In 2010, The Balkan Heritage Field School is offering you the opportunity to participate in different digs and expeditions connected to the Byzantine culture in Southeastern Europe. You can make Byzantium ‘live’ for you today; by continuing your archaeological studies or by taking a holiday on a dig, you can see Byzantium, feel it and get involved.
The digs are run by Ivan Vasilev and Nayden Prahov. They are Bulgarian archaeologists who run practical archaeological field trips in the Balkans through their Balkan Heritage Field School. These field trips are aimed at anyone who has an interest in practical archaeology be they experienced or novice. They offer a chance to do practical work to aid archaeological projects, and for those who participate to have some fun, in a very interesting part of the world, living and working with like-minded people of all backgrounds. The field schools are particularly suitable for archaeology students looking to gain field experience (watch the videos for comments from recent students), but are open to anyone who just wants to participate and have a holiday in a wonderful part of the world.
As a unique offer to readers of MyByzantine blog, Balkan Heritage Field School is able to offer a 10 per cent reduction in the cost of the trips if you quote the reference “MyByzantine” when you contact them.
Another ancient city that played a key role during the Early Byzantine period. For more than a century the ancient city of Stobi has been attracting scientists from all over the World to reveal its secrets. Stobi was founded during the Hellenistic period or even earlier as an important military, strategic, economic and cultural centre because of its location on the main road that lead from the River Danube to the Aegean.
The first records that mention Stobi are provided by the Roman historian Titus Livy, who tells us that during the Roman conquests in Macedonia, Stobi became an important centre for salt trading. In AD 69, the Emperor Vespasian granted Stobi the rank of municipium and the right to mint its own coins. Salt trading and the strategic position between two rivers, on the cross-road of the ancient road along the Vardar valley and branches of Via Diagonalis and Via Egnatia, brought long-term prosperity from the first to third centuries AD.
Several buildings are dated to this period: the Theatre, the first City Wall, Porta Heraclea, part of the Forum Romanorum, Casa Romana, the Synagogue and the water supply system.
In the fourth century AD Stobi became an important Christian centre and the seat of powerful bishops. In the fifth and sixth century, Stobi was the capital city of the Roman province Macedonia Secunda, but suffered from the raids of Huns, Ostrogoths, Avars and Slavs. An earthquake in 518 AD marked the end of urban living in Stobi. In later centuries there are some records for a small Slav community that settled here.
During this field school project, participants will work on practical excavations, learning correct excavation and documentation techniques. There will be opportunities for excursions and to meet volunteers from all over the world. Full details of this trip found here.
To apply and receive your 10% reduction, please visit the Balkan Heritage applications page. Don’t forget to quote “myByzantine”.
If any of you do take up the opportunity to participate I am sure we would welcome the chance to hear about your experiences upon your return (or even when out in the field) so do please get in touch with me via the blog: tsawford[at]btinternet.com .