Location: Ilindentsi, Bulgaria, Bulgaria
In the seventh millenium BC the Balkan Peninsula was a gate through which farming, animal husbandry and generally Neolithisation spread to Europe from Anatolia and the Near East. Central parts of the Balkans (including the Struma River Valley) were among the most important migration routes during that period. Six Early Neolithic settlements are mapped in the small Middle Struma River Valley. One of them is the prehistoric site near Ilindentsi. During the previous excavation seasons: 2004 – 2009 and 2011 - 2014 archaeologists unearthed there remains of various Early and Middle Neolithic settlement structures and features. Among them are several dwellings: one of them with stone foundations, another one with elaborate floor construction and under-floor drainage systems and a third one completely burnt with well preserved in situ "kitchen-space" including an oven, grain-store, quern-stone, two Neolithic grave-pits: of a baby and a piglet and numerous waste pits.
Guided visits to the medieval town of Melnik, Rozhen Monastery,the Blagoevgrad Regional Museum of History, Rila Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as the town of Sandanski - a popular SPA resort,keeping archaeological remains from the Late Antiquity are part of the field school program and are covered by the admission fee. The village of Ilindentsioffers great opportunities for mountain hikes in the Pirin Mountains, walks in the Art Center Ilindentsi and wine-tasting of local wines at Kiossev Boutique Wine Cellar.
Extra trips and excursions: The BHFS participants could take advantage of their stay in the Balkans and take part in the optional excursions to:
1. Philippi, Kavala and the Aegean coast (Greece) available only for students in this field school project between the first and the second session on 27-28 June, 2015.
2. Istanbul and Troy (Turkey) on 6-10 June, 2015 available for all BHFS students.
Period(s) of Occupation: The Neolithic settlement in Ilindentsi, Bulgaria corresponds chronologically (6000 - 5400 BC) to other Balkan, Anatolian and Near Eastern sites and cultures such as: Karanovo I (Eastern Balkans), Achilleon (Southern Balkans), Hacilar VI-I, Çatalhöyük - Western Tell (Anatolia).
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 session (two weeks)
Room and Board Arrangements
Accommodation is in a local guest house (comfortable rooms with two to three beds + bathrooms with shower and WC, TV, Wi-Fi). Three meals (fresh, organic Bulgarian homemade food) per day are covered by the admission fee. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted.
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