Project Description

Overview

The ruins of an ancient site in the heart of Thrace – on the left bank of Maritsa River (ancient Hebros) – were discovered in 1988. In 1990, a stone inscription was found which helped scholars identify the site as the Ancient Greek trade center (emporion) named Pistiros, where between the 5th and 3rd century BCE, merchants from the Greek coastal cities of Maroneia, Thassos and Apollonia lived and traded with their Thracian neighbors under the supreme protection of the Thracian Odrysian kings.

To date, the field school students have worked in a sector next to the fortification wall where two chronologically different building horizons were identified. In the earlier one, the area was covered with simple half dug in houses, presumably dated to the very first period of the site’s existence – the end of the 5th century BCE. The architectural remains from the second horizon – belonging to buildings made of wooden beams and wattle & daub – existed in the period between the second half of 4th and beginning of the 3rd century BCE.  A huge amount of local and imported Greek vessels, cult figurines, Greek and Thracian coins, weapons, etc. were among the discovered artifacts. Training on Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) of small finds will supplement the excavation program.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: July 23-Aug 20, 2018
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,220
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Instructors: Dr. Aleksey Gotsey, Dr. Angela Pencheva
  • Orientation:  June 2, 2018 11:30 AM PST
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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
Dr. Angela Pencheva
Dr. Angela Pencheva
Dr. Pencheva is a 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:

$4,220
  • Costs of instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credit
  • Room & board
  • Health Insurance

Student Fees

A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to secure a seat in this program.  This program requires an application (no application fee is requested). Only accepted students should pay the deposit fee. Deposit fee is part of the program Tuition. The remaining tuition, minus the $500 deposit, must be paid prior to the tuition deadline (see above under “Course Details”).

Important Note: If you were accepted to this program but did not cancel your participation by the tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full tuition regardless of attendance in this program. Please read the IFR Cancellation Policy for further clarification.

  • 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 the Villa Terres Hotel at Karabunar, 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 electricity, there are portable toilets 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 for single room accommodation as well as for extra meals, beverages, services, and products!

Pistiros, Bulgaria

Travel Info

Students should arrive on July 23 at 5:00pm and go to the OK Taxi Desk (Balkan Heritage Foundation Travel partner) at the Sofia International Airport Terminal 2 arrival area. From there, students will be driven by taxi/shuttle to the Villa Terres hotel. The price of the pickup is not included in the participation fee. It varies between 25 – 70 Euros, depending on the number of students sharing the taxi/shuttle. 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 (approx. 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 Terres.

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 / see the map on the bottom of project web site). All students will receive a travel info-sheet with specific travel details prior to departure.

VISA REQUIREMENTS

Citizens of the US, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for up to 90 days. 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 more information visit the Balkan Heritage Foundation web site at http://www.bhfieldschool.org/information/visa-help and the links provided there.

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.