Topic ID #33898 - posted 10/23/2014 1:09 AM

The Birth of Europe: Excavations of the Neolithic Settlement Ilindentsi, Bulgaria 2015


Location: Ilindentsi, Bulgaria
Session dates: Session 1: 13 June – 27 June 2015; Session 2: 28 June – 12 July 2015
Period(s) of Occupation: Early and Middle Balkan Neolithic (6,000–5,500 BC)

Project Description: In the seventh millenium BC the Balkan Peninsula was a gate through which farming, animal husbandry and generally Neolithisation spread to Europe from Anatolia and the Near East. Central parts of the Balkans (including the Struma River Valley) were among the most important migration routes during that period. Six Early Neolithic settlements are mapped in the small Middle Struma River Valley. One of them is the prehistoric site near Ilindentsi. During the previous excavation seasons: 2004 – 2009 and 2011 - 2014 archaeologists unearthed there remains of various Early and Middle Neolithic settlement structures and features.  Among them are several dwellings: one of them with stone foundations, another one with elaborate floor construction and under-floor drainage systems and a third one completely burnt with well preserved in situ "kitchen-space" including an oven, grain-store, quern-stone, two Neolithic grave-pits: of a baby and a piglet and numerous waste pits.

In 2015 the BIRTH OF EUROPE Field School Project envisions further excavation of the Neolithic dwellings and their surroundings. Two field school sessions are available and each includes the following three modules:fieldwork including excavation of the Neolithic structures, 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 total station, and taking photographs at the site; lectures, workshops and field trainings in Prehistoric and Field Archaeology, Finds' Processing and Documentation as well as excursionsto Blagoevgrad Regional Museum of History, the medieval town of Melnik, Rozhen Monastery and Rila Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Participants who join the two project sessions will be able to develop further their skills and competences gained during the first two-week session regarding the archaeological field work and finds' processing; to attend: a number of extra lectures and workshops on Neolithic ceramic studies and recording and illustration of Neolithic pottery; and to join the optional excursion to Kavala, Phillippi and the Aegean coast (Greece) on 27-28 June, 2015. All participants receive a Project Handbook and the BHFS Certificate of Attendance. Optional tour of Istanbul (Turkey) prior to the field school on 6-10 June, 2015.

No experience required, however the project is not recommended for individuals with solar allergies or other special illnesses that might be exacerbated during the intensive outdoor activities.
Accommodation is in a local guest house (comfortable rooms with two to three beds + bathrooms with shower and WC, TV, Wi-Fi). Three meals (fresh, organic Bulgarian homemade food) per day are covered by the admission fee. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. 

Cost: SUPER EARLY BIRD SPECIAL by November 30, 2014 is 1104 EUR / 2208 EUR (app. 1391 /2782 USD) for participation in one /two project sessions. The admission fee includes educational and fieldwork activities, full-board accommodation (hotel + 3 meals per day), tools, materials, project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance; excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees and administrative costs.
Academic Credit: New Bulgarian University offers 6/9 credits for participation in one/two project sessions for an additional fee! 


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