PEATS BULGARIA – Museum Work and Medieval Fortress Excavation

PEATS BULGARIA – Museum Work and Medieval Fortress Excavation


Student applications, except for reserves, are closed for this placement. Accompanying Person applications still open

Dates: 15th June –  16th July 2019
Number of UK Participants: 6 + accompanying person
Duration: 32 days


Accommodation: TBC

Meals: self-catering (based on subsistence given out befor the placement)

Communication: TBC

Transport: TBC

Weather: Hotter than UK summer, can be 30-35 degrees C

This is an opportunity for a group of students to go and work on some of the local historical sites. There will be a focus on excavation, socialization of sites for tourist visits and improving site interpretation.

This year the group will work on the following:

Date Time Action Host
15 June, Saturday ??? Arrival Sofia Airport and leaving for  Sevlievo /a town about 20 000 people/, Velis & a driver
16 June,Sunday Aclimatization day
17 June, Monday 8,00 Welcome to the Museum in Sevlievo, discussion of the program for placement Velis & Nadezhda /archaeologist/
10.00 – 16.00 First visit to Hotalich fortress archaeological site and starting work Nadezhda


18-21 June, Tuesday to Friday 8.00-14.00 Work on Medieval fortress Hotalich Nadezhda
22-23 June, Saturday, Sunday Free time or cultural visit
24-28 June Monday to Friday 08.00 – 14.00 Work on Medieval fortress Hotalich near Sevlievo – transport by the museum Nadezhda
29-30 June Free time, rest or cultural visit
1-5 July, Monday to Friday 8.00 – 14.00 Work on Medieval fortress Hotalich near Sevlievo – transport by the museum

Farewell dinner in Sevlievo

6-7 July Excursion by bus to Etara and Plovdiv /2019 EU Capital of Culture/ – 1 night Velis & Driver
7 July Transfer to Troyan – accommodation in a flat, self catering, 8 nights Velis
8-13 July Work at Troyan Crafts museum – in local collections Nina and Desi – curators
14 – 16July – Sunday Transfer to Sofia, accommodation for 2 nights, self catering Free time & cultural visits Velis + driver
16 July Flight back home Velis & driver

Some info about HOTALICH:

The archaeological excavations near Sevlievo started in 1979. Excavations on the site since 2009 have been led by Nadezhda Boteva, archaeologist from the  Sevlievo History museum. The site was declared a cultural monument of national importance in 1994.

The excavations have revealed one of the most significant fortifications in the Central Fore-Balkan mountain. The results of the last few seasons show that the construction of the powerful defence system on the hill dates back to the end of the 5-th century and the very beginning of 6-th century. The fortress walls are 1.70 – 2.20 meters thick and have been preserved up to 3 meters in places.  The citadel is built using the opus implectum technique.

The flourishing of the fortress during the period 11-th – 13-th centuries is indisputable. Nearly 90 residential and commercial buildings have been unearthed there to date. Evidence strongly suggests that some of them were 2 floors high. Two Christian churches were also discovered on the site, surrounded by Medieval necropolis which has more than 200 graves.

Cultural activites during the placement will include:

  • Visit to the Festival of Herbs and mountains near Troyan
  • Lovech: Covered bridge, Regional museum, Devetaki cave
  • Antique ceramic center in Pavlikeni, near Kramolin village
  • Krushuna waterfalls and Medieval Isihastic rock site

Some photos and a little more information about the fortress and surrounding areas can be found here.

Accommodation: in houses or flats on self-catering basis.

As with most archaeological sites, expect a degree of physical work. As with all our placements, participants are joining partner excavations. These are not UK led excavations. The group will be learning different methods and techniques that are used for this particular site, so must expect differences in how the site is run.


The Erasmus + grant will cover accommodation, food (3 meals a day), return, flights, insurance, transport to site and supervision. Participants will have to make sure they have their EHI card and budget for personal purchases and excursions.

If you are interested in this placement, then the application form is available to download on the PEATS Archaeology main page.

For past participants feedback, please refer to our Participants Reports page

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission

This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.