ARCS Archaeological Field School at Heraclea Sintica, Bulgaria





Archaeological Field School at Heraclea Sintica with excursions to archaeological sites in Bulgaria

Excavation/Field School Directors: Dr. Emil Nankov (ARCS), Prof. Lyudmil Vagalinski (Director, National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgaria)

Guest Lecturer and leader of the field trip to Greece: Dr. Hallie Franks (New York University)

Duration: May 31 (arrival to Sofia) – July 7, 2013 (departure from Sofia)

Eligibility: advanced undergraduate and graduate students of American universities in the fields of Archaeology, Anthropology, Classical Studies, Ancient History and related studies

Program Fee: $1400


The American Research Center in Sofia is pleased to announce the third summer Archaeological Field School at Heraclea Sintica (Bulgaria). 

Students will arrive in Sofia on May 31 and will spend two full days exploring the archaeology and history of this beautiful city. On June 3, the Team will begin an archaeological journey, visiting sites and museums in Veliko Tarnovo, Kazanlak, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv and other smaller sites. We will arrive in the city of Sandanski on June 7, the home base of the ARCS excavations at Heraclea Sintica. The excavation Team will reside in a hotel in Petrich or Sandanski during the 4-week excavation season. Archaeological work is conducted Monday-Friday with additional excursions to northern Greece and Republic of Macedonia on Saturdays. The Team will be accompanied back to Sofia on July6, where they will stay one night, departing from Sofia on July 7.

The fee for the ARCS Summer Archaeology Program is $1400, which covers the cost of lodging in Sofia, and the cities where we will stay during the pre-excavation excursion, ground transportation during the excursion and museum/site tickets during the excursions;housing, ground transportation and most meals during the excavation season at Heraclea/Petrich or Sandanski. This fee does not cover lunch or dinner during the excursions, international travel to/from Sofia, travel insurance or academic credits; the fee also does not cover dinner on Saturdays and lunch/dinner on Sundays during the excavation season. 

Archaeological Field School at Heraclea Sintica 2014

Organizer: American Research Center in Sofia (ARCS), in collaboration with the National Institute of Archaeology with a Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia (NIAM-BAS).

Project Location: Heraclea Sintica is located near the village of Rupite, approximately 16 km south of Sandanski, SW Bulgaria. All fieldwork will take place on the site. The project base will be located in the town of Petrich or Sandanski, situated 160 km south of Sofia (Bulgaria), 150 km north of Thessaloniki (Greece) and 230 km northwest of Skopie (Republic of Macedonia).Situated on the slopes of an extinct volcano, near the confluence of the Strumenshnica (ancient Pontos) and Struma (ancient Strymon) rivers, Heraclea Sintica was an important Hellenistic city. The location of Heraclea Sintica along the Strymon River and at the junction between valleys leading west into Illyricum and south into Greek Macedonia, contributed toward the wealth of the city as a commercial center. The city thrived in the Roman and Late Antique periods, declining in the early Middle Ages. The current ARCS Field School focuses upon a sequence of architectural remains, some of which have been identified as a district for craftsmen.

The Program offers one excavation session, lectures and field trips, continuing for four weeks. The students will be required to participate in the excavations five days each week, as well as attend the ten lectures and the three field trips. There will be one day off each work week. Study trips are arranged to archaeological sites and museums in Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia and Greece. Among the sites included are Petrich, Melnik, Strumica, Bansko, Stobi and Thessaloniki. The program covers room, board and field trips. The program does not include: airfare to Bulgaria, dinners and meals on non work days. Participants will be provided with a certificate upon completion of the program.Students are expected to arrange for medical insurance and to obtain visas, if applicable. Students interested in obtaining academic credits should contact Dr. Emil Nankov (


For full consideration, prospective students should submit an application to Dr. Emil Nankov ( by February 15, 2014.