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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Europe – Bulgaria – Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria Archaeological Field School 2012

Europe – Bulgaria – Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria Archaeological Field School 2012

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2012-08-04
End Date 2012-09-01

Archaeology Field School Location
Europe – Bulgaria – Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria Archaeological Field School 2012

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution
Bulgarian Archaeological Association Association “Ratiaria”
Academic Credit
6 academic credits given by New Bulgarian University, Sofia
- 24 hours theoretical lectures
- 36 hours practical seminars
- 120 hours field practice

Archaeology Field School Tuition
780 Euros

Archaeology Field School Travel
The international transportation expenses are not included in the tuition.
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs
Participation fee covers: • Accommodation: rooms with private bathroom, e-net connection. • All meals. • Travel to and from and excavation sites for the entire duration of the program. • Fees for participating in the excavations. • Honorariums for the day lectures and site talks when done by outside experts. • A Reader with materials in English for the excavation sites. • Tools and equipment for specialized artifact processing. • Three lectures on Roman Archaeology. • Three one-day trips: transport and entrance fees for the museums.

Archaeology Field School Description

Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria is considered one of the most important Roman and Early Byzantine centres at the Lower Danube. It was established in the 1st century AD as a Roman military camp and a civilian settlement which grew around it. In 106 AD the emperor Trajan founded five colonies, one of which is Ratiaria. Colonies were cities with highest degree of autonomy, each of which represents a model of Rome itself. The full name of the city is known from an inscription dated in 125 AD – “Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria”. In the 2nd and 3rd century Ratiaria is prosperous city organized in Italian model. It is a great craft and trade centre - here lies an important customs point. Unfortunately, the last 20 years instead to be an object of scientist researches and touristic attraction the place is a scene of treasure-hunters’ invasion and illegal traffic of cultural artefacts. In 2009 the Bulgarian Archaeological Association (BAA) started campaign: “Help to preserve the biggest archaeological site in Northern Bulgaria – Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria”. More than 600 scientists from all over the world supported the petition for saving Ratiaria. Materials about the cultural catastrophe in Bulgaria were published in “Current World Archaeology”, “Past Horizons”, and “Rescue. British Archaeological Trust”. Only for 2 years the site was visited by more than 50 foreign students from USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Russia etc. “I had never seen such a large Archaeological site before apart from the Great Pompeii. - Says Byron Jones, student in Archaeology in Dublin, Ireland - Ratiaria is Bulgaria's Pompeii I feel in terms of scale and size. Walking through the site was an experience I will never forget.” Dylan Feuerbacher from San Antonio, Texas wrote to BAA: “Ever since I left I’ve been fascinated and curious about Ratiaria”. In 2012 the archaeological digs will focus on the discovered in course of the last season decumanus maximius (the main street of the city) and Temple of Asclepius. Along with practical work at the site the students will gain experience in Latin Epigraphy, Art History, Conservation and Restoration of discovered buildings and artifacts. Several experts in Roman Archaeology will give lectures during the course. In addition the students will have chance to visit some of the best preserved Roman towns in the area (including Bulgaria and neighboring Serbia).

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type
Roman and Byzantine Archaeology
Time Period
1st – 6th century AD
Field School Setting/Conditions
The archaeological site is close to the village of Archar. The distance is short and students can even walk but everyday transport by cars is arranged. The village of Archar is the biggest settlement in the area. It offers many facilities - ATM, wi-fi connection, shops, bus station, and restaurants.
How is the project area accessed each day
The archaeological site is located in the modern North-West Bulgaria near the town of Vidin. Vidin may be reached by both bus and train from Sofia (Bulgaria). The nearest air terminal is Sofia (Bulgaria, 200 km).
What is the daily schedule for the field school
Ratiaria field school will carried out for one month. The program includes 20 working days on the archaeological site, 3 days lectures and 3 excursions. The work in the site will include digging, brushing and cleaning in the morning and washing, sorting and drawing the findings in the afternoon. The program includes three lectures to be read every Wednesday in the afternoon.
Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
For the last three years the archaeological site Ratiaria was examined by the students from "Cambustica field school" as part of their courses in field survey. In this preliminary work took a part more than 40 volunteers, whose help had saved many priceless archaeological monuments.
Is there a professional certification for this field school
Directors and Instructors
1. Krassimira Luka (Bulgarian Archaeological Association) – Director of the Project and Leader of the archaeological excavations at Ratiaria
2. Prof. Dr. Rumen Ivanov (National Archaeological Institute Sofia) - Lecturer
3. Prof. Dr. Aleksandra Dimitrova-Milcheva (National Archaeological Institute Sofia) – Lecturer
4. Svetoslav Georgiev - Consultant “Legal aspects of protection of the cultural heritage” and “Management of the cultural monuments”
5. Dr. Valentina Varbanova (Assos. Professor, VSU “Luben Karavelov”, Sofia) - Expert “Architecture, conservation and restoration of cultural monuments”.
6. Borislav Pavlov – (Association “Ratiaria”) - Expert “Protection of cultural heritage”
7. Dr. Zlatomira Gerdjikova (Bulgarian Academy of Science) – Expert “Byzantine and Christian Archaelogy ”

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn
• Setting out a Grid - Plane Table Drawing; • Leveling; • Contour surveying using a Theodolite; Trowelling, planning and recording of archaeological features; • Architectural survey; • Context sheet recording; • Artifact identification; • Archaeological photography. • Artifact retrieval, identification and recording procedures; • Finds processing and cataloguing; • Analysis of finds; • Aerial photography; • Geophysical survey; • Conservation and Restoration; • Illustration of archaeological artifacts; • Latin Epigraphy - How to read the Latin inscriptions;
On rain days will there be lab work?
Will there be additional organized activities?
The program includes Field Survey in vicinity of Ratiaria. Because Ratiaria was the biggest town in the region around it are located many different archaeological sites - Roman villas and necropolis. Even in modern Romania are found remains of buildings connected to Ratiaria. Every year the students' expedition studied these places. Usually to participants is given individual work according to their interest and abilities.
Will there be additional organized activities?
Activities at the site will be enhanced by lectures on Roman and Late Roman archaeology. The duration of our lectures varies from one to two hours. An additional period of time is consecrated to questions and discussions. When the lectures are not on the site, multimedia equipment will be used for the presentations.
Is travel restriced during free time?
Every Friday in the evening we organize transport to the biggest towns in the region (Vidin or Belogradchik). Under the supervision of our coordinator the students can visit night pubs and to have fun with Bulgarian friends. Saturday is a free day. In Sunday we organize 1-day trip by bus to the most attractive locations: Belogradchik Fortress and Magura Cave (August 12th), Regional Historical Museum in Vidin and «Baba Vida" Fortress (August 19th), Roman fortress and town Castra Martis (August 26th), optionally – The Palace of Emperor Galerius "Felix Romoliana" in Serbia.

Other resources students will find useful (German)

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Krassimira Luka – director of the excavations 21 Tsarigradsko shosse Blv, 1504, Sofia, Bulgaria + 359 878 350 384

Field School Contact E-mail:
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