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Apollonia Pontica Excavation Project 2014

Location: Sozopol , Burgas, Bulgaria, Bulgaria

June 29, 2014 to July 20, 2014

Session dates: 
Field school session 1: 29 June - 13 July, 2014; Field school session 2: 14 July - 28 July, 2014; Field School Session 3 (Session 1 Extended): 29 June - 20 July, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, June 15, 2014

Flyer: bhfs_brochure_season_2014.pdf

Discount for AIA members: 
5% discount off the regular admission fee

Program Type

Field school


The Balkan Heritage Foundation, Apollonia Pontica Excavation Team, Archaeological Museum of Sozopol, New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria).

Project Director:

Ass. Prof. Prof. Krastina Panayotova (PhD in Archaeology), Department of Classical Archaeology, National Institute of Archaeology and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Project Description

Apollonia Pontica was founded by Miletian colonists in the end of 7th century BC on the Western Black Sea Coast, ruled by that time by Thracian kings. Due to the trade of copper, gold, olives, wine and luxurious Mediterranean artifacts, it soon became the most prosperous Greek colony along the coast, known as Apollonia Magna. It was famous because of the colossal 13 meter high bronze statue of Apollo Iatros (the Hеаler), the town’s patron, which was the prototype of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. The statue was erected in the fifth century B.C. in front of Apollo’s temple on an island, identified by most scholars as present- day St. Kirik Island.

Season 2014 envisions excavations at the top of the island, in the area of the Archaic and Classical Greek and Hellenistic temples, Ancient Greek Copper Foundry and the Early Christian basilica, where the excavations in 2012 and 2013 took place. The results from the last two seasons were quite exciting and included:
  • Two ritual pits (botroi) from the Archaic Period containing: elaborated aribaloi (small pottery containers for perfumes and make up) shaped as: a bullhead, a ram, warrior heads, Goddess Artemis; several alabastroi (pottery and alabaster containers for pårfumes), a bronze phiale, an iron sword, numerous pottery vessels, bones, etc;
  • Several Early Christian (V-th century AD) graves;
  • A Hellenistic ritual fireplace with remains of a crown;
  • Architectural structures from the Archaic Period;
  • Numerous finds, including: several lamps from Archaic and Roman period, numerous pottery shards from Archaic, Hellenistic, Roman and Late Roman period, fragments of marble decorative elements from Archaic and Hellenistic Public buildings, coins, animal and human bones, etc.
Come and help the project team to reveal the secrets of the forgotten temple of Apollo! The project sessions available in 2014 include the following three modules: 1.fieldwork including excavation, maintaining a field journal on a daily basis, filling out context sheets and labels, drawing elevation plans/ ground plans/ cross-sections, 3D positioning of finds, taking coordinates with a level device, and taking photographs at the site; 2.lectures, workshops and field trainings in Classical and Field Archaeology, finds' processing and documentation (including pottery drawing, cleaning, sorting, conservation and restoration of artifacts) and 3. excursions to archaeological and cultural sites in Sozopol and Nesebar (UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as to some beautiful Black sea beaches and popular resorts.
The participants who join either the three-week session (3) or the two project sessions (1&2) will be able to  develop further their skills and competences regarding the archaeological field work and finds' processing, gained during the first two-week session and to attend a number of extra lectures and workshops for analyzing, recording and illustration of archaeological artifacts (esp. Ancient Greek pottery) and an excursion to the megalithic complex of Begliktash and the beach nearby.

Only the participants who join the two project sessions (1&2) will take part in the workshop for conservation and restoration of pottery.

All participants will receive:

  • Project handbook (in PDF version by e-mail and a hard copy on arrival);
  • Balkan Heritage Field School Certificate specifying the fieldwork hours, educational modules, and sites visited.


Period(s) of Occupation: Archaic and Classical Greek and Early Byzantine (seventh - fifth century BC and fifth - seventh century AD)

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 session (two weeks)

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Participants will be accommodated in comfortable rooms with two to three beds (bathrooms with shower and WC), equipped with air-conditioning, refrigerators and TV in a hotel (one star) located very close to the town beaches, the Old Town Quarter, the Archaeological Museum and within 15 min walking distance from the archaeological site. Wi-Fi is available on the first floor of the hotel. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional fee of 100 EUR per week.

The regular admission fee is 1399 EUR /2099 EUR/ 2658 EUR (app. 1799 /2728/ 3419 USD) for participation in one /extended/ two project sessions. The admission fee includes educational and fieldwork activities, full-board accommodation (hotel + 3 meals per day), tools, materials, project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance; excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees and administrative costs.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
New Bulgarian University
Number of credits offered 6/9 credit hours
starting from 345 EUR


Contact Information
Ms. Anna Parmakova
204 Sveta Troitsa St.
Stara Zagora
+ 359 877 725 052
Recommended Bibliography: 

Boardman, J. 1999. The Greeks Overseas. Their Early Colonies and Trade (fourth edition). Thames & Hudson.

Bouzek, J. 2003. Studies of Greek Pottery in the Black Sea Area. Oxford.

Grammenos, D. V., Petropoloulos, E. K. 2003. Ancient Greek Colonies in the Black Sea. Vol. 1. Publications of the Archaeological institute of Northern Greece, Nr. 4.

Grant J., Sam Gorin and Neil Fleming. 2008. The Archaeology Coursebook: an introduction to themes, sites, methods and skills. Routledge.

Renfrew, Colin and Paul Bahn. 2006.  Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. New York.

Sparkes, B. 1991. Greek Pottery. The Introduction. Manchester University Press.

Theodore Pena, J. 2007.Pottery in the Archaeological Record.Cambridge University Press.

Tsetskhladze, Gocha R. 2006, 2008. Greek Colonisation: v. 1, 2: An Account of Greek Colonies and Other Settlements Overseas. Brill.