The Balkan Heritage Foundation and the Department of Archaeology at New Bulgarian University started the series BEMA online seminars in Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology in the beginning of 2021. The lectures cover a broad range of topics from the fields of archaeology, anthropology, heritage conservation and management, art history, museum studies, etc. Timewise, the seminars include the prehistoric period, the Copper Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the classical and medieval periods according to European and Near Eastern periodization, but are not limited to them.

‘Bema’ (βῆμα) means orators’ podium in Greek and in the spirit of the ancient Greeks the BEMA online seminars offer a platform for specialists to spread their knowledge to an interested audience from around the globe. We hope that our international guest lecturers will represent the diversity in research in their respective fields.

The geographical focus of the lectures falls on Southeastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Caucasus region but can also expand to areas thematically or geographically related to them.

All lectures are presented in English. They take place on Zoom and are available for free upon subscription. To register your interest and receive a Zoom link, please contact bhfs.admissions@gmail.com

Find out about past and upcoming seminars below.

Tell-Yunatsite-Southern-Bulgaria
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Tell Yunatsite, Southern Bulgaria. Recent excavations and new insights on the Chalcolithic in Thrace

In the BEMA Online Seminar on February 05, 2022 Dr. Kamen Boyadzhiev, will talk about the Recent excavations and new insights on the Chalcolithic in Thrace located in Yunatsite, Southern Bulgaria.

The Kitten Shipwreck and Ottoman Period Shipbuilding and Seafaring on the Western Black Sea

Dr. Kroum Batchvarov – Associate Professor of Maritime Archaeology at the University of Connecticut presented the the Kitten shipwreck located on the Western Black Sea coast and discuss shipbuilding and seafaring during the Ottoman period.
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The Fate of a Roman Road Station after Antiquity

Alexander Manev (Ph.D. Candidate at NAIM-BAS, Sofia, Bulgaria) presented the results from the excavations of the Roman Road Station Bona Mansio in North-Western Thrace, situated on the main road Via Diagonalis.

Decolonizing the Study of Material Culture in the Hellenistic Far East

Dr. Richard Wenghofer (Nipissing University, Canada) discussed interpretations of the material culture in the Hellenistic Far East and more specifically the kingdoms of Bactria, the Indo-Greek and Indo-Scythian kingdoms.
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Тhe library of the Monastery of St. Catherine's, Sinai

Dr. Nikolas Sarris (National Library of Greece) takes us on a journey through the archaeology of bookbinding and one of the largest collections of early and undisturbed book bindings on manuscripts at the library in St. Catherine's monastery in Sinai, established in the 6th century.

Phoenicians and Cypriots in the Northern Aegean?

Dr. Petya Ilieva (Institute of Balkan Studies and Center for Thracology, Bulgaria) explores the evidence for the presence of Phoenicians and Cypriots in the Northern Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean - objects, people and networks in the Geometric (9th-7th century BCE) and Archaic (7th-5th century BCE) Periods.
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Urban Interactions in the Theater at Philippopolis

Dr. Matthew Shueller (University of North Carolina, US) presents on the topic of ancient entertainment venues such as the 1st century CE theater in Philippopolis (present-day Plovdiv, Bulgaria) - a thriving metropolis in Roman Thrace.

Past and Present Studies of the Submerged Mesambria

Dr. Nayden Prahov (Center for Underwater Archaeology in Sozopol, Bulgaria) talks about the submerged ancient Mesambria (present-day Nessebar, Bulgaria) - a Greek colony founded in the 6th century BCE on the Black Sea Coast. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983.
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Early Byzantine Monastery near Odessos (Varna)

Dr. Vassil Tenekedjiev (Varna Regional Museum of History, Bulgaria) introduces the monastery on Djanavara Hill - one of the biggest and most impressive Early Christian sites not only in the Varna region but also in the northeastern Balkans from the middle of the 5th to the first half of the 7th century CE.
original entry Bacho Kiro Cave

Evidence of modern Homo sapiens from Bacho Kiro Cave

Dr. Tsenka Tsanova (Max Planck Institute, Germany) presents the results from the recent research in the Bacho Kiro Cave in Bulgaria and how they are helping to understand the beginning of Homo sapiens’ appearance in Europe and their interaction with the Neanderthals.
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Trypillia megasites from the 4th millennium BCE

Dr. Bisserka Gaydarska (Durham University, UK and New Bulgarian University) discusses the Trypillia megasites in the steppes of Ukraine and Moldova - the largest known settlements in 4th millennium BCE Europe and possibly the world.