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. Between the 5th and 3rd century BCE, merchants from the Greek coastal cities of Maroneia, Thassos and Apollonia lived and traded here with their Thracian neighbors under the supreme protection of the Thracian Odrysian kings.

To date, 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, and weapons were among the discovered artifacts. Training in Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) of small finds will supplement the excavation program.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: TBA

  • Enrollment Status: CLOSED

  • Tuition: $4,674

  • Course Type: Field Archaeology, Classical, Hellenistic

  • Payment Deadline: TBA

  • Instructors:  Dr. Angela Pencheva

  • Online Orientation: TBA
  • Academic Credit: 8 Semester Credit Units (equivalent to 12 Quarter Units)

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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. She is also a 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

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

Tuition Includes:

$4,674
  • Cost of Instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credit Units
  • Room & Board
  • All Onsite Transportation
  • Health & Evacuation Insurance

Student Fees

This program requires an online application — there is no fee to submit an application. Once admitted, a payment of the nonrefundable deposit fee is required to secure a place in the program(s). The Tuition balance (total program cost minus the deposit fee) must be paid prior to the Tuition deadline as listed above under “Course Details.” A $200 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition deadline.

Early Decision Enrollment (Nov 1, 2019 through Jan 10, 2020): A reduced, nonrefundable $300 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Regular Enrollment (Jan 11, 2020 through payment deadline): A nonrefundable $500 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Late Enrollment (payment deadline forward): A nonrefundable $600 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. In addition, a $200 late fee  will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition payment deadline.

Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy: If you paid the deposit fee but did not cancel your participation by the Tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full Tuition regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 2.5% processing fee is automatically incurred for all credit/debit card/online payments.

Academic Credit Opt Out: Students who wish to participate in an IFR field school without earning academic credit units may do so and receive the following discounts: $300 off a full program (4 or more weeks in length) or $200 off a short program (2-3 weeks in length).

Trip Cancellation Insurance: The IFR does not provide trip cancellation insurance. Read this Wall Street Journal article about travel insurance — it may help in making a decision whether such insurance is for you. If you do wish to purchase such insurance, Insure My Trip or Travel Guard are two possible resources you may wish to explore.

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, 8km 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.

Pistiros, Bulgaria
Pistiros, Bulgaria

Travel Info

Please wait to purchase your airline ticket until six (6) weeks prior to departure date. Natural disasters, political changes, weather conditions and a range of other factors may require the cancellation of a field school. The IFR typically takes a close look at local conditions 6-7 weeks prior to program beginning and make Go/No Go decisions by then. This time frame still allows the purchase of discounted airline tickets while protecting students from potential loss of airline ticket costs if we decide to cancel a program.

Students should arrive on July 20, at 5:00pm to the OK Taxi Desk (Balkan Heritage Foundation Travel partner) in 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 PICK UP IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PARTICIPATION FEE! It depends on the number of the arriving students and varies between 25 – 60 Euros. The trip takes approx. 1-1 . 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. 8 | P a g e 

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 EU, EEA, USA, 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

The IFR primary concern is with education. Traveling and conducting field research involve risk. Students interested in participating in IFR programs must weigh whether the potential risk is worth the value of education provided. While risk is inherent in everything we do, we do not take risk lightly. The IFR engages in intensive review of each field school location prior to approval. Once a program is accepted, the IFR reviews each program annually to make sure it complies with all our standards and policies, including student safety.

Students attending IFR international programs are covered by a comprehensive Health Insurance policy that includes physical illness or injury, mental or chronic conditions. No deductible and 100% of costs are covered up to $250,000. In addition, we provide Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation policy, which allow us to remove students from field school location if local conditions change. Our field school directors are scholars that know field school locations and cultures well and are plugged in into local communities and state institution structures.

Students attending IFR domestic programs (within the US) must have their own health insurance and provide proof upon enrollment. IFR field school directors are familiar with local authorities and if in need of evacuation, local emergency services and/or law enforcement will be notified and activated.

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

Call (877-839-4374) or email (info@ifrglobal.org) if you have questions about the safety of any particular program.