Project Description

Overview

Between the 5th and 3rd century BCE, an Ancient Greek emporion called Pistiros, thrived in Thracian Valley. The emporion was a major port for trade relations between merchants from the Greek coastal cities Maroneia, Apollonia and the island of Thassos and Thracians under the supreme protection of the Odrysian kings. Trade contacts are evident through numerous imports such as Attic red-figured and black-slip pottery, amphorae (mainly Thassian) and coins (e.g. several hoards of copper, silver and gold coins) found during the excavation of Pistiros. Since annual excavations started over 25 years ago, the emporion has been brought back to some of its former glory, exposing an Eastern fortification wall, paved streets and stone building foundations. The goal for the 2017 season is to continue the excavations of the South-Eastern sector of the site. In this specific location next to the fortification wall there is a higher concentration of cult artifacts and features (pits, clay cult altars, etc.). Throughout the field school, students will learn about a range of materials and cultures of Thrace and the Mediterranean, unlocking the secrets of Ancient Greek trade. Training on Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) of epigraphic monuments and small finds found in Pistiros will supplement the excavation program.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: Jul 24-Aug 21, 2017
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,650
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 21, 2017
  • Instructors: Dr. Aleksey Gotsey, Ms. Angela Pencheva
  • Orientation:  TBA
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Instructors

The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. Aleksey Gotsev
Dr. Aleksey Gotsev
Dr. Gotsev is an Associate Professor at National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Ms. Angela Pencheva
Ms. Angela Pencheva
Ms. Pencheva is a PhD student at Humboldt University, Berlin; Visiting professor at the Department of Archaeology and Center for Vocational and Continuing Education, New Bulgarian University, Sofia; Balkan Heritage Program Director

Testimonials

This was my first field school and I absolutely loved it! It totally confirmed that I wanted to study Archaeology and that this is what I want to do professionally. Pistiros itself is a great site to work at, really interesting and I learned a lot that I didn’t know previously. We also got to work in an amazing pit – we found lots of pottery, bones, etc. Bulgaria is a very beautiful country with very hospitable people. It was an awesome experience which I wouldn’t be able to do if it weren’t for Balkan Heritage Field School, so thank you!
Dessa Meehan, Western Washington University (2015)
Emporion Pistiros –amazing site, amazing venue – the site itself has got to be one of the most interesting sites in Bulgaria and the sheer amount of artefacts we found and how varied and interesting they were– it was phenomenal! Altars, figurines, everything you could hope for, you can find in Pistiros. The hands-on experience that you get – everyday you’re learning a little bit more and you get better and precise with your own tool work. The supervisors did such a good job at teaching us and integrating us into the real work – at what you’ll have to do as an archaeologist. I can tell how much I’ve grown looking back in my journal in the 4 weeks of the project. It’s so much more that you can ever learn in a classroom.
Shaun Walter Winters, University of California, Santa Cruz (2015)

Tuition Includes:

$4,650
  • Costs of instruction
  • Room & board
  • All local transportation

Student Fees

A deposit of $500 is required. Once your application is accepted, the deposit fee secures your seat in this project. This program requires an application. There is no application fee. Only accepted students are provided with the link to pay the deposit fee.

  • A 2.5% Processing Fee is automatically assessed for all credit/debit card payments
  • A $100 Late Fee will be assessed if full tuition payment is not completed by the deadline.
  • Look at the field school syllabus above for room & board details.

Accommodations

Accommodation will be in in the Villa Terres Hotel at Karabunar, (www.villaterres.bg) in comfortable rooms with 2-3 beds, bathrooms with a shower, air-conditioning, and TV. The hotel has a small swimming pool and SPA, free of charge for the participants in the field school. Cheap laundry service and free Wi-Fi are provided.

Karabunar is a small village: there are a couple of food & beverage shops, bars & taverns, a winery, and a Christian Orthodox church, St. John the Baptist. The closest supermarket, pharmacy, bank with ATM, and medical office are in the municipal town of Septemvri, 8 km away from Karabunar.

The distance from the hotel to the site is app. 15 km/9.5 mi, and it takes an app. 15/20 min drive. Daily BHF shuttle service is arranged for the participants to bring them to the site and back. The site has no electricity but there are portable toilettes and running water.

Meals: Three meals (fresh, organic Bulgarian homemade food) per day are covered by the admission fee. Meals usually take place in the hotel’s restaurant, except lunch packages during excursions. This field school can accommodate vegetarians, vegans, and individuals with lactose-intolerance. Kosher and gluten-free diets are impossible to accommodate in this location.

Students must pay on their own for extra days and/or for single room accommodation.

Pistiros, Bulgaria

Travel Info

Students shall meet at 5:00pm on July 26 at the OK Taxi (Balkan Heritage Foundation Travel partner) desk in the Sofia International Airport Terminal 2 arrival area and tell the officer their names. From there they will be given a taxi/shuttle pick-up to Villa Teres. The trip takes app. 1-1 ½ hrs., but that time highly depends on the traffic. It is recommended that students exchange/withdraw up to 20 Bulgarian lev (app. 11 USD), buy a bottle of water, and visit the restroom before the trip. The taxi/shuttle can stop for a short break at a gas station on the way to Villa Teres. Students are responsible for transportation back to the airport – or onward travel – at the end of the field school.

If you missed your connection or your flight was delayed/canceled, call, text or email the project staff (email: bhfs.admissions@gmail.com). Local contact information will be provided to enrolled students.

Students are able to get general information, essential travel basics and tips concerning the project location and the country at http://www.bhfieldschool.org/countries/bulgaria (for Bulgaria) and http://www.bhfieldschool.org/project/PISexc (for the project). All students will receive a travel info-sheet with specific travel details prior to departure.

Student Safety

Student safety is paramount for the IFR. Unlike many universities who are self-insured, the IFR purchases a range of high end insurance policies from some of the largest insurers in the world. Students in all our international programs have a comprehensive health insurance policy. It covers sickness, and chronic and mental health conditions at 100% of the cost. We have a strong evacuation and extraction policy. We can remove students from any location anywhere in the world with one phone call – whether medical evacuation, political or natural disaster extraction and anything in between. We purchase intelligence services from a global private provider and monitor the world 24/7. We automatically enroll our students to the US State Department STEP program. All of our students receive safety orientations both before and on the first day of each program. Our faculty have all been working in the areas where we operate field schools for years. They are intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, know the landscape well and have deep relationships with local communities.

All our domestic programs are coordinated with local authorities which are informed of our operations. Students in domestic programs are covered by their own health insurance and evacuations are managed by local emergency services, as appropriate.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field (click here for a shortcut). If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with the field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students can contact IFR personnel directly.

Travel does involve risk, but we try to minimize this risk as much as possible. Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at info@ifrglobal.org if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.