Svoge, Bulgaria

Archaeological Fieldschool

when 4 July 2021 - 31 July 2021
language English
duration 4 weeks
fee EUR 924

The archaeological excavations will be carried out at Batulya fortress - a Byzantine stronghold, situated in Stara planina (Old Mountain). This is a relatively new archaeological site - the archaeological excavations here started in 2017. The fortress is registered for the first time in the 80s but never has been studied. Nowadays on the terrain can be seen the remains of an old fortification wall as well as some of the buildings inside of the stronghold. The protective walls have a thickness of 1,5 meters and are preserved along about 100 meters at the Northern part of the fortification. The dimensions of the fortified area are about 1500 sq.m. The walls fence an area with a rectangular layout. At the Eastern part of the terrain are traced ruins of a square tower.

The fortress is situated not far from the main city of Bulgaria - Sofia. It is built on a mountain hill with an altitude of 650 meters, guarding the defile of the River Batulyiska. In ancient times here passed the road connecting the South part of the Balkans with the Danube plain. It is a very important passage because it crosses dangerous lands through the mountains. The fortress near Batulya is one of the important points along this road which functions were to protect the commercial ties between North and South and to ensure the safe passage of troops crossing the mountains.

Course leader

Krassimira Todorova - archaeologist and curator of the museum collection in the town of Svoge.

Target group

These programs are ideal for people ages 18 - 25 but no person with a spatial interest or personal achievements in cultural preservation will be excluded because of the age limit. Our participants must be broadminded and open to foreign cultures. The only requirement is a satisfactory knowledge of English.

Course aim

The course will provide basic knowledge of archaeological field methods. At the site, the students will learn some geodetic methods: how to measure the ground and localize the place of work, how to calculate the position of the materials found, how to work on different scales. We will master the methods of documentation of different archaeological situations - drawing vertical and horizontal plans, measuring coordinates of the finds, taking professional photos.
Dealing with the archaeological finds at the site is also a very important skill. The participants will learn the basic methods of collecting pottery, metal, bones, etc. A very important skill is to learn how to recognize and interpret the different chronological periods at the terrain (the archaeological layers).
The post fieldwork will give the ability to understand and interpret the archaeological data. The students will learn how to deal with different types of archaeological finds, how to sort so-called "mass material" and how to fill in an inventory book. Short lessons will be given on illustration of the archaeological materials (technical drawing), processing of geodetic data, and working with the appropriate computer software.

Fee info

EUR 924: One session (2 weeks)
EUR 1: Double session (4 weeks)