Excavation of Emporion Pistiros

Company : Study Abroad Europe
Location : Septemvri, Bulgaria
Duration: 2 weeks to 2 weeks
Approx Costs: 2000 to 2500 $ Dollars (US)

Field school & archaeological excavations.

Ancient Greeks in the Land of Dionysus - Excavation of Emporion Pistiros, Thrace


Period: Classical Greek and Hellenistic

Project type: field school & archaeological excavations. The variety of activities and team flexibility make this project suitable for both Beginners and Advanced in either Field or Prehistoric Archaeology.Individual program and task assignment are available to advanced students.

Site: Emporion Pistiros, between the small towns of Septemvri and Vetren, Southern Bulgaria.

Project venue:"Villa Terres" is a newly built tourism SPA complex, located in the southern part of the village Karabunar, 8 km from the motorway exit "Trakia" on the way to Velingrad. During the project work days all participants will be given a lift from the hotel to the site (that is located 14 km away) and back.   


Program Dates:                                                                                       Tuition 

Field School Session 1: 26 July - 9 August                                        $ 2,250

Field School Session 2: 9 - 23 August                                               $ 2,250

Field School Session 3 (Session 1 Extended): 26 July - 16 August      $ 3,050


Application Deadlines: until the places are filled or latest 1st of July

Minimum length of stay for participants: 1 session (two weeks)

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

Number of field school places available: Maximum 20

Project language: English   

Experience required: No


Note: The program fees include accomodation.


The Site and the Excavation Project  


The ruins of an ancient Greek trade center (emporion) in the heart of Thrace – on the left bank of Maritsa River (ancient Hebros), between the towns of Vetren and Septemvri, were discovered by Prof. M. Domaradzki in 1988. He started regular excavations and in 1990 his team found a stone inscription (known as "Vetren inscription") that helped the scholars to identify the site as the Ancient Greek emporion named Pistiros. Merchants from Greek coastal cities of Maroneia, Thassos and Apollonia lived and traded there with their Thracian neighbors under the supreme protection of the Thracian Odryssean kings (the biggest and mightiest Thracian Kingdom at that time). 


The emporion was also a major metallurgical center and a key harbor for export of metals and metal products from Thrace to Greece in the Classical and Early Hellenistic periods (from the middle of the 5-th to the beginning of the 3-rd century BC). The trade contacts of the emporion are evident through finds of numerous imports such as Attic red-figured and black-glazed pottery, amphorae (mainly Thassian) and coins (e.g.several hoards of cooper, silver and gold coins found during the excavations - they represent the coinage of different Odryssean kings (e.g. Amatokos I, Bergaios, Kotys I, Amatokos II, Teres II, Kersebleptes, Teres II), Greek cities (Thassos, Maroneia, Parion, Thracian Chersonese, Kypsela, Enos, Apollonia, Messabria etc.) and Macedonian rulers (Philip II, Alexander the Great, Kassandros, Demetrios Poliokretes, Lysimachos etc.).


Most of the ancient authors and the majority of the modern scholars consider the cult of Dionysos rooting in Thrace. It played a very important role in the emporion's religious life. For instance the Vetren inscription informs about the oath taken in the name of Dionysos by the Odryssean king: Kotys I (383-359 BC) and his successor from the citizens of Pistiros - this how they guaranteed the integrity of their lives, properties and activities in their town under the sovereignty of the Thracian kings. 

Start Dates

26 July - 9 August
9 - 23 August

Booking / Enquiry

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