Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Balkan Heritage Field School

One of the single most important things you can do in order to further your passion is to take a step towards it. With my dream of archaeology and studying the classics under my belt, and a great deal of soul searching, instead I took a step back. Was archaeology something I truly wanted to pursue, or did images of Indiana Jones swim through my head? After quite a bit of research, I decided that a beginning step (and an important one if I decided to pursue archaeology either full time or as a volunteer on digs) was to attend a field school.

There are a lot of options for a field school, depending on the nature of your interests. As I'm primarily interested in Mediterranean archaeology from the Late Bronze Age to the Late Roman Empire, where I would like to go is quite limited. Luckily I stumbled upon the Balkan Heritage Field School.

Established in 2003, the Balkan Heritage Field School is a part of the Balkan Heritage Foundation which is a public, non-governmental, non-profit organization that helps to restore, excavate, educate and protect cultural landmarks. The BHFS happens to have quite a few projects scheduled for 2010, including the one I fell in love with - excavation of Heraclea Lyncestis. This beautiful site still lies mostly hidden from the world, but contains Hellenic, Roman, and Byzantine finds. It was founded in the 4th century by Philip of Macedon and was one of the key trading locations between Asia Minor and Rome.

BCHS was kind enough to accept my application yesterday and I plan on attending next July. What is it about archaeology that makes it such a romanticized profession? In the next six to seven months as my research of the site and culture begins, I look forward to finding out.

To visit the Balkan Heritage Field School's Website, click here.

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