RSFAT’s field schools projects 2013

The RSFAT (“Ratiaria Semper Floreat” Archaeological Trust) is a newly established organization with the only goal to protect, record and interpret the Raman archaeological sites in Bulgaria. Our symbol became the Roman town of RATIARIA which was savagely damaged in the last 20 years. We won’t let this happen again!
This year RSFAT offers to the students from all over the world the opportunity to be part of the archaeological work. Our program incorporates a research excavation at different sites and is involved in a study of the Roman culture.

ST. ATANAS CAPE – the birth of Byzantine Christian Art
Session dates:
Session 1: July 27 – August 3, 2013
Session 2: August 3 – August 17, 2013
St. Atanas Cape is a seaside resort center, south of the big city of Varna, Bulgaria. Here is being studied an early Christian complex with a basilica. In the beginning of this archaeological season was decorated a narthex with wall-paintings and inscriptions. Among the larger ones there is a partly preserved image of a saint (perhaps – Jesus Christ). There are also two fragments with partly damaged inscriptions with names in Latin: MARI[A] and H?E[S]US. For the time being these are the earliest inscriptions containing the names of Holy Virgin Mary and Jesus Chris.
The project “ST. ATANAS CAPE – the birth of Byzantine Christian Art” focuses on the earliest ages of Byzantine Empire (the 5th and 6th century A.D.) and the Christian architecture and art in one of the city centres located very close to the Byzantine capital – Constantinople. The project offers on-site practice, lectures on architecture of Early Christian churches, wall-paintings conservation and research trips to the most popular touristic destinations on the Black sea coast.

DIOCLETIANOPOLIS. The town of Emperor Diocletian.
Session dates:
Session 1: July 27 – August 3, 2013
Session 2: August 3 – August 17, 2013
Diocletianopolis in Thracia (Latin: “Town of Diocletian”) was an ancient Roman town in the region of Thrace, nowadays the town of Hisarya in Bulgaria. It gained its official status as a city in 293 CE by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. The modern town of Hisarya accommodates a spa resort, which was also used and dates to the Roman period. Under Roman occupation, the town was an affluent resort with evidence of palaces, wide stone streets and marble baths. This is the only city in Bulgaria with completely preserved fortification walls up to 14 m high dated back to 4th century AD.
The project is hosted by the director of the local historical museum at Hisarya Assoc. Prof. Mitko Madzharov, who has worked for several years with international students. In 2013 the project incorporates also two excursions to the most popular Archaeological museums and sites in central Bulgaria: Philippopolis (modern Plovdiv), the Thracian complex “Kozi gramadi”, The Thracian tomb complex by Starosel, Bachkovo Monastery and Roman Augusta Traiana (modern Stara Zagora). At the end of the course the students will receive Certificate of participation and the newly published book “Corpus of Ancient and Medieval Settlements in Modern Bulgaria, Vol. 1” – 566 pages in English containing full description of the Roman and Bizantine cities on the territory of modern Bulgaria.

PHILIPPOPOLIS – the crossroad of ancient civilisations
Session dates:
Session 1: August 13 – August 17, 2013
Session 2: August 17 – August 31, 2013
“Philippopolis” Field School is an intensive, two-week educational program in Roman archaeology. The program offers combination of ten days hands-on fieldwork at an important archaeological site – the Roman Forum (Central Square) in Philippopolis and theoretical lectures on Roman building techniques, topography and development of the Roman cities. The program incorporates also research trips which will introduce the participants with the comprehensive historical and cultural appreciation of Rome and Roman civilization.
In 2013 the program will be hosted by Archaeological museum of Plovdiv. Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and is older than most of the oldest towns in Europe like Rome, Athens or Constantinople. The city offers many museums and archaeological monuments. Its old part is an imposing open-air museum and here is situated one of the most remarkable sights in Bulgaria – the Ancient Roman Theatre which is still used for open-air performances.

Session dates:
Session 1: June 29 – July 26, 2013
Session 2: August 3 – August 30, 2013
Ratiaria is considered one of the most important Roman and Early Byzantine centres at the Lower Danube. It was established in the 1st century AD as a Roman military camp and a civilian settlement which grew around it. In 106 AD the emperor Trajan founded five colonies, one of which is Ratiaria. Colonies were cities with highest degree of autonomy, each of which represents a model of Rome itself. The full name of the city is known from an inscription dated in 125 AD – COLONIA ULPIA TRAIANA RATIARIA. In the 2nd and 3rd century Ratiaria is prosperous city organized in Italian model. It is a great craft and trade centre – here lies an important customs point. In 4th century Ratiaria became the major Christian and episcopal center of the area.

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