This listing expired on May 1, 2014. Please contact for any updated information.
ARCS Archaeological Field School at Heraclea Sintica, Bulgaria

Location: Petrich, Bulgaria

May 31, 2014 to July 7, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, February 15, 2014

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Flyer: PDF icon 2014arcs_summer_program_poster.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



American Research Center in Sofia, National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgaria (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

Project Director:

Dr. Emil Nankov (American Research Center in Sofia), Prof. Lyudmil Vagalinski (Director, National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgaria)

Project Description

Heraclea Sintica is located near the village of Rupite, approximately 16 km south of Sandanski, SW Bulgaria. All fieldwork will take place on the site. The project base will be located in the town of Petrich or Sandanski, situated 160 km south of Sofia (Bulgaria), 150 km north of Thessaloniki (Greece) and 230 km northwest of Skopie (Republic of Macedonia).Situated on the slopes of an extinct volcano, near the confluence of the Strumenshnica (ancient Pontos) and Struma (ancient Strymon) rivers, Heraclea Sintica was an important Hellenistic city. The location of Heraclea Sintica along the Strymon River and at the junction between valleys leading west into Illyricum and south into Greek Macedonia, contributed toward the wealth of the city as a commercial center. The city thrived in the Roman and Late Antique periods, declining in the early Middle Ages. The current ARCS Field School focuses upon a sequence of architectural remains, some of which have been identified as a district for craftsmen.

The Program offers one excavation session, lectures and field trips, continuing for four weeks. The students will be required to participate in the excavations five days each week, as well as attend the ten lectures and the three field trips. There will be one day off each work week. Study trips are arranged to archaeological sites and museums in Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia and Greece. Among the sites included are Petrich, Melnik, Strumica, Bansko, Stobi and  Thessaloniki. The program covers room, board and field trips. The program does not include: airfare to Bulgaria, dinners and meals on non work days. Participants will be provided with a certificate upon completion of the program. Students are expected to arrange for medical insurance and to obtain visas, if applicable. 

Period(s) of Occupation: Classical, Hellenistic, Roman Period

archaeological excursions, Bulgaria, Balkans, Greece, Republic of Macedonia

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Students will arrive in Sofia on May 31 and will spend two full days exploring the archaeology and history of this beautiful city. On June 3, the Team will begin an archaeological journey, visiting sites and museums in Veliko Tarnovo, Kazanlak, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv and other smaller sites. We will arrive in the city of Petrich or Sandanski on June 7, the home base of the ARCS excavations at Heraclea Sintica. The excavation Team will reside in a hotel in Petrich or Sandanski during the 4-week excavation season. Archaeological work is conducted Monday-Friday with additional excursions to northern Greece and Republic of Macedonia on Saturdays. The Team will be accompanied back to Sofia on July 6, where they will stay one night, departing from Sofia on July 7.

$1400 for full program

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
American University in Bulgaria
Number of credits offered 3 credits (optional)


Contact Information
Emil Nankov
75 Vasil Petleshkov Street
+359 2 947 9498
Recommended Bibliography: 

Lefort, J. 1986. Paysages de Macédoine. Paris: DE BOCCARD, esp. 49-59 (on European travelers in Macedonia during 16th –early 20th centuries).

Papazoglou, F. 1988. Les villes de Macédoine a l’epoque romaine. – BCH, Suppl. XVI, 366-371; 376, n. 65-66. 

Hatzopoulos, M. 2008. Retour à la valée du Strymon. In: THRAKIKA ZETEMATA I, MELETHMATA 58, Athens, 13-54. 

Domaradski, M. 1983. The Lower Strumesnica Valley in Prehistoric, Ancient and Early Medieval Times. Krakow, 43-65.

Mitrev, G. 2003. Civitas Heracleotarum: Heraclea Sintica or the ancient city at the village of Rupite (Bulgaria). – Zeitschrift fuer Papyrologie und Epigraphik 145, 263-272. 

Lepelley, C. 2004. Une inscription ďHeraclea Sintica (Macédoine) récemment découverte, révélant un rescrit de ľempereur Galère restituant ses droits à la cite. – Zeitschrift fuer Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 146, 221-231.

Slavova, M. 2010. The Struma Valley Revisited: Cultural Encounters in Roman Times on the Balkans (the Epigraphic Data). –Achaeologia Bulgarica 14, 2, 39-51.

Cholakov, I.D. 2008. A Roman production centre for terracottas in Heraclea Sintica (southwest Bulgaria). – Achaeologia Bulgarica 12, 1, 55-76.

Peeva, N. 2010. Two Late Roman Anepigraphical Votive Plates from Heraclea Sintica, SW Bulgaria. – Achaeologia Bulgarica 14, 3, 59-63.

Nankov, E., Franks, H., Vagalinski, L. 2013. American Research Center in Sofia Field School Excavations at the Site of Heraclea Sintica near the Village of Rupite, Southwest Bulgaria. Abstracts of the 114th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, January 3-6, 2013, Seattle, WA, 269.