Project Description

This is a joint project with the Balkan Heritage Foundation, Bulgaria. 

IFR policy requires that prior to traveling, all field school students must have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series AND received the most recent booster dose recommended by the CDC, if eligible.

All IFR field school applicants should familiarize themselves with IFR COVID-19 Practices BEFORE enrolling in a program. These practices are subject to change as health and risk management experts provide new recommendations and best practices.

You may want to refer to the following websites to stay informed of COVID-19 case numbers and regulations/policies for Bulgaria:

https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/travel-and-covid/bulgaria/index_en.htm

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/covid-4/coronavirus-bulgaria

US Embassy in Bulgaria

Overview

Tell Yunatsite is located in Southern Bulgaria and is among the biggest tells in Europe, similar to those found in the Near East. With a diameter of approximately 110 m/360 ft and height of 12 m/39 ft above ground surface, approximately one third of the tell has been excavated to date. Tell Yunatsite is a model site with a long-term and well-defined stratigraphic sequence. There is a medieval cemetery at the top of the tell, followed by a Roman period level, two Iron Age levels, another dated to the Early Bronze Age, and finally, a Chalcolithic (Copper age) layer. Despite work at the site since 1939, sterile soils have not yet been reached. Excavations of the Copper Age layers proved that Tell Yunatsite is the acropolis of one of the earliest proto-urban sites established in Europe dated to the 5th millennium BCE. The site includes evidence of the apogee and collapse of the earliest prehistoric civilization aa well as some of the earliest metallurgy found in Europe. A small gold bead found at the site by an IFR field school student in 2016 and another gold plastine found in 2017 are believed to be the oldest bits of processed gold ever discovered in Europe – and among the oldest in the world.

This field school provides a unique glimpse into the rise and fall of arguably the earliest European civilization. In 2022, field school students will take part in further excavation of the burned Chalcolithic/Final Neolithic layer buildings. Faculty and students will work together and explore why and how one of the earliest proto urban centers in Europe emerged in the beginning of the fifth millennium BCE, and what are the reasons that caused its collapse 800 years later.

Syllabus coming soon!

Course Details

  • Course Dates: July 22 – August 19, 2023

  • Enrollment Status: Open

  • Tuition: $4,832

  • Course Type: Field Archaeology, Prehistoric, Neolithic

  • Tuition Payment Deadline: June 2, 2023

  • Instructors: Dr. Kamen Boyadzhiev

  • Orientation: TBD
  • 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. Kamen Boyadzhiev
Dr. Kamen Boyadzhiev
Dr. Boyadzhiev is a prehistoric archaeologist and Head of the Department of Exhibitions at the National Institute of Archaeology and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Dig director of Tell Yunatsite excavations and Balkan Heritage Foundation affiliate.

Testimonials

Testimonials coming soon!

Tuition Includes:

$$4,832
  • Cost of Instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credit Units
  • Room & Board
  • All Onsite Transportation
  • Health & Evacuation Insurance

Student Fees

Application Fee: There is a $25 fee to submit an online application.

Deposit Payment:

  • Once you have been accepted to a program, you must place a nonrefundable $500 deposit fee to hold your seat in the program until the tuition payment deadline. The tuition payment deadline can be found in the top right of each field school’s web page under “Course Details”.
  • The $500 deposit fee is included as part of your total tuition fee and NOT in addition to it.

Tuition Fee 

  • The tuition balance is the total program tuition fee minus the $500 deposit fee.
  •  The full tuition fee must be paid by the tuition payment deadline in order to secure your seat in the program.
  • If you do not pay the full tuition fee by the deadline, your place in the program is no longer secure, and if you are unable to participate in the program for any reason, our Late Withdrawal policy below will apply.

Late Fee: A $100 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the tuition payment deadline.

Withdrawal Policy: If you place a deposit but decide to withdraw, you must notify IFR staff in writing before the tuition payment deadline. In the event of withdrawal, the $500 nonrefundable deposit fee remains nonrefundable and will not be refunded.

Late Withdrawal: 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 fee regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information.

Cancellation Policy: In the event that IFR must cancel a field school, all accepted students will be notified as soon as possible and will receive a refund of all tuition paid including the deposit fee. IFR offers students the opportunity to transfer to another field school, permitting that there are spots available and the program director approves the student to participate in their field school. Upon approval of the program director, IFR staff will make the arrangements to transfer the student’s application and payments.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 3.5% 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: Please consider purchasing a travel interruption insurance policy that will cover your travel cost and the cost of the IFR program once you make a commitment to attend a field school.

The added risk of COVID-19  should be a “covered event” in your policy.
Please note that the cost of coverage varies, based on your age, the program duration and geographical location.
You may get help and advice from your insurance broker and we offer the links below to help you educate yourself on these insurance products.
– Compare quotes from different companies offering Trip Cancelation insurance plans.

Accommodations

In Primavera Hotel in the district town of Pazardzhik, Bulgaria – in comfortable rooms with 2-3 beds per room, bathrooms with shower and WC, TV, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Cheap laundry service available at the archaeological site. Participants are not expected to bring any additional equipment, sleeping bags or towels. The hotel is located next to the main pedestrian area of the Downtown Pazardzhik. There are lots of shops, pharmacies, banks, ATMs, a hospital, taverns, bars, cafes, post office and tourist attractions around in the hotel area. Pazardzhik is a mid-size Bulgarian town (50,000 inhabitants). The town and its surroundings offer a variety of opportunities for good entertainment, sightseeing, sports, wine-tasting and shopping.

The excavation site, Tell Yunatsite is situated about 10 km away (15 min ride) from Pazardzhik and the hotel. Transport on work days will be arranged and covered by the Balkan Heritage Foundation (BHF). Next to the site is the archaeological base with running water, electricity, a field latrine, dining and lab facilities as well as a tool storage available to the students.

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

Meals

Three meals (Balkan cuisine) per day are covered by the tuition fee. This field school can accommodate vegetarians, vegans and individuals with gluten- and lactose-intolerance. Kosher-restrictions are impossible to accommodate in this location.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner meals will take place at the site during the work days. Other meals will take place at the hotel’s restaurant. Brown-bag-lunches will be provided during excursions and days-off.

Travel Info

Due to ongoing uncertainties regarding travel regulations related to COVID-19, IFR will assess the local conditions closer to the travel date (5-6 weeks prior to the program beginning) and will make Go/No Go decisions then. Natural disasters, political changes, weather conditions and various other factors may force the cancelation of a field school. You are required to participate in the mandatory orientation meeting when we will discuss the latest travel information and regulations. We also suggest you consider postponing the purchase of your airline ticket until after the program orientation.

On arrival at Sofia International Airport, students will need to take a PCR test at the airport labs (app. cost 48-56 USD) and then self-quarantine at a recommended airport hotel overnight. The BHF recommends the Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel** for the one night quarantine after arrival. Students are responsible for these costs—the PCR test,  the hotel room (should make a room reservation prior to travel) and the shuttle cost (40 EUR) to the project venue. All students with negative PCR test results will be picked up from the hotel by a shuttle and delivered to the project hotel – Hotel Primavera in the district town of Pazardzhik the next day.

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.

Citizens of other countries are asked to check the embassy website page at their home country for specific visa requirements.

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.