Workshop for Conservation of Roman Pottery and Glass 2019 (Balkan Heritage)

Location: Stobi, Gradsko, MK

Season: June 1, 2019 to June 21, 2019

Session Dates: Session 1: June 1 - 15, 2019; Session 2: June 1 - 21, 2019

Application Deadline: May 1, 2019

Deadline Type: Exact date


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

Program Type:
Field school, Volunteer

RPA Certified:

National Institution Stobi, Republic of North Macedonia, Balkan Heritage Foundation, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria

Project Director:
Chief conservator: Bilyana Jankulovska - Peeva (Conservator, NI Stobi); Field School coordinator: Dr Angela Pencheva (Balkan Heritage Foundation & Field School Program Manager)

Project Description:

In 2019, the Workshop for Conservation and Documentation of Roman Pottery and Glass will be hosted for a ninth year by the National Institution Stobi, Republic of North Macedonia at the Roman city of Stobi (today an archaeological park). It provides an unique opportunity for students and volunteers to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in Roman and Late Roman pottery and glass conservation. It guides the participants through the history and technology of Roman and Late Roman pottery and glass and consequent stages of their study, conservation, restoration and documentation. Both the theoretical and practical courses will be based on ceramic and glass vessels found in the ancient city of Stobi.    

During the first two project weeks, students begin their training with replicas of ancient vessels and then progress to originals once they reach an acceptable level of skill, accuracy and precision. Most students will be able to master conservation and restoration efforts within the course of this field school and expect to complete work on 3-5 artifacts by the end of the program, depending on the initial state of objects’ conservation, the necessity of conservation treatment and the individual performance of the student.    

The activities in the third project week will be focused on basic principles in conservation of ancient glass. The participants will practice on originals and replicas of Roman glass vessels.    


The project includes three modules: practical work in documentation and restoration of Roman pottery and glass: lectures, training and behind-the-scenes study visitsand excursions to the town of Bitola, the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis, Ohrid and Ohrid Lake (UNESCO World Heritage Site),ancient Macedonian capitals in Pella and Vergina (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Greece as well as to a traditional pottery workshop. 


Why Stobi? The first historic records to mention Stobi were written by the Roman historian Titus Livy (ca. 197 BCE). According to Livy, Stobi became an important center for salt trading after the Roman conquest of Macedonia and the establishment of Pax Romana. In 69 CE, Emperor Vespasian granted Stobi the rank of municipium and the right to mint its own coins. Stobi was not only an important salt trading center but also strategically located at the crossroads of the ancient roads that ran along the two rivers Axios and Erigon. The first road connected the North and South of the Balkans as it does today, while the second to the southwest connected Stobi with the Via Egnatia near Heraclea Lyncestis and to the northeast continued to Serdica.  This commercial and strategic position brought Stobi long-term prosperity, especially in the period between the 1st and 3rd centuries CE. 

In the 4th century CE, Stobi became an important Christian center and the seat of powerful bishops. Late, in the 5th– 6th centuries, Stobi was the capital city of the Roman province Macedonia Secunda, but suffered from the raids of Huns, Ostrogoths, Avars and Slavs. The constant threat of barbarian raids as well as certain climatic changes lead to the gradual abandonment of the city in the second half of the 6th century CE. Some records mention a small Slav community that settled and lived there in later centuries. The last historical reference regarding Stobi describes the victory of the Byzantine troops over Stobi’s local militia during the 11th century CE. 

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman and Late Roman (2nd century - 6th century CE)

The course is suitable for students and volunteers who would like to pursue a career in conservation. Major field school topics/activities: The workshop will enable participants to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in both Roman and Late Roman pottery and glass conservation. The workshops will involve work with authentic pottery vessels from the collection of National Institution Stobi and replicas of glass vessels. Behind the scene visit of authentic pottery workshop and special tours of significant historical and archaeological sites in Bitola and Ohrid (Republic of North Macedonia) and the ancient Macedonian capitals Pella and Aigai/Vergina (Greece). Academic credits are available for students through NBU, Bulgaria.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Two weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No. The workshop is suitable for beginners (either volunteers or students in Historical & Art conservation).

Room and Board Arrangements:
Accommodation: in the recently renovated air-conditioned cabins at the archaeological site next to the ancient ruins of Stobi, in rooms with two to three beds. Every cabin has 4 bedrooms + living room, 2 bathrooms with showers and WC. Washing machine and Wi-Fi are available for free. There are outdoor and indoor dining and social spaces. Meals: Three meals per day are covered by the admission fee. They usually take place (except the lunch packages during the excursions) at the site's dining room or outdoors next to it. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, gluten-free etc.) are difficult to maintain in this location. Participants must pay on their own for extra meals, beverages, services and products. No single room accommodation is available at Stobi. Cost: 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. Early Bird admission fee for the two-week session is 1149 EUR (approx. 1344 USD) Early Bird admission fee for the three-week session is 1599 EUR (approx. 1870 USD)

Academic Credit:
New Bulgarian University grants 6 ECTS credits to students for attending the two-week session and 9 ECTS credits for attending the three-week session. credits offered by New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria. Tuition is NBU tuition fees for six / nine academic credits are as follows: for EU students – 300/ 450 EUR; for all other international students – 450/ 675 EUR Participants who are not interested in academic credits don't need to pay the tuition fee. .

Contact Information:

Balkan Heritage Field School

7 Tulovo St., Floor 5, Apt.7




Phone: + 359 877 725 052

support Us

The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.