Tundzha Regional Archaeological Project

The project builds upon and extends previous fieldwork in the Kazanluk and Yambol districts, including a pilot project in 2008 and two surface survey seasons in 2009. The applicants are taking a unique opportunity to advance the earlier investigation on three fronts: 1) in a preliminary study  of a newly discovered urban center; 2) in a continuing survey campaign focusing on the areas between the urban sites in the region; 3) in an extension of archaeological sciences and palaeoecological research. Specifically, the project entails preliminary research at the fortified site of Dodoparon, six weeks of archaeological field survey and remote sensing in Yambol region, environmental sampling and laboratory analysis of samples from Kazanlak and Yambol. The tasks planned include site clearance, geodetic survey and mapping of Dodoparon accompanied by limited sondages, with the goal of laying the foundation for a responsible multiyear excavation campaign. The aims of the field survey are to contextualize this and other urban sites in the region, to explore the economic foundations of these cities, and to provide a picture of the ancient rural landscape and its change. The palaeoecological research is based on the sampling of lake sediments and the acquisition of control samples for calibrating current data on ancient climate and vegetation. Finally, the research team intends to commission laboratory analyses on acquired samples: AMS C14 to date excavated material and environmental samples; macro-botanical and palynological analyses to elucidate local subsistence strategies and reconstruct the ancient environment.  Results of this interdisciplinary initiative will be used to analyze the rise and evolution of complex societies, particularly habitation patterns and subsistence strategies, within a landscape archaeology framework.

Project proposal Pi: 
Adela Sobotkova and Chris Ratte, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Stefan Bakardjiev, Regional Historical Museum, Yambol