Location & Historical background

Philippopolis (Greek: Φιλιπποπολη) - "Philip's Town" is the modern city of Plovdiv. Plovdiv is not only one of the most ancient cities on the territory of Bulgaria, but also in Europe. What is unique about the city is that human activity has never ceased from the very first time it appeared – some 6 000 years ago – until present day. Although the town of Plovdiv went through various metamorphoses and change of boundaries, Plovdiv continues to be the eternal town of Bulgaria. No match can be found for the atmosphere of the city, which embraces the visitor at first glimpse, due to its centuries-old life and numerous cultural traces.

Eumolpia was probably the name of the ancient Thracian city, from which today's Plovdiv has evolved. The fortified Thracian city developed during the Iron Age on the territory of Nebet tepe. During the 4th century BC Philip II included it in the Macedonian Empire and gave it one of its most popular names – Philippopolis. The town also had the chance to shine and make a name as a direct participant in the formation of Hellenistic culture. In 46 AD the district called Thrace was pronounced a Roman province. As a result the significance of the city, called by the Romans Trimontium, rose even more. This is the historical period that left the greatest impact on the cultural heritage.

At first the town evolved mainly on the territory of the so-called Trihalmie (tree hills, Latin "Trimontium") - a massif of three hills – that was the Hellenistic Acropolis of ancient Philippopolis. Certain foundations were uncovered, which are believed to have belonged to the royal palace and the main cult centre. The city in the plain below had derived long before Romans took over. It evolved to the South, South-west and South-east of the Trihalmie. The city layout is based on the famous Hippodamian plan (orthogonal directions of the street infrastructure) which the Romans inherited and further developed.

The square – agora in Greek city planning, respectively – the forum in Roman, is situated in the very centre of the structure. Its location is fixed by the crossing point of the two main streets – cardo maximus (north-south direction) and decumanus maximus (east-west direction). Parallel to the two main streets numerous other cardi and decumani were traced forming eventually a grid of rectangles, each of which is called insula with dimensions (65-72 meters in east-west direction and 25-42 meters in north-south). The layout and dimensions of the insula depended on the master plan of the city as well as on the specific geographic profile of the terrain.

Insulae were developed to the South, Southeast and Southwest, but not to the North of the Forum since this site was set for the central zone of Trimontium in 2nd century AD. Here are situated some monumental buildings such as The Treasury, The Odeon, The Thermae and The Ancient Stadium.

The Forum (Agora) of Philippopolis was the commercial, administrative and religious centre of the Ancient city. Meetings, discussions, celebrations and state events were held there. It occupied an area of 20 dca and was situated in the centre of Philippopolis, under the three hills (Trimontium). Since then the central urban square of Plovdiv has been in the heart of the city.

The basic shape of the forum has remained the same for centuries. It is a rectangle, close to the shape of a square, with dimensions: 143 m in north-southern direction and 136 m in east-western direction.

A complex of public buildings was built to the North, dominating over the rest of the buildings at the square. It is orientated in east-west. Three entrances, situated along the axes of the eastern, southern and western edge, provide access to the streets, located at the sides of the Forum. The main streets cardo maximus and decumanus maximus intersect outside the eastern entrance of the complex.

In the historical layers of the Forum four main construction phases can be distinguished. They are different in terms of their level, architectural design and use of building materials.

The first construction phase marks the beginning of the complex development and bears the plan shape of the urban square.

During the second construction phase the levels of the shops, the ambulatio and the area are raised. Powerful crepido brings the stylobate of columns in Doric order, made ​​of sandstone. The stone drainage leading rainwater away from the roof of the portico kept its original place. The ambulatio is 11 meters wide. The eastern, southern and western sides are formed by four-column Ionic propylaea.

During the third construction phase the plastic decoration of the complex is replaced. The portico around the area is made of marble.

The largest number of well-preserved original remains date back to the fourth and final construction phase. Over the existing crepido a new stylobate of syenite blocks is placed. It bears a marble arcade of free-standing columns in the Roman Corinthian order.

In the northern part of the forum complex are organised the public buildings for the needs of urban governance and other manifestations of urban life. Epigraphic documents recall for the existing of a Treasury. In the northeast corner an Odeon (Bouleuterion) is revealed and to the West of it - the city Library.

At the northern side of the complex some inscriptions, related to the religious and administrative life of the town are found, along with a piece of an invitation card for a performance of gladiator fights. In the area are found pedestals for statues, an exedra – a platform for speeches, and remains of an altar with inscriptions, dedicated to the goddesses Demeter and Kore (Persephone).


Recommended reading: Philippopolis, Thrace (I-VII c.) by Ivo Topalilov

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Project description

The main goal of the course is to make students familiar with the basic methods of field archeology, finds processing and field documentation. The course consists of two parts: 1. Seminars and 2. Practicum. Each seminar is devoted to specific practical skill, which students will acquire in course of the ongoing excavations and post-field work. The emphasis of the course is the practical work done at the field and the different aspects of the field methods required specific skills as drawing, working with geodesic technique, describing and interpreting archaeological situations. The Practicum will follow by discussions and working on individual tasks in order to develops student's ability to understand and interpret the archaeological data.


COURSE PASSPORT

SKILLS

PROFESSIONAL ORIENTATION/FIELD OF THE COURSE: Archaeology.

ACADEMIC HOURS: 60

CREDITS: 6

COURSE TYPE: General Education Skill Course, Practicum, Seminar.

After completing successfully this course the students will:

1) know:

The basic methods used in field archeology.

2) be able to:

• Document, describe and deal with different aspects of the fieldwork;

• Understand and interpret archaeological data;

• Draw up archaeological records and presentations.


TECHNICAL BACKUP OF THE COURSE:

No Topic Form of instruction Number of hours
1 Archaeological surveying. Sketch survey: offset surveying, triangulation, survey framework. Practicum 4
2 Archaeological surveying. Grid system. Methods of lay out. Practicum 4
3 Archaeological surveying. Process of levelling. Working with level. Working with theodolite. Practicum 4
4 Recording archaeological excavations. The written records: scientific diary, filing in statistical cards. Practicum 4
5 Recording archaeological excavations. The drawn record: contexts (pits, postholes, ditches, walls). Practicum 4
6 Recording archaeological excavations. The drawn record: Single - context plan; Section drawing; Site recording grid; Composite plan; Multiple - feature plan. Practicum 4
7 Photography . Photographical records. Practicum 2
8 Field methods of interpretation. Identification of living surfaces. Practicum 2
9 Field methods of interpretation. Dating of contexts - terminus post quem and terminus ante quem. Artefact assemblages. Practicum 2
10 Field methods of interpretation. Cross - sections and soil examples. Practicum 2
11 Artefacts. Methods of excavation of artefacts. Practicum 1
12 Artefacts. Types of artefacts. Practicum 1
13 Artefacts. The finds record. Practicum 2
14 Artefacts. Field conservation. Practicum 4
15 Post - fieldwork. Cleaning and field conservation methods (Pottery; Metals; Glass; Stone; Organic artefacts). Seminar 6
16 Post - fieldwork. Descriptive and measurement methods. Seminar 2
17 Post - fieldwork. Archaeological illustration (Pottery; Metals; Glass; Stone). Seminar 4
18 Post - fieldwork. Cataloguing. Inventory book. Seminar 4
19 Working with image processing softwere. Seminar 2
20 Interpreting the evidence. Archaeological report and presentation. Seminar 2

Selected Bibliography:

Barker, X P. A., 1993. Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. London.

Greene, K., Moore, T., 2010 (fifth edition). Archaeology, An Introduction. London.

Archaeological illustration. Cambridge manuals in Archaeology. Cambridge University Press 1989.


International Summer School Facts in a glance

Main location: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Academic Hours: 20 Theory; 40 Practicum.
Excursions: Diocletianopolis - the town is one of the oldest and most popular balneological and spa centers in Bulgaria funded by Emperor Diocletian in 293 AD; Kozi gramadi – Thracian complex north of Diocletianopolis; Thracian tomb complex by Starosel; Bachkovo Monastery and Asenovgrad.
Credits:

6 credits for 1 session; 9 credits for double session.


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Field school Agenda

Day Hour Topic Form of instruction
First   Arriving  
Second   Welcome activities. Presentation of the project.  
Third 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM Archaeological surveying. Sketch survey: offset surveying, triangulation, and survey framework. Practicum
  2.00 PM – 4.00 PM Post-fieldwork. Cleaning and field conservation methods (Pottery; Metals; Glass; Stone; Organic artifacts). Seminar
Fourth 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM Archaeological surveying. Grid system. Methods of lay out. Practicum
  2.00 PM – 4.00 PM Post-fieldwork. Cleaning and field conservation methods (Pottery; Metals; Glass; Stone; Organic artifacts). Seminar
Fifth 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM Process of levelling. Working with level. Working with theodolite. Practicum
  2.00 PM – 4.00 PM Post-fieldwork. Cleaning and field conservation methods (Pottery; Metals; Glass; Stone; Organic artifacts). Seminar
Sixth 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM Recording archaeological excavations. The written records: scientific diary, filing in statistical cards. Practicum
  2.00 PM – 4.00 PM Post-fieldwork. Descriptive and measurement methods. Seminar
Seventh 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM Recording archaeological excavations. The drawn record: contexts (pits, postholes, ditches, walls). Practicum
  2.00 PM – 4.00 PM Post-fieldwork. Archaeological illustration (Pottery; Metals; Glass; Stone). Seminar
Eighth   Educational trip to Plovdiv  
Ninth   Educational trip to Thracian complex Kozi gramadi and Thracian tomb complex by Starosel  
Tenth 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM Recording archaeological excavations. The drawn record: Single-context plan; Section drawing; Site recording grid; Composite plan; Multiple-feature plan. Practicum
  2.00 PM – 4.00 PM Post-fieldwork. Archaeological illustration (Pottery; Metals; Glass; Stone). Seminar
Eleventh 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM Photography. Photographical records.
Field methods of interpretation. Identification of living surfaces.
Practicum
  2.00 PM – 4.00 PM Post-fieldwork. Cataloguing. Inventory book. Seminar
Twelfth 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM Field methods of interpretation:
Dating of contexts - terminus post quem and terminus ante quem.
Artefact assemblages. Cross-sections and soil examples.
Practicum
  2.00 PM – 4.00 PM  Post-fieldwork. Cataloguing. Inventory book. Seminar
Thirteenth 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM Artefacts.
Methods of excavation of artefacts.
The finds record.
Types of artefacts.
Practicum
  2.00 PM – 4.00 PM Working with image processing software. Seminar
Fourteenth 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM Artefacts. Field conservation. Practicum
  2.00 PM – 4.00 PM Interpreting the evidences. Archaeological report. Seminar
Fifteenth   Departure  

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Sessions and Fees

Sessions 2015

Session 1
(short)
June 27 - July 3, 2015
Session 2 July 4 - July 17, 2015
Session 3 July 18 - July 31, 2015
Session 4
(extended )
August 1 - August 21, 2015
Session 5
(extended )
August 22 - September 11, 2015

* Two-sessions (double-sessions) period of stay is also available with the appropriate discount. Please refer to "Discount" section below or visit our "Instructions" page for more information.

Sessions 2016

Session 1 June 18, 2016 - July 1, 2016
Session 2 July 2, 2016 - July 15, 2016
Session 3 July 16, 2016 - July 29, 2016
Session 4 July 30, 2016 - August 12, 2016
Session 5 August 13, 2016 - August 26, 2016

Please check our huge discount for next season booking HERE.

Admission Fees

Applications received before October 15 of the current year Applications received before December 31 of the current year Applications received after January 1 of the next year
590 EUR (app. 736 USD) 1019 EUR (app. 1262 USD) 1298 EUR (app. 1608 USD)

Discounts

1. 10 % discount is available for students attending Two-sessions period (30 days).
2. 15 % discount will receive groups of more than two persons.
3. 20 % discount is available for groups of more than two persons who attend more than one session period (Double session 30 days).
4. All our former students are welcome to join us with 50% discount.

* All discounts are calculated on the basis of the cost specified in "Admission fees" section above.

Prices include:


Prices do not include:

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Practical information and disclaimers

Access to the site:

The archaeological site is located in the modern Sout Bulgaria in the town of Plovdiv. Both the International airports of Sofia and Plovdiv can be used as arrival/departure points. Sofia Airport is connected to Plovdiv via highway.

Visas

EU, American and Canadian citizens, as well citizens from some other countries (see list ) do not need visa to travel and study in the International Summer University programs organized and managed by RFSAT when these programs are based in the EU countries. Citizens from outside of the EU need passports to travel to the EU countries. Students, who are passport holders/Citizens from countries outside of the European Union must arrange their visa through the corresponding embassy. Arranging the correct Visa is the sole responsibility of the student. No visa support documentation will be provided until all fees have been received by RFSAT and a written request for visa support is signed and sent by the student.

Travel Insurance

It is advisable that students purchase travel insurance for these types of courses as any expenses you have incurred airfare, transportation costs, hotels, beyond the tuition and fees associated with this course are the student’s responsibility should the course be canceled for any reason. To compare policies and for further information, visit the travel insurance comparison site Insure My Trip.

Health Insurance

Well before departure, check with your doctor to see if you need any immunizations before traveling. Immunization information can also be found at the sites for the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization International Travel and Health. Participants should make sure their health and accident insurance covers them while traveling abroad. If your insurance does not cover you, we strongly advise purchasing temporary health insurance. RFSAT will check for proof of health insurance upon your arrival. No students with missing health insurance will be admited to the International Summer University programs organized and managed by RFS Archaeological Trust.

Disclamer

Participation in International Summer School include, but may not be limited to, traveling to and from other countries, traveling to and from cities and towns outside the student’s country of residence or citizenship, consuming the food and living in those accommodations available in the foreign country(ies), and living and working in cultures and with people whose living conditions, social practices and values, and even attitudes toward foreigners may be significantly different from those in the student’s home country and culture.

Organize your trip

Personal Equipment

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Room and Board arrangements

The accommodation of the archaeological team and the students is in the House-Museum "Lamartine". The house is situated in the very center of the Old Town in Plovdiv and is a National monument of culture.

The house offers seven spacious rooms decorated in Renaissance style, large kitchen and dining room and a beautiful garden

Applying for RSFAT program you will support the Lamartine's House. RSFAT gives 3% of their annual incomes to support the House.


The house of Georgi Mavridi in Plovdiv, named after French poet Alphonse de Lamartine, was constructed in 1829 on the corner of three streets. Its positioning is unusual, leading to atypical architecture.

Today, the house stands in the old part of town, on its very top.

The house is used only for cultural and art events and activities. This historical monument is financed only by voluntary donations. We give 3% of our annual incomes to support the Lamartine's House. You also can help to preserve and maintain this beautiful historical place. The societies of Writers, Artist and Archaeologist in Plovdiv are grateful to you for your support.
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Research trips

In the weekends (Sunday and Saturday) we organize guided trips to the nearest museums and archaeological monuments.

Please pay attention! Your admission fee covers only the transport and the entrance fees in the museums. The program does not include the expenses for visiting restaurants, coffees and etc. For each trip we ensure packed food.

In the time of the field school we are going to visit:

Diocletianopolis. The town of Hisarya is situated in Central Bulgaria, 40 km north of Plovdiv and approximately 180 km east of Sofia. Hisarya is famous for its healing mineral waters: 16 natural mineral springs and 6 drilled mineral water wells. The town is one of the oldest and most popular balneological and spa centres in Bulgaria. In 293 Emperor Diocletian declared it a town and this marked the beginning of the construction of massive fortification walls, public buildings, baths, streets, etc. It became the third biggest town in Thracia Province. In terms of state of preservation and uniqueness of its fortification system, the Roman town of Diocletianopolis is among the top-ranked in Europe. The fortification wall is 2327 m long and up to 11 m high in certain sections. The southern gate also known as the Camels stands 13 m tall.

Kozi gramadi – Thracian complex north of Diocletianopolis. The Thracian architectural complex on the Kozi Gramadi peak was found in 2005 and includes a residence, an ancient fortress, rock temples, roads, hill mounds and quarries for extraction of construction materials. The peak is situated by the Fenera hut, at a distance of about 22 km north-east from the town of Hisarya. The residence of the Thracian rulers from the 5th – 4th century BC on the Kozi Gramadi peak is situated at elevation of 1100 meters above the sea level in the Sredna Gora mountain. The residence is surrounded by a massive fortress wall which surrounds an area of about 4.5 decares. The fortress and the residence are near one another and are connected by an antique road. The palace is two-storey high and has a parade entrance and decorations on the walls. There are two short symmetrical staircases leading to a podium on one of the sides of the large premise. Most probably, the hall has served for conducting of receptions or other rituals.

Bronze coins belonging to Teres II (391 BC – 389 BC) and Philip II of Macedonia (382 BC - 336 BC) were found on the floor in the hall. Archaeologists have found fragments of Greek and Thracian ceramics, a part of a golden breastplate, a double iron ax (labrys). Points of spears, lead weighs for slings and maheyra (a short bent sword) have been found along the slopes of Kozi Gramadi peak.

Thracian tomb complex by Starosel. The Thracian Temple Complex in the Chetinyovata Mogila, at a distance of 4km from the village of Starosel, was found in 2000. This is the oldest ever found royal Thracian complex with a mausoleum. It dates back to the end of 5th and the beginning of 4th century BC.

The Thracian Temple Complex at Starosel covers six underhill temples, four of which are unique, as well as a few royal burials. The large temple at Chetinyova Mogila and the Horizon temple are open for tourist visits.

Bachkovo Monastery and Asenovgrad. The monastery was founded in 1083 by the Georgian Gregoriy Bakuriani, who donated the land. For a long time the monastery was Georgian. The two-story ossuary some 400 meters from the monastery was built during the monastery's earliest days. At the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century, The Holy Archangels Church was built, for services during the winter months. It was attached to the terrace on the second floor of the west wing where the monks had their cells. It is thought that after the fall of Bulgaria to the Ottomans at the end of the 14th century, Eftimiy, Bulgaria's last patriarch, was exiled to the Bachkovo Monastery.

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PHILIPPOPOLIS
Archaeological Field School 2015





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