The Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project: history, aims, and outcomes

Shawn Ross, Adela Sobotkova, Simon Connor

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This Final Report is the principal outcome of Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project (TRAP) fieldwork conducted between 2009 and 2011, as well as associated studies that continued through 2015. Research focused on two study areas: the Kazanlak Valley and the Thracian Plain south of Yambol. TRAP was the first international, multidisciplinary, diachronic landscape archaeology project of its kind in Bulgaria. This chapter contextualises TRAP's research program by telling the story of the project, including both successes and challenges. Here, we recount how the diverse investigators came to undertake a large-scale field project in Bulgaria, how the study areas and research approaches were selected, and how project objectives evolved. We also describe how the project was structured and operated. Project leaders strove to use best practices from landscape archaeology as it is practiced elsewhere in the Mediterranean, and introduced new digital approaches to field recording. Project aims ranged from the documentation of archaeological heritage for cultural heritage management to the investigation of settlement patterns and their evolution in historical and environmental context. Key objectives were met. The project team, including over 100 students, volunteers, and other participants, covered over 100 sq km in pedestrian survey, and conducted trial excavations, palaeoenvironmental research, and related investigations over five field seasons. Key outcomes include a 30,000-year palaeoecological record and an inventory of over 100 flat sites and 800 burial mounds, allowing a re-evaluation of long-term changes in subsistence strategies and social organisation in Thrace.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project
Subtitle of host publicationSurface Survey, Palaeoecology, and Associated Studies in Central and Southeast Bulgaria, 2009-2015 Final Report
EditorsShawn Ross, Adela Sobotkova, Georgi Nekhrizov, Julia Tzvetkova, Simon Connor
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxbow Books
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781789250541
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • ancient Thrace
  • arcaeological survey
  • landscape archaeology
  • palaeoecology
  • palaeoenvironment
  • Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project


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