The main goal of our project is to provide education and training in underwater archaeology through participation in ongoing research projects. The first of these will focus on shipbuilding in the Ottoman Era and seafaring in the area of the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. Our research aims to fill in the gaps in our scientific knowledge in this field. The main tools of the research will be excavation as well as the accurate recording of an actual shipwreck. There is a high number of Ottoman shipwrecks discovered along the Western coast of the Black Sea but only one of them has been excavated so far. The research will cover several important scientific areas such as: technology and tradition of Ottoman shipbuilding, shipbuilding centers, trading routes etc. Our second research project is aimed at the study of terrestrial and marine interactions of humans living in the region in prehistory. Its goals will be achieved through a variety of instruments, including a geophysical survey, mapping and 3D reconstruction of submerged ancient landscapes; in prehistory the entire seafloor of the Black Sea was dry land that was submerged during the Holocene. More than twenty submerged prehistoric settlements have been identified in Bulgarian waters until this day; some are associated with the highly complex Varna Copper Age culture. The main focus of this line of research will be the ancient coastal landscapes and the changes that took place there; an attempt at their reconstruction will be made. Our goal is to broaden the knowledge of our participants, to refine their skills and thus to propel them further in their career in Maritime Archaeology. The field school is suitable for beginners in the field and will introduce students to a range of underwater archaeological techniques for research, recording, conservation, monitoring etc.; among them are: shipwreck excavation, underwater photography, photogrammetry and 3D modeling, scale drawing, diving field surveys, marine geophysics and remote sensing. All participants will receive Balkan Heritage Field School Certificate specifying the topics and the hours of the field school activities (fieldwork, lectures, workshops, educational trips, etc.).

The Venue and Sites

The base of the field school is located in the coastal town of Kiten on the Southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. The town is recognized as a key location for archaeological projects in the Black Sea. The shipwreck chosen for our field work lies in the bay south of Kiten, at a depth of 8 – 9 meters. The bay is rich in archaeological finds and so far at least seven other shipwrecks have been discovered. Of those one has been excavated and recorded, and the others have not been studied up to the present moment. Another archaeological site of interest in the area is the submerged settlement from the early Bronze Age (late 4th – early 3rd millennium BCE); it has been partially excavated but a large portion still remains untouched. Several stone and iron anchors and lead stocks from wooden anchors, as well as pottery fragments from different periods have been found in the sea around Kiten. As a result of the abundance of important discoveries and found artefacts a Museum of Bulgarian Underwater Archaeology was founded in the town of Kiten. The dynamic archaeological landscape of the Bay of Kiten makes it an ideal location for the exploration of multiple aspects of nautical archaeology, human adaptations to changes in the environment, site formation processes etc. As such it can also serve as the perfect education base for the teaching and training of archaeology students. Project type: Field school & underwater excavations & marine geophysical survey About the project: The field school provides education and training in underwater archaeology through participation in three parallel ongoing research projects:

  • excavation of a post-medieval (probably Ottoman period) shipwreck in the South Bay of Kiten;
  • geophysical survey of the submerged prehistoric landscapes along the Southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.
  • field survey, monitoring and mapping of archaeological sites in the South Bay of Kiten;
  • The field school is suitable for beginners in the field and will introduce students to a range of underwater archaeological techniques for research, recording, conservation, monitoring etc. Participants in the field school receive training in shipwreck excavation, underwater photography, photogrammetry and 3D modeling, scale drawing, diving field surveys, marine geophysics and remote sensing.

Project venue: Participants and staff stay in family hotel located in the resort town of Kiten, Southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. Accommodation is in in rooms with two to three beds, with air conditioning, wi-fi, bathroom with WC, etc. Partners in this project: The field school is organized by the Balkan Heritage Foundation (BHF) in colaboration with National Center for Underwater Archaeology (CUA), Bulgaria and Institute for Field Research, USA Academic credits available: Students who study in Europe can receive up to 9 ECTS credits through New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria. Students who study outside Europe can obtain 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through IFR’s academic partner the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Extension. Field school coordinator: Dr. Nayden Prahov, archaeologist at the National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; Balkan Heritage Foundation Program Director Dates: 25 May - 22 June, 2017 Number of field school places available: Maximum 8 Application deadline: until the places are filled or latest 1st of May, 2017 Project language: English Minimum age: 18 Requirements:

  • Applicants should have at least SCUBA Open Water Certificate issued by any world-wide recognized training organization; Participants should have up-to-date DAN insurance.
  • Participants should provide evidence (log book) for at least four dives within a year before the field school. In case they don’t have they should do at least two to four extra dives in Bulgaria before the field school beginning with the partnering diving center Marina on their own expenses.Participants should provide their own diving equipment (diving suit (5 mm wet suit recommended), BCD, regulator, mask, fins, snorkel, knife, booties, etc.). If the participants don’t bring their own diving gear they could rent such from the partnering diving center at a price up to 15 euros per day (depending on the items rented).
  • Participants should provide their own diving equipment: diving suit (5 mm wet suit recommended), BCD, regulator, mask, fins, snorkel, knife, booties, etc.). If the participants don’t bring their own diving gear they could rent such from the partnering diving center at a price up to 15 euros (approx. 15 USD) per day (depending on the items rented). Аir tanks and diving weights will be available at the site.
  • All participants are expected to prepare for the field school by reading the required readings listed below on that page. Rеadings can be provided by the project staff upon request.
  • Participants should bring clothes and cosmetics suitable for warm and sunny weather, but should also prepare for rainy, windy and chilly days.

Special considerations: The project is not recommended for individuals with solar allergies or other special illnesses that might be exacerbated during the intensive outdoor activities. The average May-June temperatures in the area are 25-30⁰ C (77 - 86 ℉ ) or higher. The average water temperature in the area in late May - June is 17-23 ⁰ C (62 - 73 ℉). The depth in the Southern Bay of Kiten, where the excavations and diving survey will take place, is 8 - 15 m (26 - 49 ft).

The Program

The field school provides a minimum of 95 hours of fieldwork and training (minimum 15 dives), workshops, lectures and guided tours as follows: Field Work

  • Practicing basic excavation techniques;
  • Creating of field graphic documentation - ground plans, cross-sections;
  • Underwater photography;
  • Marine geophysical survey;
  • Archaeological dive survey;
  • Manipulation with ROV.

Workshops

  • Archaeological Documentation of Pottery (drawing, graphic reconstruction, photographing, description, etc.).

Lectures

  • Archaeological Heritage of the Western Black Sea Coast.
  • Bulgarian Underwater Archaeology.
  • Underwater Photogrammetry and Photography.
  • Introduction to Nautical Archaeology.
  • Basic Ship Architecture.
  • Shipbuilding and Seafaring along the Western Black Sea Coast in 18 – 19 Century.
  • Underwater Geophysics and Remote Sensing.
  • Conservation of Artifacts from Marine Environment.

Guided Tours

  • Visiting the Archaeological Museum and the Old Quarter of Nesebar;
  • Visiting the Archaeological Museum and the Old Quarter of Sozopol.
Program taught in:
  • English (US)

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