Location: Sveti Nikole, Macedonia
Season: June 2, 2018 to August 22, 2018
Session dates:
Session 1: June 04 – 16, 2018; Session 2: June 18 – 30, 2018; Session 3: July 02 – 14, 2018; Session 4: July 16- 28, 2018;

Application Deadline: Friday, May 25, 2018
Deadline Type: Exact date
Website: www.cfar.mk
Discount for AIA members: 5% discount off the regular admission fee

Program Type: Field school
RPA certified: no


Faculty of Philosophy- Skopje (Institute for Art History and Archaeology); Museum of Sveti Nikole
Project Director:

Professor Viktor Lilchikj Adams PhD(archaeologist)
Project Description

The summer archaeological school titled Ancient Civilization of the Paeonian Kingdom, Sveti Nikole 2018, will start in 2018 in the serene plateau of the Ovchepole Plain near the city of Sveti Nikole, in the vicinity of the ancient city of Bilazora.

Our journey begins with the archeological discovery of several intact Paeonian tumuli near the village of Mechkuevci and Nemanjica, about 10 km east of Sveti Nikole.

This represents a unique opportunity for students and volunteers to gain comprehensive knowledge and practical experience in the ancient civilization of the ancient kingdom of Paeonia.

The project includes three modules:

1. Practical work involving the discovery and documentation of tombs, as well as movable archaeological finds.

2. Lectures on the ancient civilized countries that existed on the territory of the Western Balkans, ecpecially the kingdom of Paeonia.

3. Study excursions including visits of the ancient towns in the Kingdom of Paeonia.

By the end of the workshop the participants will:

– be able to develop basic/further practical skills (depending on the participant’s initial level of qualification) in systematic excavation and documentation of the Paeonian necropolises

– be able to recognize archaic Paeonian and classical graves

– gain insight in constructions and rites, and the typology of the movable archaeological finds

– learn about the history and archaeology of the Early Antique kingdoms (esp. the ancient civilization of the Kingdom of Paeonia) in the Western Balkan countries

– deepen their knowledge by means of a first-hand experience of the Paeonian History, Arts and Archaeology in the region of Ancient Macedonia

– meet professionals who work in the areas of Classical Archaeology

Why did we choose the Ancient kingdom of Paeonia?

The great kingdom of Paeonia was the northern neighbor of the Ancient kingdom of Macedonia. The magnificent Paeonian leaders and kings- Agis, Lycceius, Patraus, Audoleon, Ariston, Leon, Dropion and Bastareus, actively communicated with the kings of Macedonia. In the period of Early Antiquity, Paeonia extended in the valleys of the rivers Vardar (Axius), Bregalnica (Astibus), Strumeshnica (Strumica region) and Babuna (Veles region), as well as the regions of Skopje and Kumanovo in the north.

The royal dynasty had settled in a city in the valley of the Astibus, possibly the city of Bilazora or the city of Astibus, which has not been ubicated yet.

The more significant Paeonian cities such as: Audaristus, Stenae, Antigonea, Yoron, Bragile, Almana, Zapara, Kelenidion, Astraeum, Doberus, Eidomenae, Gortinia and others, have been mentioned in historical and archaeological sources.

The so-called Valley of Kings i.e. the part of the River Astibus, from Shtip to the estuary in Axius, has not been explored yet. It is estimated that there are more than 20,000 graves and tombs of the ancient Paeonians in that area.

The river Astibus, along these 36 kilometers of almost inaccessible area, very much resembles a curved snake.

Our aim is for attendees of the summer schools to become more familiar with the ancient Paeonian inhabitants in this part of the country, their cities and temples, their necropolises and burial customs and their beliefs throughout the passage of the souls along the currents of the river toward the sky or the underground darkness.

Period(s) of Occupation: Period(s) of Occupation: Early Antiquity, Archaic (7th-6th centuries BC), Classical (5th-4th centuries BC), Hellenistic (3rd-1st centuries BC)

Major field school topics/activities: The workshop will enable participants to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in: 1. Archaeological excavations of the ancient Paeonian tumuli, as well as funeral rituals 2. Lectures on the history and archeology of the ancient kingdoms of Paeonia, Pelagonia, Lyncus, as well as other Early Ancient principalities and kingdoms on the territory of the present-day Republic of Macedonia. 3. Study visits of the most important ancient cities and sites within the ancient states of Paeonia. Certificates for a summer school with competences for field research on ancient sites, are available for students through the Center for Archaeological Research, Skopje.
Project size:
1-24 participants
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: one session

Minimum age:
Experience required:
No. The workshop is suitable for beginners (either volunteers or students in archaeology).
Room and Board Arrangements

Room and Board Arrangements

Accomodation: Hotel Ilinden located in Crnilishte, in the vicinity of Sveti Nikole


“Ilinden” Hotel in Crnilishte, vicinity of Sveti Nikole, rooms are single, double, or triple, each including a TV. Each apartment has a bathroom with showers and a toilet, as well as a washing machine and Wi-Fi. There is a large dining room, which can also be utilized for lectures and other academic and extra curricular activities.

Meals: Three meals per day are covered by the admission fee. They usually take place (except the lunch packages during the excursions) at the site’s dining room or outdoors next to it. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, gluten-free etc.) are difficult to maintain in this location.

Participants must pay on their own for extra meals, beverages, services and products!

Admission fee includes: Educational and fieldwork activities, Full-board accommodation (hotel + 3 meals per day), tools, materials, project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance, excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees and administrative costs. Admission fee for two week session is 1350 EUR/ approx.1619 USD
Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none

Contact information:
Viktor Lilchikj Adams
Center for Archaeological Research Field School, Ul.Mavrovska 21, 1060 Skopje
Republic of Macedonia

Recommended Bibliography:

– Lilchikj Adams V., Macedonian Region of Strategia Paeonia, Macedonian Heritage no 38-39, Skopje 2011, 3-71.

– Merker I. L., The ancient Kingdom of Paionia, Balkan Studeis vol. 6, Thessaloniki 1965, 35-54.

– Mitrevski D., Ancient Bylazora the Capital of independent Paeonians, Sveti Nikole 2016, 1-75.

– Pavlovska E., The Coins of Paeonia from the Numismatic Collection of NBRM, Skopje 2008, 1-104.

– Papazoglu F., Les villes de Macedoine a l’epoque Romaine, Bulletin de Correspondance Hellenique, Supplement XVI Paris 1988, 12. La Peonie Orientale: la vallee de l’Axios, 309-328.

– Petrova E., Paeonia in the IInd and Ist millennia BC, Skopje 1999, 1-255.