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 2021. The lectures cover a broad range of topics from the fields of archaeology, anthropology, heritage conservation and management, art history, museum studies, etc.

‘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

Find out about past and upcoming seminars below.

Тhe library of the Monastery of St. Catherine's, Sinai

Dr. Nikolas Sarris talks about 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 talks about 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.
roman-theater- plovdiv

Urban Interactions in the Theater at Philippopolis

Dr. Matthew Shueller 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 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.
byzantine-monastery-djanavara-varna-aerial- view

Early Byzantine Monastery near Odessos (Varna)

Dr. Vassil Tenekedjiev 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 CaveTsenka Tsanova

Evidence of modern Homo sapiens from Bacho Kiro Cave

Dr. Tsenka Tsanova talks about the results from the recent research in the Bacho Kiro Cave and how they are helping to understand the beginning of Homo sapiens’ appearance in Europe and their interaction with the Neanderthals.

Trypillia megasites from the 4th millennium BCE

Dr. Bisserka Gaydarska discusses the Trypillia megasites in the steppes of Ukraine and Moldova - the largest known settlements in 4th millennium BCE Europe and possibly the world.