This project is included in the BHF-IFR Program for the Balkans
Project type: Field school and archaeological excavation. The variety of activities and the team's professionalism and flexibility make this project suitable for both beginners and advanced in either Field or Classical Archaeology. Individual program and task assignments are available to advanced students.
The field school started date: 2011
Site: Apollonia Pontica - sector of the the ancient city's sacred precinct (temenos) located on St. Kirik Island, Sozopol, Bulgarian Black Sea coast.
Project venue: Sozopol, Bulgaria
Period(s) of occupation: Archaic and Classical Greek, Hellenistic and Early Byzantine (7th - 3rd century BCE and 5th - 7th century CE)
The project partners: Balkan Heritage Foundation (BHF), Bulgaria and Institute for Field Research (IFR), USA, 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. in Archaeology, Curator at Museum of Archaeology - Sozopol
Field school coordinator: Nayden Prahov, PhD in Archaeology, Program Director of the Balkan Heritage Foundation and Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Archaeology and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Two-week session 1: 22 June - 6 July, 2019
Two-week session 2: 6 July - 20 July, 2019
Four-week session: 22 June - 20 July, 2019
Admission fee covers: Bed & breakfast, excursions, educational activities
Major field school topics/activities: Ancient Greek colonization, culture and religion; Archaeological field techniques and methods; find’s and samples processing; documentation of archaeological pottery; excursions to significant heritage sites along the western Black Sea Coast. For participants in the four-week session: course on animal osteology;
Application Deadlines: Until the places are filled, or 1 June 2019
Minimum length of stay: 1 session (two weeks)
Minimum age: 18
Number of field school places available: Maximum 25
Project language: English
Academic credits available: Students who study in Europe can receive up to 9 ECTS credits through New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria. Students who study outside Europe can obtain 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through IFR’s academic partner Connecticut College.
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 (77- 95° F) or higher.
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. Or, join the WORKSHOP FOR CONSERVATION, RESTORATION AND DOCUMENTATION OF ANCIENT GREEK POTTERY in Sozopol from 22 June to 6 July.
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Ancient Apollonia Pontica (present-day Sozopol,
Bulgaria) is one of the oldest towns on the w
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.
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 to one of the richest and strongest Greek colonies in the Black Sea region, as well as an amazing opportunity to:
- dig at an Ancient Greek site on the Black Sea Coast;
- practice all basic excavation techniques in the field plus find’s and samples’ processing;
- visit significant archaeological and historic sites in Bulgaria as Nessebar, ancient Mesambria (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Sozopol, ancient Apollonia Pontica, etc.
Three field school sessions are available: two two-week sessions and one four-week session. Each includes fieldwork, lectures and instructions on Classical and Field Archaeology, workshops for findings processing and documentation, excursions to significant archaeological and historical sites. The participants who join the four-week session will be able to further develop their field archaeology skills and competences and to attend more lectures, workshops and excursions.
Students who must prepare field reports and presentations for their universities can receive additional instruction and assistance.
All participants will receive:
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Two-week field school sessions provide a minimum of 75 hours of fieldwork and training, workshops, lectures and guided tours as follows:
The four-week session provides a minimum of 150 hours of fieldwork and training, workshops, lectures and guided tours incorporating two-week session's ones plus the following:
Additional and more comprehensive field work training and practices;
Processing of archaeological finds - photographing, description, sorting, classification, recognition, etc.
Course on animal osteology;
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 - Dom Mladenovi guesthouse garden
Transfers from Burgas, Varna, Sofia and Plovdiv airports, train or bus stations can be arranged upon request for an additional fee.
Morning: Presentation of the Balkan Heritage Field School and collaborative universities & institutions, the project and the participants. Ice-breakers.
Afternoon: Town sightseeing and orientation walk.
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
5.30 - 6.30/7.30 pm - Lectures/Workshops /Lab work
7.30 - 8.30 pm - Dinner
* in cases of rain, the project envisions finds' processing workshops, lectures and film projections
The following excursions are included in the field school program and covered by the admission fee:
29 June 2019 - Old town of Nessebar (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
13 July 2019 - Beglik Tash - natural megalithic and archaeological site (for participants in the four-week session).
Apollonia Pontica Excavation Project alumni will be able to attend any tour.
30 June 2019
6 July 2019
14 July 2019
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. Check-out by 11.30 am.
Two-week session 1: 6 July 2019
Two-week session 2 & Four-week session: 20 July 2019
A drop-off may be arranged from Sozopol to Burgas, Varna, Sofia and Plovdiv upon request.
Bordman, J. Early Greek Vase Painting, 11th – 6th centuries BC. AHandbook. ThamesandHudson, 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
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/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 prices are:
Burgas Airport - Sozopol - 31 EUR (60 BGN); Burgas downtown - Sozopol - 26 EUR (50 BGN); Varna - Sozopol - 102 EUR (200 BGN); Sofia - Sozopol - 225 EUR (440 BGN).
Transfers can be shared by several participants.
How to get there? Bus lines connect Sozopol with Burgas, Sofia (the Bulgarian capital) and Plovdiv.
All participants will receive a travel info-sheet in advance with basic travel instructions and information 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 is at VMK Military Club or nearby guest houses which have comfortable rooms with two to three beds, equipped with a/c, refrigerators, TV. The hotel is located close to the town beaches, the Old Town Quarter, the Archaeological Museum and within a 15 min walk of the archaeological site. Wifi is available in the lobby area of the hotel. Staying an extra day costs 25 EUR. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional fee of 110 EUR per week.
Alternative more luxurious accommodation (single, double or triple rooms) is available for an additional fee of 120 to 180 EUR per week upon request at Villa Kera. Places are limited.
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.
Participants must pay on their own for extra days and for single room accommodation!
Meals: Daily breakfast and the official welcome and the farewell dinners are covered by the admission fee. Students are responsible for their own lunch and dinners.
Sozopol offers 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.
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 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/ 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!
The admission fee is valid only for students who enroll in this field school through the Balkan Heritage Field School (BHFS). Students wishing to obtain credits and benefit from the advantages of the BHF-IFR Program for the Balkans must apply and enroll through the Institute for Field Research (IFR), USA and pay admission fees corresponding to the IFR's terms and conditions.
BHFS admission fee includes: Educational and fieldwork activities, Bed & Breakfast accommodation, tools, materials, project handbook and issue of Certificate of Attendance, administrative costs and excursions included in the field school program plus relevant entrance fees.
The price in USD is approximate. Please check current exchange rates!
Super Early Bird Admission fee for two-week session is 1149 EUR* (approx.1344 USD)
Super Early Bird Admission fee for four-week session is 2249 EUR* (approx. 2631 USD)
Early Bird Admission fee for two-week session is 1249 EUR* (approx.1461 USD)
Early Bird Admission fee for four-week session is 2399 EUR* (approx. 2806 USD)
Regular Admission fee for two-week session is 1349 EUR* (approx.1578 USD).
Regular Admission fee for four-week session is 2549 EUR* (approx. 2982 USD). (Includes 5% discount for participation in 2 sessions).
* All participants who are willing to organize their accommodation separately, outside the project package, will receive a discount of 150 EUR off the regular admission fee.
Admission Fee Transfer Options:
For further information contact Admissions Office at [email protected]
* 5% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available for:
* 10% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available for:
* 12% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available for:
* 15% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee is available for:
Note, 5% of every admission fee for this project directly supports the Balkan Heritage Protection Fund's activities!
Students who study outside Europe
wishing to obtain academic credits for attending the four-week session of this field school project must 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 Connecticut College and will receive a letter grade. The tuition fee is included in the IFR admission fee.