11-01-2011 12:02


With a single aim to contribute to the Higher Education in the Republic of Macedonia and the region, the Institute Euro-Balkan will start organizing Summer Field Schools.
These schools will be dedicated to students from various Humanitarian and Social Studies. The goal is to enable the students to take part in field work in a scientific and higher educational frame which will help them in acquiring practical and methodological experiences.   


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Site: Vinichko kale, Vinica
Periods of historical interest: Late Hellenistic, Roman and Early Byzantine time
Dates: June 27 – July 8, 2011
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Project venue: Skopje


If participants arrive by plane on the Skopje airport, a transfer to Vinica may be arranged by request (Please, specify this in your application form!). Individual or group transfers’ price may vary depending on both distance and number of passengers from 20 to 50 EUR. Vinica may also be reached by bus from major Macedonian cities.


The Field School location: The town of Vinica is located in the eastern part of Republic of Macedonia, close to the Bulgarian border. It is settled in the south-eastern part of Kočani valley, in the foot of the Plačkovica Mountain, and it covers the northern part of the river Bregalnica. 


Description: The aim of the archeological excavation school on Vinicko Kale is to enable the students to take active participation in discovering the layers of the ancient city on this territory. The field school will be hosted by the Museum „Terakota” in Vinica in collaboration with the Euro Balkan Institute, Skopje.


It includes three modules: fieldwork; educational course (lectures and field trainings), as well as excursions to the most important Hellenistic and Roman city of Stobi, and the medieval town and lake of Ohrid (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with its archeological sites.


Within the framework of the field school activities, by the end of the workshop the participants will:


  • acquire the basic knowledge in using the tools of excavation and working methods;
  • learn the Methodology and basic techniques of excavation;
  • expend their knowledge in Stratigraphy and Chronology;
  • meet professionals who work in the areas of Classical Archaeology;
  • expend their knowledge through first-hand experience of History and Archaeology 


The participants will also have the opportunity to work on Field and Graphic documentation:

  • field journal and context sheets;
  • Record cards and bag labels;
  • Drawn record: section and plan-drawing;
  • Photographic record


All participants will receive:



  • Project handbook (in PDF version by e-mail and a hard copy on arrival);  
  • Field School Certificate specifying the fieldwork hours, educational modules, and sites visited.


Vinica and its surroundings - archaeological context:


As a result of archeological explorations and scientific investigations, we know of intensive life occurring in the area around the river Bregalnica throughout the history starting with Neolithic, Eneolithic, Bronze, Iron, Early Antique, Roman, Late Antique and Middle Age periods.


This is evidenced by the existence of a large number of archeological sites in the vicinity of the city of Vinica documented in the Archeological map of the Republic of Macedonia (MANU, volume 1 (1994) and volume 2, Skopje (1996). 


Vinichko Kale - historical context:


New archeological investigations will be of immense importance in discovering the history of this region prior to becoming a part of the Roman Empire, since the prehistoric and early antiquity material evidence is rare and often found accidentally, while exploring the terrain.


However, under Roman rule, one of the larger settlements within the area was positioned approximately in the present location of the town Vinica. Remains of that settlement have so far been found at several locations. However, its expansion throughout Roman time, is without doubt connected to the intensification of trading, mining, metal processing and pottery, of which there are serious traces. Throughout that period, the need for protection of people and acquired riches was clearly raised, and therefore at Vinichko Kale as a convenient strategic point, a fortified city (castle) was erected. The fortified city covered an interior surface of approximately 2.5 hectares.


During the Early Christian period, life in Vinichko Kale was in full bloom. We hereby take into consideration the archaeological finding of terracotta relief, also known as the terracotta icons from Vinica, a unique of this kind in the entire world. The terracotta icons are an affirmation of the highly developed knowledge of the Christian religion and its complex symbolism even in the 5-6th centuries.


The terracotta icons from Vinica are clay plates, molded so that their front contains a relief impression with a specific iconographic content made in several identical replicas. The motifs are from the Old and the New Testament.


All the relief forms have been created in a way that indicates a profound comprehension of the religion, which one rarely encounters outside the Byzantine metropolis.


The significance of these artifacts is even greater because their purpose or exact function is still covered in mystery and lays hidden beneath the vast unexplored area around and in the fortress. Numerous archaeologists and art historians are still trying to solve the puzzle left by the former residents of the Vinica’s fortress.


Minimum length of stay: 2 weeks 


Number of participant places available: Maximum 20 


Working language: English 


Project director : Cone Krstevski

Director of excavations: Antonio Jakimovski, PhD  

Project supervisors: Julijana Ivanova, Director of Vinica museum, Elizabeta Dimitrova PhD, Department of Archeology, University of Skopje  



  • History of Ancient Macedonia; 
  • Roman roads (builders, construction, names) and their significance trough the examples from Macedonia; 
  • Death and burial in the Roman world; 
  • Early Christianity in Macedonia; 
  • The terracotta reliefs from Vinica; 
  • Late antique fortifications in the time of Justinian I




  • Basic methods for uncovering, “First aid”, consolidation In situ, cleaning, sorting out and storing of ceramic artifacts; 
  • Basic course in preservation and restoration of ceramic artifacts 


- Every-day fieldwork will start with short (up to 30/40-min) training/ instructions, that cover different aspects of field methods and practices.


- In the afternoons lectures and workshops will take place every working day.


- Two excursions are planned; visit to Ohrid and Ohrid Lake (UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as a visit to the archaeological site of Stobi


Participants will be accommodated in a hotel in Vinica, in rooms with two beds and a bathroom.

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Three meals per day are covered by the admission fee. Some of the meals will be arranged in a few carefully chosen locations, representing traditional Macedonian customs.

Admission fee: The fee of 1300 EUR includes educational and fieldwork activities, tools, materials, Project Handbook, issue of Summer Field School Certificate, full-board accommodation for a period of two weeks, and excursions/entrance fee.

Special requirements: The project is not recommended for individuals with illnesses that might exacerbate during the intensive outdoor activities.

Download application here


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