Topic ID #30144 - posted 11/7/2013 12:58 AM

Rise and Fall of the First European “Civilization” - Tell Yunatsite Excavations 2014


Session Dates: Session 1: 19 July - 2 August 2014; Session 2: 3 - 16 August 2014 & Session 3: 19 July - 9 August 2014

Affiliation: The Balkan Heritage Foundation, Tell Yunatsite Exacavation Team: National Institute of Archaeology and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Pazardzhik Regional Museum of History, New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria).

Project Description: Tell Yunatsite is located in the fields next to the Bulgarian village of Yunatsite, NW Thrace. Its diameter is app. 110 m and its maximal height of 12 m above the modern surface. The tell was excavated for the first time in 1939 by Bulgarian archaeologist Vasil Mikov. However, regular excavations of the site did not start before 1976, when the archaeological project was initiated by the National Institute of Archaeology and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In the course of time the project was joined by Soviet and Greek excavation teams. So far one third of the tell has been excavated in its eastern part, still without reaching the sterile layers. The tell is topped by a medieval cemetery, ruins of a Roman fort and two layers from the Early Iron Age followed in depth by a thick Early Bronze age layer (3100-2200 cal. BC) with 17 building levels and a sterile layer (hiatus) that separates the EBA layer and the Copper age layer. Under all these sequences is found the 4 m thick Chalcolithic layer.

The RISE AND FALL OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN "CIVILIZATION" 2014 PROJECT will continue exploring in depth the earliest stages of tell's history through excavation of the Vasil Mikov's trench (app. 300 sq.m. Еxcavations that took place there in 1939 were restarted in 2012) and esp. the Copper age structures there: foundations of dwellings, amazingly well preseved Chalcolithic wooden flooring and a high number of ovens. During the small-scale excavations of the Mikov's trench in 2012 and 2013 archaeologists and students found numerous artifacts such as weapons, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines, Spondylus jewels, decorated fineware pottery, shards marked by characters/pictograms). All of them belong to the three earliest tell building levels excavated so far. The area provides an amazing opportunity for all field school participants to study textbook clear stratigraphy, to practice all basic excavation techniques in the field and to look through centuries of the everyday life of the Copper age inhabitants of Tell Yunatsite.

The project sessions available in 2014 include the following three modules: 1.fieldwork including excavation, maintaining a field journal on a daily basis, filling context sheets and labels, drawing an elevation plan/ a ground plan/ a cross-section, 3D positioning of finds, taking coordinates with a level device, and taking photographs at the site; 2.lectures, workshops and field trainings in Prehistoric and Field Archaeology, Finds' processing and Documentation as well as 3. excursions to various cultural and archaeological sites in the region such as the Pazardzhik Museum and the ancient town of Plovdiv.

The participants who join either the three-week session (3) or the two project sessions (1&2) will be able to  develop further their skills and competences regarding the field work and finds processing, gained during the first two-week session and to attend a number of extra lectures, workshops and an excursion to Stara Zagora and the Museum of the Europe' best preserved Neolithic (5600 BC) dwellings.

Period(s) of Occupation: Chalcolithic (or Copper age, 4900 - 4100 BC) - IN THE PROJECT'S FOCUS, Early Bronze Age (3100-2200 BC), Iron Age, Antiquity and Middle Ages.

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers:
1 session (two weeks)

Minimum Age: 18 (16, if the participant is accompanied by an adult family member).

Experience Required: No

Room and Board Arrangements: Participants will be accommodated n comfortable rooms with two to three beds (bathrooms with shower and WC, TV, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi) in a downtown-hotel in Pazardzhik. There is a laundry service available at the hotel. Participants are not expected to bring any additional equipment, bedclothes or towels. Three meals (fresh, organic Bulgarian homemade food) per day are covered by the admission fee. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional fee.

Cost: Before 31st of March, 2014: 1124 / 1619 / 2373 EUR (app. 1400 / 2100 / 2660 USD) for participation in one / extended / two project sessions. The regular admission fee (after 31st of March, 2014) is 1249 /1799 / 2373 EUR (app. 1550 / 2338 / 2990 USD) for participation in one / extended / two project sessions. The Admission fee includes educational and fieldwork activities, tools, materials, full-board accommodation (including three meals per day), Project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance, excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees and administrative costs.

Academic Credit: Number of credits offered: 6/9 credits to students for participation in one / two project sessions. Transcripts are available upon request for an additional tuition fee starting from 270 EUR (app. 350 USD)!

Contact Information
Ms. Anna Parmakova - Admission / Balkan Heritage Field School
Phone: +359 877 725 052


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