Workshop for Archaeometry and 3D Documentation of Ancient Greek Pottery

Period: Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic
Code: A3D.WRK.19
Session: 14 - 22 June 2019
Academic credits available: up to 6
Admission fee starting from: 1349 EUR (approx. 1618 USD)

The Project and the Course General Information

        General Information          


Project type: Workshop on Archaeometry and 3D Documentation of Ancient Greek Pottery. It is a follow up to the long running Balkan Heritage Workshop for Conservation of Greek Pottery at Sozopol, Bulgaria.The combination of projects is suitable for anyone who would like to deepen their knowledge of pottery documentation and conservation. 

Workshop started: 2019

About the project and the workshop:

The workshop aims to acquaint participants with Ancient Greek pottery and the contemporary methods of its study and documentation. It will offer full experience, from the discovery to the preparation for publication/exhibition of the finds. Participants will gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in Ancient Greek pottery employing Archaeometry and 3D Documentation in its study, interpretation and presentation. Pottery cleaning, documenting and sorting, dating and analysis (TL/OSL Dating measurements and data analysis, analysis by X-rays and μ-XRF) as well as innovative 3D applications in pottery research and trends for future developments will be presented. Guided visit to the old town of Xanthi as well as to the ancient city of Abdera, the homeland of Democritus (archaeological site and museum) will take place during the workshop.

Artifacts & monuments in the project's focus: The participants will work on replicas of ancient Greek pottery, as well as with original fragments.

Project venue & accommodation: The city of Xanthi is located in Thrace, northeastern Greece. It is the capital of the Xanthi regional unit of the prefecture of East Macedonia and Thrace. The Old Town of Xanthi is known throughout Greece for its distinctive architecture, combining post-Byzantine churches, neoclassical mansions of Greek merchants from the 18th and 19th centuries and Ottoman-era mosques. Xanthi is famous for its annual spring carnival, the largest in northern Greece.

The students will be accommodated at Hotel Elena, located 5 min by taxi  or 10-15 min by foot, from "Athena" Research & Innovation Center in Information, Communication & Knowledge Technologies, Division Xanthi.

BHF partners in this project: "Athena" Research & Innovation Center in Information, Communication & Knowledge Technologies/ Xanthi Division and New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria

Workshop director: Dr. Despoina Tsiafaki ("Athena" RC)

Field school coordinators: Dr. Angela Pencheva (Balkan Heritage Foundation & Field School Program Manager) and Dr. Despoina Tsiafaki ("Athena" RC)

Chief Instructors:

Dr. Despoina Tsiafaki ("Athena" RC)

Dr. Nestor Tsirliganis ("Athena" RC)

Dr. George Pavlidis ("Athena" RC)

Dr. Anestis Koutsoudis ("Athena" RC)

Field school sessions available:14 -22 June 2019

Application deadlines: until the places are filled or 1 May 2019

Minimum length of stay: 14 - 22 June 2019

Minimum age: 18

Number of field school places available: maximum 8

Language: English

Experience required: None


  • Good manual dexterity skills and ability to carry out delicate bench work.
  • The admission fee does not cover insurance. It is necessary to arrange your own insurance before your trip to Greece. All EU citizens can use Greek medical services as long as they can provide evidence of their home-country health insurance with a card, certificate, etc.
  • Participants are expected to bring a laptop having at least 20 GB free disk space and a mouse. Operation system recommended: Windows XP or newer, Mac OSX or newer.
  • Participants should bring clothes and toiletries suitable for warm and sunny weather (26 -36 C), but should also prepare for rainy, windy and chilly days.
  • Participants should bring white standard lab-coat needed for the conservation treatments in the labs.
  • Participants are also expected to prepare for the field school by reading the materials that will be sent by e-mail before the beginning of the project.
  • Participants will use the tools and equipment available at the labs and are not required to bring any additional equipment except for perhaps favorite personal tools.

Special considerations: Note: Citizens of the EU, EEA, USA, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand do not need an entry visa for Greece. Citizens of countries not mentioned above should check in advance whether they will need entry visas for the country. The cost of any visas is not included in the price of the field school! For further details, please visit the website of MFA of Greece.


      The Workshop   


      In 2019, the Workshop for Archaeometry and 3D Documentation of Ancient Greek Pottery will be hosted for the first time by the “Athena” Research Centre in Xanthi (Greece). It provides a unique opportunity for students and other participants to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in the contribution of Archaeometry and 3D Documentation to the study of Ancient Greek Pottery. Participants will be guided through the life cycle of Ancient Greek pottery, from manufacture to consumption, while taking part in a dig simulation, field training and on-site work including logging, labeling, cleaning and sorting fragments.

      Theoretical and practical courses regarding both archaeometry (TL/OSL Dating, clay analysis and provenance of ceramics, TL Dating measurements and data analysis, μ-XRF analysis and data manipulation) and 3D Documentation (Theory - Current state of the art techniques, 3D digital replicas for Web dissemination and other applications, Image-based 3D reconstruction, Data post-processing and preparation for 3D printing) will take place at the labs of the “Athena” Research Centre.

      The archaeological approach and methods in pottery documentation will be combined with technologies and methods for 3D geometrical and spectral documentation (3D digitization). This will cover basic material related to the digitization of cultural heritage. General principles of digitization and digital technology will be outlined and the available methods for 3D digitization will be described within the framework of the challenges posed by cultural heritage applications. Examples will demonstrate the capabilities and limitations of current digital technologies. Specific successful methods will be presented and will be set as the primary topic of the hands-on workshops.

      During the project, the participants will work with replicas and original  fragments of Ancient Greek pottery. The project includes three modules: 1) practical work in archaeology, archaeometry and 3D documentation; 2) theoretical work including lectures and instructions and, 3) study visits and excursions to the old town of Xanthi and the Abdera archaeological site and Museum. Refer to the Course description and Workshop agenda below.   


      By the end of the workshop the participants will:

      • be able to recognize and handle Ancient Greek pottery (Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic)
      • be able to develop basic practical skills (depending on participant's initial level of qualification) in pottery recording, analysis and 3D documentation
      • become acquainted with the basic methods of all the required documentation for the recording and analysis of pottery using both traditional methods and modern software
      • learn basic facts about the forms, types, traditions and technology of manufacture of pottery
      • get acquainted with different case studies for pottery recording, analysis and documentation
      • meet professionals working in the areas of archaeology, pottery, archaeometry and 3D technologies for cultural heritage in Greece      


All participants will receive:

  • Balkan Heritage Field School Certificate specifying the fieldwork hours, educational modules, and sites visited;
  • BHFS T-shirt.   

The Agenda


14 June, 2019

Arrival and check-in in Xanthi   

Welcome dinner.

15 June, 2019

Presentation of the Balkan Heritage Field School, the Project - Presentation of “Athena” Research Center and visit to the labs: "Athena" Research Center & Balkan Heritage Field School.      

History and Archaeology of Aegean Thrace.   

Introduction to Archaeometry   

Innovative 3D applications in cultural heritage and trends for future research and development   

Old town of Xanthi guided tour

Lecturers: Dr. Despoina Tsiafaki, Dr. Nestor Tsirliganis, Dr. George Pavlidis, Dr. Anestis Koutsoudis, Dr. Angela Pencheva, Anastasia Michailidou

16 June, 2019

Visit to the Archaeological site and the Museum at Abdera

17 June, 2019

Simulation of archaeological dig, field training and work on-site, excavation log, labeling etc.   

Ancient Greek pottery: from manufacture to consumption    

Cleaning and Sorting ancient Greek Pottery fragments.   

Archaeological Documentation of ancient Greek pottery (drawing, graphic reconstruction, photographing, description, etc.) 

Lecturers: Dr. Despoina Tsiafaki, Anastasia Michailidou 

18 June, 2019

Archaeological Dating, TL/OSL Dating, TL Dating measurements, TL Dating measurements and data analysis

Lecturers: Dr. Nikolaos Kazakis, Dr. Nestor Tsirliganis

19 June, 2019

Clay analysis and Provenance of ceramics    

Clay analysis by X-rays, μ-XRF analysis    

μ-XRF analysis and data manipulation

Lecturers: Dr. Nikolaos Kazakis, Dr. Nestor Tsirliganis

20 June, 2019

3D Digitization Theory - Current state of the art techniques   

Creating 3D digital replicas for Web dissemination and other applications   

Tutorial introduction on image-based 3D reconstruction

Lecturers: Dr. George Pavlidis, Dr. Anestis Koutsoudis 

21 June, 2019

Hands-on image-based 3D reconstruction   

Data post-processing and preparation for 3D printing

Lecturers: Dr. George Pavlidis, Dr. Anestis Koutsoudis

22 June, 2019

Breakfast & Departure

Reading Background   


History and Archaeology of the Region

Vlachopoulos, A. & D. Tsiafaki, 2017. Macedonia and Thrace. Athens (in Greek).   


Ancient Greek Pottery

  • Amyx, D. A. 1988. Corinthian Vase-painting of the Archaic period. Berkeley.
  • Amyx, D. A. & P. Lawrence, 1996. Studies in Archaic Corinthian Vase Painting. Princeton.
  • Boardman, J. 2006. The History of Greek Vases: Potters, Painters and Pictures. London.
  • Boardman, J. 1985. Athenian Black Figure Vases. London.
  • Boardman, J. 1985. Athenian Red Figure Vases: The Archaic Period: A Handbook. London.
  • Boardman, J. 1999. Athenian Red Figure Vases: The Classical Period. London.
  • Cook, R. Μ. 1997. Greek Painted Pottery.
  • Cook, R. M. & P. Dupont, 2003. East Greek Pottery. London & New York.
  • Coulié, A. 2013. La céramique grecque aux époques géométrique et orientalisante (XIe–VIe siècle av. J.–C.). Paris.
  • Kanowski, M. G. 1984. Containers of Classical Greece. St Lucia.
  • Orton, C., Hughes, M. 2013. Pottery in Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sparkes, B. A. 1996. The Red and the Black: Studies in Greek Pottery. London.
  • Schreiber, T. 1999. Athenian Vase Construction. A Potter’s Analysis. Malibu. ( )
  • Tiverios, M. 1996. Ancient Vases. Athens (in Greek)
  • Tsingarida, A. (ed.) 2009. Shapes and Uses of Greek Vases, 7th–4th centuries B.C. Brussels.      

Archaeometry and Pottery

  • Ciliberto, E. & Spoto, G. eds. 2000. (εδώχρειάζεταιένα space) Modern Analytical Methods in Art and Archaeology. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Griffiths, D. 1999. The role of interdisciplinary science in the study of ancient pottery, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 24, 4, 289-300.
  • Kazakis, N.A. & Tsirliganis, N.C. 2015. Provenance of ceramics: Methods and Practices. In: Sarris A. ed. Best Practices of GeoInformatic Technologies for the Mapping of Archaeolandscapes. Oxford: Archaeopress (pp. 241-252).
  • Kazakis, N. & Tsirliganis, N. 2017. An Insight into the Scientific Datasets in Archaeological Research through the Pottery Provenance Case. Int. J. Comput. Methods Herit. Sci. 1, 2 (July 2017), 58-73. DOI:
  • Papadopoulou, D., Sakalis. A., Merousis, N., Tsirliganis N. 2007. Study of decorated archeological ceramics by micro X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment. 580, 1, 743-746.
  • Sciau, P. & Goudeau, P. 2015. Ceramics in art and archaeology: a review of the materials science aspects. The European Physical Journal B, 88: 132.
  • Tite, M. S. 2008. Ceramic Production, Provenance and Use. A Review. Archaeometry, 50(2), 216–231. 10.1111/j.1475-4754.2008.00391.x

Pottery and 3D Technologies

  • Breuckmann, B., Karl, St. & Trinkl, E. 2013. Digitising Ancient Pottery. Precision in 3D. Forum archaeologiae, Zeitschrift für klassische Archäologi 66(III)., Accessed 07 February 2018.
  • Koutsoudis, A., Vidmar, B. & Arnaoutoglou, F. 2013. Performance Evaluation of a Multi-Image 3D Reconstruction Software on a Low-Feature Artefact. Journal of Archaeological Science 40(12): 4450-4456.
  • Koutsoudis, A., Vidmar, B., Ioannakis, G., Arnaoutoglou, F., Pavlidis, G. & Chamzas, C. 2014. Multi-Image 3D Reconstruction Data Evaluation. Journal of Cultural Heritage 15(1): 73-79.
  • Koutsoudis, A., Ioannakis, G., Vidmar, B., Arnaoutoglou, F. & Chamzas, C. 2015. Using noise function-based patterns to enhance photogrammetric 3D reconstruction performance of featureless surfaces. Journal of Cultural Heritage16(5): 664-670.
  • Mara, H. & Portl, J. 2012. Acquisition and Documentation of Vases using High-Resolution 3D-Scanners. In Neue interdisziplinäre Dokumentations- und Visualisierungsmethoden, Edited by E. Trinkl, pp. 25-40. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum Österreich, Beiheft 1, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
  • Revello Lami, M., Opgenhaffen, L., & Kisjes, I. 2016. Pottery goes digital: 3D laser scanning technology and the study of archaeological ceramics. In S. Campana, R. Scopigno, G. Carpentiero, & M. Cirillo (Eds.), CAA2015: Keep the Revolution Going: proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (Vol. 1, pp. 421-431). Oxford: Archaeopress Publishing.
  • Štuhec, S., Aspöck, E., Masur, A., Andorfer, P., Zaytseva, K. 2016. Putting 3D models into context - the Schachermeyr pottery collection and the DEFC app. In Proceedings of the 8th International Congress on Archaeology, Computer Graphics, Cultural Heritage and Innovation ‘ARQUEOLÓGICA 2.0’, 5- 7. Sept. 2016, Valencia, Spain, 449-451 Accessed 30 November 2016.
  • Tsiafaki, D. & Michailidou, N. 2015. Benefits and problems through the application of 3D technologies in archaeology: recording, visualisation, representation and reconstruction. Scientific Culture 1(3): 37-45.
  • Tsiafaki, D., Koutsoudis, A., Arnaoutoglou, F. & Michailidou, N. 2017. From a Buried Fragment to the Virtual Artefact: a case study of Greek pottery. In Digital Techniques for Documenting and Preserving Cultural Heritage, Edited by A. Bentkowska-Kafel and L. MacDonald. ARC Humanities Press, 17-34.


   Travel & Accommodation & Practicalities            


How to get there?

The closest airport to Xanthi is the Kavala International Airport (KVA) "Alexander the Great", located 40 km from Xanthi. Normally tourists arrive in Xanthi by car (via the Egnatia motorway) or by bus (via KTEL Xanthi In order to access Xanthi from Kavala Airport, participants should either get one of the taxis situated outside the airport (price varies between 60 – 70 Euros) or rent a car from the airport.                               

         Accommodation & Meals    


Accommodation: Elena Hotel is situated by the river, walking distance from the old town of Xanthi. The welcoming environment along with the high standard of service will make your stay memorable. Elena Hotel comprises attractively furnished rooms with two to three beds, with bathrooms with shower and WC, TV, air-conditioning and a fridge. The rooms are beautifully decorated with panoramic view. Laundry service and free Wi-Fi are available at the hotel. Participants are not expected to bring any additional equipment, linens or towels. Single rooms are available upon request for the supplement of 40 EUR per night per person including breakfast. Staying an extra day at the hotel costs 50 EUR (per night per person) including breakfast for the double room.   

Meals: The admission fee covers only breakfast. Lunches and dinners are not included. The prices of the inexpensive and mid-ranged restaurants vary between 10 - 20 Euros for a three-course menu.       


    Technicalities & Practicalities   

Insurance: The admission fee does not cover insurance. It is mandatory to arrange your own health insurance before your trip to Greece. All EU citizens can use Greek medical services as long as they can provide evidence of their home-country health insurance with a card/certificate, etc.

Weather: South-European (Transitional Mediterranean to Continental) climate with hot summers (30-40° C) dominates in the region. Rainy and chillier days in this season are not uncommon .

What to bring?

  • A pair of comfortable shoes for walking/hiking;
  • Wide brim hat;
  • Small backpack (for your water bottle, snacks, camera, etc.)
  • Lab coat
  • 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 Greece.
  • A converter to EU type electricity wall-plug if needed.
  • A good attitude for work, fun, study and discoveries.

 The Admission fee          


The Admission fee includes: educational and lab work activities, B&B accommodation (hotel + breakfast per day), tools, materials, 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 - by March 31, 2019:

Early Bird Admission fee for a project session is 1214 EUR / approx. 1457 USD      

   Registration after March 31, 2019:

Regular Admission fee for a project session is 1349 EUR / approx. 1618 USD   


Admission Fee 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]

Discounts off the regular admission fee:

* 5% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available for:

  1. Participation in more than 1 BHFS projects in 2019. (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 for:

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

* 12% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee available for:

  1. Group Participation (three or more people, who participate together in one BHFS project in 2019). The discount is valid for each participant.

* 15% DISCOUNT OFF the regular admission fee is available for:

  1. Group Participation (three or more people, who participate together in more than one BHFS project in 2019). 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 or project session in 2019. (15% discount is valid only for the second, third etc. project to be attended).

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 3 ECTS credits to students for attending the entire course. Transcripts of Records (ToR) are available upon request for an additional tuition fee. For details: Regulations for obtaining Transcripts of Records.




Workshop for Archaeometry and 3D Documentation of Ancient Greek Pottery

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