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Eastern European Archaeological Digs

Field schools located in eastern Europe, the Balkan states, and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Field schools listed below with dates older than the current year may indicate an ongoing project that has not yet established dates for this season.

Apollonia Pontica (Bulgaria)
June 29-July 20, 2014 (three sessions. Balkan Heritage. Excavations at the sacred precinct (temenos) of the Ancient Greek city of Apollonia Pontica on St. Kirik Island, Sozopol, Bulgaria. Periods of occupation: Archaic and Classical Greek, Hellenistic, Roman and Early Byzantine (seventh century BC-seventh century AD). Despite being one of the largest and richest Ancient Greek colonies in the Black sea region, Apollonia Pontica (present-day Sozopol, Bulgria) was famous in Antiquity because of the colossal statue of Apollo by Calamis. According to Pliny the Elder (Pliny 34.29) and Strabo (Strabo, 7.319) the 13-meter high bronze sculpture cost 500 Talents. It was raised in the fifth century BC in/in front of the temple dedicated to Apollo Ietros (the Healer) - patron deity of Apollonia Pontica. In 72 BC the Romans under Marcus Lucullus sacked the city and the colossal sculpture was transported to Rome as a trophy.

Balkan Heritage
Every year, Balkan Heritage schedules several concurrent field schools between May and October, including excavations, preservation work camps, and hunting and documenting medieval frescoes. Details on the current projects are listed separately.

Drawsko (Poland)
June 30-August 9, 2014 (two sessions). Slavia Foundation. In the summer of 2012, we offer seven weeks of archeological exploration and adventure at the the prehistoric/postmedieval multicultural site at Drawsko. The Slavia Field School in Mortuary Archaeology offers a unique opportunity for archaeology and physical anthropology students as well as future practitioners of forensic sciences and anyone interested in mortuary archeology to learn recovery and documentation techniques on both incinerated and skeletal human remains. All students take part in an archaeological excavation, getting hands-on experience in disinterment of human burials and cremations from their discovery to final removal.

Dubene-Sarovka (Bulgaria)
No Fieldschool in 2009-2012. Prehistory Foundation, Karlovo, Bulgaria and Museum of History, Karlovo, Bulgaria. The goal of the project is to document the beginning of the occupation of the prehistoric multilevel settlement of Dubene-Sarovka, Karlovo Municipality, Plovdiv District, Bulgaria, and one of the earliest Bronze Age villages in Thrace.

Emporion Pistiros (Bulgaria)
August 2-August 31, 2014 (three sessions). Balkan Heritage. The spa village of Varvara, Southern Bulgaria is situated 14 km away from the site, in the foothills of majestic Rhodopi Mountains. Ancient trade center (emporion) located in the Odryssian kingdom, the most important of kingdoms in Classical and Hellenistic Thrace.

Fresco-Hunting
May 17-31, 2014-Core Field School Project / May 17-June 7, 2014 Extended Field School Project. Balkan Heritage. This project aims to support the documentation of medieval frescoes preserved in abandoned churches and chapels in remote areas of Western Bulgaria. Their number has permanently decreased due to the lack of effort to preserve them from weather damage. For the last several years the “Fresco-Hunting” Photo Expedition has upgraded the existing database of drawn and photographic records of ten churches and chapels in Western Bulgaria.

Greek Pottery Workshop (Macedonia)
September 2-16, 2014. Balkan Heritage. Apollonia Pontica is one of the most ancient towns on the Western Black Sea coast. The city, founded by Miletian colonists around 610 BC, was named Apollonia Pontica, in honour of the patron deity of Miletus – Apollo. Chronicles mention the temple of Apollo, decorated with a 13 meter high bronze statue of the deity, which stood on an island next to the city. The workshop will guide the participants through the history of ancient Greek pottery, its production and consequent stages of archaeological conservation, documentation, study, and restoration. It will take place in both Emona and Sozopol (ancient Apollonia Pontica) on the Black sea coast, Bulgaria. Both the theoretical and practical courses will be based on Ancient Greek pottery found in Sozopol. During the workshop participants will work with authentic Ancient Greek shards.

Ilindentsi (Bulgaria)
June 14-July 13, 2014. (two sessions). Balkan Heritage. Excavation of one of the first Neolithic settlements in Europe (6200-5500 BC), near Ilindentsi, Southwestern Bulgaria. Scholars assume that the settlement near Ilindentsi was established by groups of people, coming from the earliest and the largest Early Neolithic settlement in the Valley, found near the village of Kovachevo. Thank to the results of a 20-year long Bulgarian-French Excavation Project in Kovachevo there is abundant evidence showing that the first inhabitants of that settlement were people of Anatolian origin (culture Hacilar VI-I). These migration patterns that traced the routes of European Neolithisation had various and complex reasons: increased population, limited environmental resources, climate change etc.

Roman Mosaic Conservation Workshop
June 7-21, 2014. Balkan Heritage. The workshop will guide the participants through the history, techniques and consequent stages of archaeological study, conservation and documentation of Roman and Late Roman (first - sixth century AD) mosaics. Both the theoretical and practical courses will be based on authentic Roman mosaics / mosaic fragments found in the ancient city of Stobi – the capital of Macedonia Secunda.

Roman Pottery Workshop (Macedonia)
June 7-21, 2014. Balkan Heritage. The workshop will guide the participants through the history of Roman and Late Roman pottery, its production and consequent stages of archaeological conservation, documentation, study, and restoration. It will take place in Stobi (the capital of Macedonia Secunda). The workshop for Conservation, Restoration and Documentation of Roman Pottery will be hosted as usual by the National Institute of Stobi, Macedonia at the Stobi Archaeological Park. It will guide the participants through the history and technology of Roman and Late Roman pottery and consequent stages of archaeological conservation, restoration, documentation and study. Both the theoretical and practical courses will be based on Roman pottery found in the ancient city of Stobi

Stobi (Macedonia)
June 29-July 28, 2014 (two sessions). Balkan Heritage. For more than a century the ancient city of Stobi has been attracting scientists from all over the World to reveal its secrets. Archaic, Classical, Roman, and Byzantine occupations in ancient Thrace.

Teleorman Valley (Romania)
TBD 2013. University of Oxford School of Archaeology. Archaeobotanical work in the Teleorman valley of south-central Romania as part of the SRAP project, directed by Douglass Bailey and Steve Mills, is designed to study change and continuity in plant use and husbandry during the sixth-fifth millennia cal. BC: a phase in which settlement shifted from small, dispersed sites of ephemeral dwellings to long-lived settlement mounds or ‘tells’. Large-scale sampling and flotation at a number of sites has produced important new evidence for the nature of farming in this critical transition phase.

Varna (Ancient Odessos) (Macedonia)
2-16 July 2011 and 17-31 July, 2011 (two sessions). Balkan Heritage. Excavation of the early Christian monastery-stronghold in Varna on Black Sea, Bulgaria

Yunatsite (Bulgaria)
July 19-August 2, 2014 (standard field school), August 3-August 17, 2014 (extended). Balkan Heritage. Tell Yunatsite is located in the fields next to the Bulgarian village of Yunatsite, NW Thrace. Copper Age (4900 - 4100 BC), Early Bronze Age (3100-2200 BC), Iron Age, Antiquity and Middle Ages.

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