Avgusta Traiana
We have not yet received information about 2011 excavations at this site. For more information, please contact the excavation organizers directly using the information below, at right.

Rescue Roman Ruins . . . in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian city of Stara Zagora, like many towns in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, was built atop the debris from thousands of years of continuous human settlement. Most famously, the modern city hides the remnants of the major walled Roman town of Avgusta Traiana, originally founded by the emperor Trajan in 107 A.D. Avgusta Traiana expanded under subsequent emperors and became the second largest city of the Thracian province. Although the Roman town was ultimately destroyed by successive attacks from Goths, Huns, Avars and Slavs, the sixth century saw the establishment of the new town of Beroe on the earlier ruins. During the Medieval period, Beroe became an important and often contested political and administrative center of the Byzantine and Bulgarian empires.

Biblical Archaeology: From the Ground Down

How does a dig team work? What do archaeologists look for at a dig? In this documentary DVD, learn how excavators work and what we can learn from archaeology. More information.

Because so much history is buried beneath Stara Zagora, all new construction projects begin with an archaeological study of the proposed building site. For over 50 years, archaeologists from the city’s museum have worked diligently to rescue, record and preserve as many of the area’s archaeological treasures as possible. In the process, they have helped locate the walls and gates of the Roman city, discovered one of its major forums, and uncovered fragments of public baths, streets and private buildings. In 2009, the excavators anticipate they will be conducting rescue excavations in at least six different areas of the city, presumably uncovering Roman and Byzantine levels.
Volunteers will be housed two to three to a room in a comfortable hotel. Rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, televisions and full bathrooms. The hotel is located next to a sports complex with tennis courts, jogging tracks and swimming pools.

Georgi Iliev

Georgi Iliev is the director of the Avgusta Traiana excavation and heads the Department of Classical and Late Antique Archaeology at the Stara Zagora Regional History Museum.

Dig Directors

Georgi Iliev

Geographic Location

Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

Periods of Occupation

Roman, Late Antique, Medieval

Dates of the Dig

Session 1: July 19-August 2, 2009
Session 2: August 2-16, 2009

Minimum Stay

Two weeks

Application Due

June 15, 2009



Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

No (but students receive field school certificate)


Hotel in Stara Zagora


Balkan Heritage Field School

Open for tours

Yes (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)