Apollonia Pontica Excavation Project 2019 (Balkan Heritage/ Institute for Field Research)
This project is examining the following period[s] : Archaic and Classical Greek, Hellenistic and Early Byzantine (7th - 3rd century BCE and 5th - 7th century CE)
Ancient Apollonia Pontica (present-day Sozopol, Bulgaria) is one of the oldest towns on the western Black Sea Coast. The city, founded by Miletian colonists around 610 BCE, was named Apollonia Pontica in honor of the patron deity of Miletus - Apollo. The Ancient authors identify the philosopher named Anaximander as the founder of the city. It became an autonomous and strong democratic polis and important trade center between Ancient Greece and Thrace. Thanks to its strong navy and naturally protected harbors, Apollonia kept control of the major merchant road along the western Black Sea Coast, called Via Pontica, for several centuries. The city preserved its independence during the campaigns of Phillip II of Macedon (342-339 BCE) and Alexander the Great (335 BCE) but in 72 BCE it was conquered, pillaged and burned by the Roman legions of Marcus Lucullus. The city succeeded in restoring its former glory and was known in the Roman world as Apollonia Magna (Great Apollonia). Following the Christian mainstream tradition, its name was changed to Sozopol, town of salvation, in the 4th century CE. Despite the damage, it survived the period of the Great Migration of People (4th - 7th century CE) and entered the Middle Ages as a focal point of long-lasting Byzantine-Bulgarian conflicts.
Despite being one of the largest and richest Ancient Greek colonies in theBlack Sea region, Apollonia Pontica was famous in Antiquity because of the colossal statue of Apollo made by the notorious Greek sculptor Calamis. According to Pliny the Elder (Pliny 34.29) and Strabo (Strabo, 7.319), the 13-meter high bronze sculpture cost 500 talents. It was raised in the 5th century BCE in front of the temple dedicated to Apollo Iatros (the Healer) - patron deity of Apollonia Pontica. In 72 BCE the Romans under Marcus Lucullus, sacked the city and the colossal sculpture was taken to Rome as a trophy. It was exhibited for several centuries on the Capitoline Hill. During the Early Christian period it was lost - probably destroyed as many other pagan artifacts were.
Epigraphic sources mention that the temple of Apollo was situated on an island, identified by most of the scholars with St. Kirik Island - the closest one to the ancient city. However, until recently there was no archaeological evidence suggesting where the temple was situated. During the Balkan Heritage Field School excavations in 2013, a fragment of East Greek pottery with inscription - dedicated to Apollo was found, which is important evidence about the location of the temple. In 2014 the artifact was exhibited in the Louvre along with other precious artifacts representing the Bulgarian archaeological heritage.
The tiny island of St. Kirik is connected to the Old Town Quarter of Sozopol by a short and narrow breakwater (built in 1927). Its name originates from the medieval monastery dedicated to St. Cyricus and his mother St. Julitta that once existed there. The first archaeological survey on the island was conducted in 1904 by the French consul and scholar L. Degrand. The results from the excavations were never published and many artifacts from Archaic and Classical Greek period found there were transported to France and exhibited in the Louvre. For approximately 100 years following that, the territory of St. Kirik Island was used as a military zone by the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence. In 2005 the island was demilitarized and in 2009 the Apollonia Pontica Excavation Team lead by Dr. Krastina Panayotova restarted the excavations.
The Field School Season 2019 envisions excavations at the top of the island, in the area of the Archaic and Classical Greek and Hellenistic temples, Ancient Greek copper foundry and the Early Christian basilica and necropolis, where the excavations have been taking place since 2012.
There are three options for enrollment in this field school:
1. Participants who don’t need academic credits (volunteers) should apply through the Balkan Heritage Field School. Click here to apply.
2. Students attending European universities seeking ECTS academic credit units should enroll through the Balkan Heritage Field School. Click here to apply.
3. All other students seeking academic credit units should enroll through the Institute for Field Research, USA Click here to apply.
Session 1: 22 June - 6 July; Session 2: 6-20 July; Session 3: 22 June - 20 July, 2019
Accommodation: Accommodation is at VMK Military Club or nearby guest houses which have comfortable rooms with two to three beds, equipped with a/c, refrigerators, TV. The hotel is located close to the town beaches, the Old Town Quarter, the Archaeological Museum and within a 15 min walk of the archaeological site. Wifi is available in the lobby area of the hotel. Staying an extra day costs 25 EUR. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional fee of 110 EUR per week.
Alternative more luxurious accommodation (single, double or triple rooms) is available for an additional fee of 120 to 180 EUR per week upon request at Villa Kera. Places are limited.
For those who prefer higher class accommodation, the BHFS would recommend to make reservations with the following hotels in Sozopol: Hotel Casa del Mare and Hotel Fiesta. All participants who organize and pay extra for their own accommodation will receive a discount of 75 EUR (per week) off the admission fee.
Participants must pay on their own for extra days and for single room accommodation!
Meals:Daily breakfast and the official welcome and the farewell dinners are covered by the admission fee. Students are responsible for their own lunch and dinners.
Sozopol offers variety of restaurants that can meet everyone’s preferences and dietary requirements – from fast food options to cozy gourmet restaurants. The average meal price (soup/salad, main dish and dessert) can cost between 6 to 12 USD. The project team will recommend restaurants for different preferences (cuisine, cost, dietary needs) and will arrange discounts for the students.
The admission fee is valid only for students who enroll in this field school through the Balkan Heritage Field School (BHFS). Students wishing to obtain credits and benefit from the advantages of theBHF-IFR Program for the Balkansmust apply and enroll through theInstitute for Field Research (IFR), USA and pay admission fees corresponding to the IFR's terms and conditions.
BHFS admission fee includes: Educational and fieldwork activities, Bed & Breakfast accommodation, tools, materials, project handbook and issue of Certificate of Attendance, administrative costs and excursions included in the field school program plus relevant entrance fees.
Super Early Bird Admission fee for two-week session is 1149 EUR (approx.1344 USD) / for four-week session is 2249 EUR (approx. 2631 USD)
Please check the website for more details! Participants who don't need academic credits, won't be expected to pay
for the tuition fee.
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