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Ancient Bylazora (Sveti Nikole) Project

Location: Sveti Nikole, Macedonia

June 6, 2011 to July 29, 2011

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Program Type


RPA certified



The Texas Foundation for Archaeological & Historical Research (TFAHR); and the People's Museum of Sveti Nikole

Project Director:

TFAHR: Dr. William Neidinger and Eulah Matthews; People's Museum of Sveti Nikole: Mr. Ilija Stoilev

Project Description

In June 2011 TFAHR will return to Sveti Nikole to excavate the site of Ancient Bylazora,
continuing the work from the 2008 - 2010 seasons.  Bylazora was the fabled capital city of the
Paionians.  The site, located in the Ovce Pole valley, has monumental remains dating from the
sixth to the third century B.C.  Excavations conducted in the 1980s and 1990s, and in 2000  
revealed a large subterranean opus quadratum building (possibly a ceremonial pool), and a
substantial defensive wall.

TFAHR’s work in 2008 and 2009 concentrated on the acropolis, where we uncovered an
extensive stretch of the defensive wall, and a propylon (monumental gateway), which included a  
long and wide paved ramp flanked by public buildings.  In 2010 we resumed work on the
acropolis to determine what other buildings were associated with the defensive wall and
propylon, and to get a better idea of the chronology of these structures.  The 2010 excavations
brought to light the remains of a monumental building in the Doric style, probably a stoa, and the
western reaches of the city's defensive wall and gate.

The discoveries of the first three seasons have already tremendously expanded our knowledge
of Paionian history, the fate of Bylazora, and Paionian-Macedonian urban planning; this work
has also raised tantalizing questions as to the extent of Hellenization of the Paionians and how
this cultural transfer may have come about.  In the 2011 season we will continue to investigate
this remarkable city of the Paionians.

For full reports on the 2008 - 2010 excavations at Bylazora, visit the TFAHR website at  (BYLAZORA PROJECT button in navigation bar).

Opportunities for volunteers include:

  1. Actual excavation field work
  2. Documentation of site
  3. Processing finds and pottery (washing, drawing, documenting, restoration)
  4. Evening lectures
  5. Weekend field trip (transportation provided by TFAHR)








  • Volunteers must have an adequate command of English.






    Sveti Nikole is located approximately 32 km north-east of Veles, on the road between Stip and Kumanovo. The site of Bylazora is approximately 4 km from the town of Sveti Nikole. For more information and an application, please visit our website at

    Period(s) of Occupation: 6th - 3rd century B.C.

    Macedonia archaeology, Paionians

    Project size: 
    25-49 participants

    Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

    Minimum age: 
    18 years

    Experience required: 
    No experience required.

    Room and Board Arrangements

    TFAHR will provide accommodations in a nearby hotel (double or triple occupancy with private bath), and meals during the work-week at no cost to the volunteers. Volunteers pay for their own beverages at all meals. Weekend expenses are the responsibility of the volunteers.

    Volunteers must make their own way to Sveti Nikole.

    Academic Credit

    Number of credits offered: none


    Contact Information
    Eulah Matthews
    Skype: eulah.matthews
    Recommended Bibliography: 

    The Texas Foundation for Archaeological & Historical Research, BYLAZORA: The 2008 Excavation, 2008, Canyon Lake, Texas USA

    The Texas Foundation for Archaeological & Historical Research, BYLAZORA: The 2009 Excavation, 2009, Canyon Lake, Texas USA

    The Texas Foundation for Archaeological & Historical Research, BYLAZORA: The 2010 Excavation, 2010, Canyon Lake, Texas USA