Archaeological survey of mountain Klepa, 2012

Project Description
NGO Archaeologica announces the forthcoming archaeological field school “Archaeological survey of mountain Klepa, 2012”. All students and other interested candidates will have the opportunity to take part in the investigations of one of the most important, yet still unidentified site in Macedonia, located near the village Nogaevci, the region of Veles in R. Macedonia. The specially prepared program will provide all participants the opportunity to meet the principles of nondestructive method in archaeology, will make reconstruction of complete history of human settlement in the survey area and will gain knowledge about ancient history and archaeology of this Macedonian site and the Macedonian and Paeonian region in general.
About the site:
The principal and most immediate aim of the proposed project is a systematical and intensive archaeological survey of an area measuring between 1 and 1,5 sq kilometers. It is a compact and partly enclosed landscape defined by the dales Grizovec and Dlaboki Dol, situated on the right bank of the river Vardar, directly opposite the village Nogaevci and around 3 kilometers upstream the confluence of the rivers Bregalnica and Vardar. The area bears an almost square shape, delimited by the eastern foot of Mt. Klepa on the west, and the Vardar on the north and the east. At present, it is a nearly deserted landscape, with very little vegetation apart from grasses and scrubs. Large portion, especially in the southern half is cultivated, but even on uncultivated stretches ground visibility is relatively good. The dales that drain the surrounding are very deep with almost vertical sides, only several meters wide. Their beds are dry throughout most of the year. It seems that along this entire stretch the taller, right bank of the Vardar is considerably drier; its soils thinner and prone to erosion. This observation is supported by the fact that most of the surviving present day villages are situated on Vardar’s left bank, on the lower river terraces.

Perhaps, because of its grim, unwelcoming appearance, these parts of the Middle Vardar have received little attention from archaeologists. However, when visited for purposes of basic reconnaissance, we were surprised by the amount of archaeological finds visible on the surface. Both building remains and pottery fragments appeared even on overgrown, uncultivated surfaces. It suggested that the area was inhabited at least during certain time periods in the past, and that much of this material has been brought to the surface through erosion, not through plowing. The systematic and intensive survey of this land would not only open an important insight into the local history of habitation, but it will also create a detailed and objective record of the disappearing surface archaeology.

The entire survey area will be inspected by field walkers spaced between 8 and 10 meters. All material visible within a two meters wide strip will be counted and certain specimens will be collected. The area will be surveyed using the given agricultural divisions of the land. After the surface finds are quantified over the entire survey area, parcels with larger quantities of surface finds will be studied in greater details. Regular grids are going to be laid over these locations and all material accessible on the surface will be collected by grid units. This will give us an exact idea of the size of the discovered sites and their exact location. Building remains will be documented by an architectural surveyor. The final stage of the study project is the processing and study of the gathered finds. After its completion, all gathered finds along with the technical documentation will be handed to the relevant institution.
All field data will be processed by GIS software (geographic information systems software) for personal computers. This will enable a rather quick preview of the distribution of surface remains and will help us in the quantitative definition of the eventual sites.
Dissemination of the project’s findings will consist of publications in archaeological journals in the country and abroad, and for the wider public, small exhibitions are to be prepared.

By carrying out this project, the applicants’ hopes are multifold. Firstly, it will reveal the history of human habitation in an understudied, but historically important region in the country. Only a few kilometers away is the ancient Paeonian and Macedonian town of Argos, so that essentially we’ll be studying the eastern approaches to the ancient town. It will also test a method of field work that has been well proven over the past several decades in many countries of the Eastern Mediterranean, but has never been tried in the Balkan interior. For Macedonia in particular, it will be the first official research of this kind. Finally, by reconstructing its history, we hope to draw attention to the archaeological resources of a nearly deserted and barren micro-region with poor soils and little surface water.

Special requirements:
The project is not recommended for individuals with allergies or other specific illnesses that could worsen during the intensive outdoor activities and sun exposure. The average autumn temperature in the area is 25°C or higher. All participants should bring clothes and cosmetics suitable for hot and sunny weather for the day additional wardrobe for the night. Participants will use the tools and equipment available at the site and are not expected to bring any additional equipment.

Travel guide:
Airports – The nearest airport is Alexander the Great – Skopje (20 km from the center of the city), then Sofia Airport in Bulgaria (220 km from Skopje) and Thessaloniki Airport in Greece (250 km from Skopje). Other nearby airport is Pristina Airport in Kosovo (90 km from Skopje). The most distant airport is Belgrade Airport in Serbia (450 km from Skopje). If participants arrive by plane on these airports, a transfer to Skopje may be arranged on request [Please, specify this in your application form!]. The price of individual or group transfer may vary depending on both distance and number of passengers, and it ranges from 10 to 30€. Transport by taxi from Skopje Airport to the center of Skopje is approximately 10€, transport by bus from Sofia to Skopje is 15€ and transport by bus from Thessaloniki to Skopje is 20 €. If you want a car transport from one of these airports we can arrange it for you. The price for car transportation depends on the proximity of the airport.

Bus and Train Station: The Bus and Train Station are in the center of Skopje. There are daily and weekly bus arrivals from almost all major cities in Europe. For train arrivals you can see the attached time table from Macedonian Railway Company.

Important notice:
Participants who are coming in groups of more than 3 people and participants who will pay until 1st August will get 10% discount.

Period(s) of Occupation:
Roman-Late Roman; Late Medieval-Early Ottoman are certain, a number of pre-Roman and prehistoric periods are expected.
Project Size: 1-24 participants
Experience Required: none
Type: Survey
Start Date: September 25, 2012
End Date: October 15, 2012
Minimum Stay: One session
Cost: Cost: € 350 or $ 445
Room & Board Included: Yes
Positions Available: Students, Volunteer
Minimum Age: 18
Application Deadline: September 20, 2012
Response: September 20, 2012

All participants will stay in the guest rooms of the monastery of Ss Konstantine and Hellena. Two meals (breakfast and lunch) per day are covered by the admission fee. Some of the meals represent the traditional Macedonian cuisine. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. All participants will arrive in Skopje and together with the project coordinators will travel to the place for the camp.

Academic Credit: Yes
Academic Institution: Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities Research “Euro-Balkan”, Skopje, R. Macedonia
Number of credits offered: 5
Tuition: € 250 or $ 318
Contact Information
Radomir Ivanovic
Bul V.S.Bato 19/1-23
Skopje, 1000

Trainers: Director/ Project Organiser: MA. Damjan Donev, PhD candidate at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands
Organisation or Institution: NGO Archaeologica
Workshops and field trainings:
–Preliminary research of the site
–Prospection of the site and surrounding area
–Site recording
–Use of tools and equipment (working methods)
–Methodology of non-destructive archaeology
–Field journal
–Photo documentation
–Pottery washing
–Introduction to archaeological documentation and pottery drawing

Weekend activities/ Excursions: Participants will have one guided excursion.
–First Saturday: Guided tour through on the archaeological site Stobi and its museum. Stobi was an ancient town of Paeonia, later conquered by Macedon, and later turned into the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia Salutaris (now in the Republic of Macedonia). It is located on the main road that leads from the Danube to the Aegean Sea and is considered by many to be the most famous archaeological site in the Republic of Macedonia. Stobi was built where the Erigón river (mod. River Crna) joins the Axiós river (mod. Vardar), making it important strategically as a center for both trade and warfare.

Note: Every participant is required to pay a deposit check amounting to 10% of the total cost. This deposit check is not payable back.

Application Form Klepa


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