Topic ID #24944 - posted 11/22/2012 6:22 AM



Ancient Greeks in The Land of Dionysos - Excavation of Emporion, Pistiros, Thrace

Session Dates: Session 1: 2 - 16 July, 2013 Session 2: 16-30 July, 2013
Application Deadline: June 1, 2013


Affiliation: Balkan Heritage Foundation, Pistiros Excavation Team: National Archaeological Institute with Museum at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, “Prof. Mieczyslaw Domaradzki” Archaeological Museum in Septemvri and New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria); University of Liverpool (England); Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic).

Project Description

In 1988 prof. M. Domaradski (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) uncovered on the left bank of the Maritsa  River (ancient Hebros), between the towns of  Vetren and Septemvri (in present day Bulgaria)  the ruins of the Ancient Greek trade centre (emporion) once located deep in Thrace, in the Odryssian kingdom (the strongest and mightiest of all Thracian kingdoms existing at the time). Prof. M. Domaradski started regular excavations there and in 1990 his team found the stone inscription (known as “Vetren inscription”) that helped the scholars to 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 neighbours under the supreme protection of the Thracian Odryssian kings. The emporion was also a major metallurgical centre and a key harbour for export of metals and metal products from Thrace to Greece in the Classical and Early Hellenistic periods (from the middle of the 5-th to the beginning of the 3-rd  century BC). The trade contacts of the emporion are evident through finds of numerous  imports such as Attic red-figured and black-glazed pottery, amphorae (mainly Thasian) and coins (including several hoards of cooper, silver and gold coins found during the excavations - they represent the coinage of different Odryssean kings (e.g. Amatokos I, Bergaios, Kotys I, Amatokos II, Teres II, Kersebleptes, Teres II), Greek cities (Thasos, Maroneia, Parion, Thracian Chersonese, Kypsela, Enos, Apollonia, Messabria etc.) and Macedonian rulers (Philip II, Alexander the Great, Kassandros, Demetrios Poliokretes, Lysimachos etc.).

In 2013 the Ancient Greeks in the Land of Dionysus - Excavation of Emporion Pistiros, Thrace PROJECT envisions further excavation of the following site's areas:

  1. the SE sector - an area next to the fortification wall with higher concentration of cult artifacts and features: pits, clay escharae (cult altars) etc.     
  2. the Central sector of the site, where remains of the earliest period of the emporion’s existence are expected to be found.
  3. the Extramural sector (outside of the fortification wall), where archaeologists aim to collect further data about the settlement structure and history.

Two project sessions are available in 2013 and each 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 trainings in Classical and Field Archaeology, Finds' processing and Documentation as well as excursions to various cultural and archaeological sites in the region such as the ancient town of Plovdiv.

The participants in both project sessions of the Field School will be able to  develop further their skills and competences regarding the field work and finds processing, gained during the first two-week session and to attend a number of extra lectures, workshops and an excursion to some of the most remarkable Thracian royal tombs in the Rose valley in and around Kazanlak and Starosel.

All participants will receive:

  • Project handbook (in PDF version by e-mail and a hard copy on arrival);
  • Balkan Heritage Field School Certificate specifying the fieldwork hours, educational modules, and sites visited.

 Period(s) of Occupation: Classical, Hellenistic (5th – 2nd century BC)

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 session (two weeks)

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No, but all participants are expected to have some (at least theoretical) background in archaeological field techniques and methods.

Room and Board Arrangements

All participants are going to be accommodated in a guest house in the village of Varvara, in comfortable rooms (with two to three beds, bathrooms with WC and shower), equipped with air-conditioning, TV and Wi-Fi. The guest house has a small swimming pool with mineral water. Three meals per day are covered by the admission fee. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. The guest house is located very close to Varvara Mineral Baths.

Cost: Admission Fee - €1,249 (app. $1,590) for 1 project session including all educational and fieldwork activities, travel to and from the fieldwork venues, full-board accommodation, administrative costs, Project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance and excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees. Discounts off the admission fee are available in case of: 1) AIA membership; 2) Participation in more than 1 BH project or project session in 2013; 3) Small Groups (two or three people, who participate in a BH project in 2013); 4) Larger Groups (four or more people, who participate in a BH project in 2013).

Academic Credit
New Bulgarian University grants to students six/nine academic credits for participation in one/two project sessions. Transcripts are available upon request for an additional tuition fee.
Tuition: €345/515 for 6/9 credits (for students outside EU). Participants who don't need academic credits, won't be expected to pay for the tuition fee.

Contact Information
Ms. Anna Parmakova - Admissions / Balkan Heritage Field School
204 Sveta Troitsa St.
Stara Zagora, BG-6004, 6004
Phone: Phone: +359 878 441 251


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