS credits through New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria.
Experience required: No
Special requirements: 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 25-35° C (77- 95° F) or higher.
|WATCH STUDENT TESTIMONIALS!|
Ancient Apollonia Pontica (present-day Sozopol,
Bulgaria) is one of the oldest towns on the w
The site “Messarite” is located southwest of Sozopol, approx. 2 km from the center of the Old Town. During archaeological field surveys in this area were registered 29 sites - remains of buildings, fortification walls for artificial terraces of the land and three tombs. The site is divided into three sectors on the western slope on the eastern side of a small valley where the small chapel “St. Marina” is located. Dr. Panayotova’s team excavated the remains of six buildings dated between the second half of the 5th century BCE and the beginning of the 3rd century BCE. Parts of an ancient road oriented north-south were also discovered. It is 6,50 m wide and so far over 40 m of its length were uncovered. On both sides, there are remains of buildings.
Towards the end of the 4th century BCE, the buildings in all three sectors were abandoned and destroyed. Shortly after graves with both inhumations and cremations started appearing in the abandoned ruins. In one area there are even family plots enclosed with stone walls (periboloi). Until now a total of 42 graves have been excavated all dated in the first half of the 3rd century BCE. The burial structures vary from pits, pithoi, ceramic and limestone sarcophagi, to tile-lined and cist graves while the cremations are in locally made urns. The funeral gifts are typical for the period - incense vessels (lekithoi and unguentaria), funeral wreaths, strigili, mirrors, scissors, coins and jewelry. In front of the family plots were discovered traces of funerary rites including 10 ritual firepits.
These are the first excavations of the broader territory of an ancient Greek colony in present-day Bulgaria. The results from the excavations along with the traces of mining and metallurgy in the adjacent area shed light on the economic development of Apollonia Pontica in the Classical and Hellenistic periods.
This field school provides a unique glimpse into the early stages of the Greek Colonization of the western Black Sea Coast and the development of a small Greek settlement into one of the richest and strongest Greek colonies in the Black Sea region, as well as an amazing opportunity to:
The field school offers one four-week session consisting of two parts. The first two weeks include fieldwork, lectures and instructions in Classical and field archaeology, workshops for finds processing and documentation, as well as study visits to significant archaeological and historical sites. The second two weeks offer an intensive practice-based course in bioarchaeology using skeletal material from the necropoli of Apollonia Pontica.
Students who need to prepare field reports and presentations for their universities will receive additional instruction and assistance.
All participants will receive:
|WATCH STUDENT TESTIMONIALS!|
The four-week field school session provides a minimum of 150 hours of fieldwork and training, workshops, lectures and guided tours as follows:
Arrival date: 10 June, 2023
Recommended arrival and check-in by 7.30 pm
8.00 - 9.30 pm - Traditional Bulgarian welcome dinner.
Meeting time/point on arrival date: 7:45 pm - Hotel Polina Beach
Address: Mesarya Area, 8130 Sozopol, Bulgaria
A Group transfer will be arranged from Sofia airport for an additional fee (will be announced up to three weeks before arrival)
Morning: Presentation of the Balkan Heritage Field School and collaborative universities & institutions, the project and the participants. Ice-breakers.
6.30 - 7.10 am - Breakfast
7.10 - 7.30 am - Walk to the excavation site;
7.30 am - 1.00/1:30 pm - Fieldwork, including 30 min break*
1.30 - 5.00/5.30 pm - Lunch and siesta break
5.00 - 6.30/7.30 pm - Lectures/Specialized courses/Workshops /Lab work
* in cases of rain, the project envisions finds processing workshops, lectures and film projections
7.00 - 8.00 am - Breakfast
8.00 - 11.00 am - Lectures
11.00 am - 1.00 pm - Lunch break
1.00 - 5.30 pm - Lab work with skeletal material from Apollonia Pontica
5.30 - 7.30 pm - Free time
The following excursions are included in the field school program and covered by the admission fee:
17 June 2023 - Old town of Nessebar (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
25 June 2023 - Archaeological Reserve with Museum Deultum - Debelt
Apollonia Pontica Excavation Project alumni will be able to attend any tour.
09 June 2023
24 June 2023
02 July 2023
BHFS team can organize/assist with organization of various leisure activities for participants during their free time such as visiting beaches and sites, boating, sailing, fishing, diving, attending cultural events, etc.
Departure date: 08 July 2023
Transfers to Burgas, Varna, Sofia and Plovdiv airports, train or bus stations can be arranged upon request for an additional fee.
Bordman, J. Early Greek Vase Painting, 11th – 6th centuries BC. A Handbook. Thames and Hudson, 1998, p. 177 – 257.
Collet, L. An Introduction to Drawing Archaeological Pottery. Rotherham, Yorkshire, 2008, p. 5-31.
Cook, R. P. Dupont. East Greek Pottery. London, New York, 1998. p. 1-10; 26 – 70; 77 – 94; 129 – 131; 192 – 206.
Damyanov, M. Two Decades of Archaeological Research in Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol, Bulgaria) - Presentation at Archaeological Institute of America – 112th Annual Meeting – Philadelphia, January 5-8, 2012
Grammenos, D., Petropoulos, E. (ed). Ancient Greek Colonies in the Black sea. - Publication of the Archaeological Institute of North Greece, vol.1. Thessaloniki, 2003, p. 95 – 155
Panayotova K., Damyanov M., Stoyanova D., Bogdanova T., Apollonia Pontica: The Archaic Temenos and Settlement on the Island of St. Kirik. In: Proceedings of the XVIII International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Merida, Spain, 2015, p. 47-50
Panayotova, K. The Necropolis of Apollonia Pontica in Kalfata / Bugjaka: In.- Docter, R., Panayotova, K,. de Boer, J., Donnellan, L., van der Put, W., Bechtold, B. Apollonia Pontica, 2007, Gent, 2008, p. 5-28
Tsetskhladze, G. Greek Penetration of the Black Sea. – The Archaeology of Greek Colonisation: Essays dedicated to Sir John Boardman, ed. Tsetskhladze, G., de Angelis, F., Oxford, 1994, p. 111 – 135
White, T. D., & Folkens. The Human Bone Manual. London Elsevier. P. A. (2005)
Project venue: the first 2 weeks will be in the picturesque, small Black Sea coastal town of Sozopol, Bulgaria which is a popular summer destination for tourists. The second two weeks will be at the Archaeological Reserve with Museum - Deultum in Debelt, near Burgas.
The nearest air terminals: Burgas airport (45 km/28 mi), Varna airport (160 km/100 mi). If participants arrive at one of these airports, a transfer to Sozopol may be arranged by request. Transfers can be shared by several participants.
How to get there? A Group transfer will be arranged from Sofia airport for an additional fee (will be announced up to three weeks before arrival). For any late arrivals - bus lines connect Sozopol with Burgas and Sofia (the Bulgarian capital).
All participants will receive a travel info sheet in advance with basic travel instructions and information on how to get to the hotel.
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*: Accommodation for the first two weeks of the project is at Hotel Polina Beach which offers comfortable rooms with two to three beds, air conditioning, a minibar, TV and Wi-Fi. The hotel is located in the new part of Sozopol, a 15 min walk to the Old Town Quarter, the Archaeological Museum and another 15 min walk to the archaeological site. Staying an extra day costs 35 EUR. A limited number of single rooms is available upon request for an additional cost of 200 EUR.
Participants must pay on their own for extra days and for single-room accommodation!
For the second two weeks, the students will be transferred to the "Archaeological Reserve with Museum - Deultum" in Debelt. Participants will be accommodated in air-conditioned rooms with two to three beds at the newly built archaeological base next to the ancient ruins of Deultum. There are no single rooms available at this venue.
Meals: Daily breakfast and lunch (lunch pack for the field trips), as well as the official welcome and farewell dinners, are covered by the reimbursement payment. Students are responsible for their own dinners in Sozopol (dinners during their stay in Deultum are covered in the reimbursement payment).
Sozopol offers a variety of restaurants that can meet everyone’s preferences and dietary requirements – from fast food options to cozy gourmet restaurants. The average meal price (soup/salad, main dish and dessert) can cost between 6 to 12 USD. The project team will recommend restaurants for different preferences (cuisine, cost, dietary needs) and will arrange discounts for the students.
*Subject to change. May be substituted with similar level accommodation.
Free time: During the summer, Sozopol offers many 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.
Insurance: The reimbursement payment 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/ 86-104° F) but breezy. Rainy and chilly days in this season are rare but not excluded.
What to bring?
Excavation & documentation tools and materials, as well as working gloves are available at the site!
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, accommodation (hotel + breakfast), 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 March 1, 2023:
Early Bird Cost for a four-week project session is 3099 EUR/ approx. 3099 USD
Regular Cost - after March 1, 2023:
The Regular cost for a four-week project session is 3299 EUR/ approx. 3299 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 2023.
Reimbursement Transfer Options:
- Bank transfer
- Online transfers via the Balkan Heritage virtual POS Terminal VISA, MASTERCARD & MAESTRO cards are accepted.
- TransferWise money transfer
For further information contact Admissions Office at [email protected].
* 5% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:
* 10% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:
* 12% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:
* 15% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost is available for:
NOTE, 5% OF EVERY COST 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.
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.