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Stobi Excavations (at the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Byzantine City - The Capital of Macedonia Secunda)

Location: Stobi, Gradsko, Macedonia, Macedonia

August 3, 2013 to September 1, 2013

Session dates: 
Session 1: 3 - 17 August 2013 Session 2: 18 August - 1 September 2013

Application Deadline: 
Monday, July 1, 2013

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

Program Type

Field school



Balkan Heritage Field School/Foundation, National Institute of Stobi (Macedonia) and the New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria)

Project Director:

Silvana Blazhevska, Director of NI Stobi

Project Description

For more than a century the ancient city of Stobi has been attracting scientists from all over the World to reveal its secrets. The first reported excavations started during World War I by German officers and the archaeologist F. Krischen.

Periods of excavations:

  • 1923 to 1940 - Excavations, directed by Balduin Saria and R. Eger, Kj. Truhelka, V. Petkovic, J. Petrovic, Dj. Mano-Zissi - the National Museum of Belgrade (Serbia);
  • 1955 to 1969 - Excavations carried out by the Archaeological Museum of Skopje and the Agency for Protection of Monuments of Culture (Macedonia);
  • 1970-1980 - Excavations, directed by Dj. Mano-Zissi and J. Wiseman - the Museum of Veles (Macedonia), University of Austin, Texas, and later Boston University (USA).
  • 1992 -1995 - rescue excavations by the Agency for Protection of Monuments of Culture (Macedonia);
  • Since 2008  a large-scale excavation campaign has begun,  focusing on finishing the previous partly excavated buildings and uncovering new areas.

To date only 15% of the territory of Stobi, that is surrounded by  the city wall has been excavated. In 2010 the field school participants worked at: the Western Necropolis of Stobi (in use from the first century B.C. to the fifth century A.D.) and an ancient temple (templum in antis type) dated to the second and the third century A.D.

The excavations in 2011 were focused on the Northern Residential Area of the Ancient Stobi, inhabited from the Late Hellenistic till the Late Roman period. Next season envisions further excavations at the same area in correspondence to the efforts of NI Stobi to preserve and display this part of the site. The layers to be studied in 2012 mainly concern the Roman and  Late Roman periods of that ancient neighborhood in existence. They offer an amazing opportunity to all field school participants to study textbook clear stratigraphy, to practice all basic excavation techniques in the field and to look through centuries of the everyday life of the Roman citizens of Stobi.

Two field school sessions of the project are available in 2013, each including the following three modules: fieldwork including maintaining a field journal on a daily basis, filling out context sheets and labels, drawing an elevation plan/a ground plan/a cross-section, 3D positioning of finds, taking coordinates with a level device, and taking photographs at the site; lectures, workshops and field trainings in Classic and Field Archaeology as well as Finds' processing and Documentation and excursions to the old town of Bitola, the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis as well as to Ohrid and Ohrid lake (UNESCO World Heritage Site) (Refer to the Course description and Field School agenda below!).

Participants, who join all the two project sessions are going to have different schedule during the second session, including:
  1. (at the weekends) Guided visit to Skopje;
  2. (In the afternoons) Field walking and site recording in the vicinity of Stobi; Extra lab work related to the finds' processing and documentation as well as Workshops for:
  • Roman pottery and terracotta;
  • Conservation and Preservation of Roman mosaics;
  • Roman and Late Roman coins.


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: Late Hellenistic, Roman, Early Byzantine (Second century B.C. - Sixth century A.D.)

This field school project includes three modules: fieldwork related to excavations of Hellenistic, Roman and Early Byzantine city of Stobi; educational course (lectures, workshops and field trainings referring to both excavations' methodology and Classical archaeology) as well as excursions to Ohrid on Ohrid lake (UNESCO World Heritage Site), old towns of Prilep and Bitola and archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis. THE PROJECT IS SUITABLE FOR BOTH BEGINNERS AND ADVANCED IN FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY! Students could obtain up to 9 academic credits upon request. EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION FEE valid through April 1st 2013. Other discounts off the admission fee are available!

Project size: 
1-24 participants

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

Minimum age: 
18 (16, if the participant is accompanied by an adult family member)

Experience required: 
No, but all participants are expected to have some (at least theoretical) background in archaeological field techniques and methods.

Room and Board Arrangements

Participants will be accommodated in the archaeological base at the site, in rooms with two to three beds in cabins (recently furnished, air-conditioned, Wi Fi). Every cabin has 4 bedrooms + living room, 2 bathrooms with shower and WC. There is also a washing machine available. Participants are not expected to bring bedclothes or towels. Three meals per day are covered by the admission fee. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted!

Early Bird Admission fee (valid through April 1st 2013) €1,169 (app. $1,419 ,check current exchange rates!) including all educational and practical activities, tools and materials, full-board accommodation (incl. meals), excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees, Project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance and administrative costs. Regular Admission fee (after April 1st 2013) €1,299 (app. $1,619). Discounts off the admission fee are available in case of: 1) AIA membership 2) Participation in more than 1 BH project or project session in 2013. 3) Small Groups (two or three people, who participate in a BH project in 2013). 4) Larger Groups (four or more people, who participate in a BH project in 2013).

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria
Number of credits offered New Bulgarian University grants to students six credits for participation in one project session and nine credits for participation in two sessions. Transcript is available upon request for an additional tuition fee.
€345 for six credits / €515 for nine credits (for students outside EU). Participants who don't need academic credits, are not expected to pay the tuition fee!


Contact Information
Ms. Anna Parmakova - Admissions / Balkan Heritage Field School
204 Sveta Troitsa St.
Stara Zagora, BG-6004
Phone: +359 878 441 251
Recommended Bibliography: 

Anderson-Stojanovic, V.R. Stobi, The Hellenistic and Roman Pottery, 1992, Princeton University Press.

Boardman, J., et al. (ed.) The Oxford History of the Classical World. Oxford & New York,1986.

Brown, Peter. The World of Late Antiquity AD 150-750 (Library of World Civilization). W. W. Norton & Company, 1989.

Errington, R. M. A History of the Hellenistic World: 323-30 BC. Wiley-Blackwell 2008.

Errington, R. M. A History of Macedonia. Barnes Noble, 1994.

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

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

Wiseman, J.R.and Djordje Mano-Zissi. Stobi: A City of Ancient Macedonia, Journal of Field Archaeology, 3(3): 269-302, 1976.