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Take part in archaeological excavations near Veliko Tarnovo

Take part in archaeological excavations near Veliko Tarnovo


The ruins of the ancient Roman town Nicopolis ad Instrum are located near the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo. Archaeological digs take place each year, led by Assoc. Prof. Pavlina Vladkova – ancient archaeology and history expert at Veliko Tarnovo’s Regional Museum of History.

For the first time this summer volunteers of all ages and occupations are invited to join in the fieldwork and unearth with their own hands new chapters of the history of Nicopolis.

You must be ready to: spend at least a week amongst the ruins, get up at the crack of dawn, work hard with the pickaxe, shovel and wheelbarrow, all in the heat of August. The company is expected to be as big as several dozen adventure seekers, the journey back in time is guaranteed, the rest is as much fun as you make out of it.

Please note that all volunteers are asked to cover their travel and accommodation expenses.


The dig is from 1 to 31 August, with 4 days off (Sundays). Work typically starts around 6:30 - 7:00 am. You may join in only for (but not less than) a week.


The Future for Nikyup Association, together with the Municipality of Nikyup and Veliko Tarnovo’s Regional Museum of History.


To experience archaeology firsthand. To help uncover new layers from the cultural and historical heritage of Nicopolis ad Istrum. To have a most unusual and unique summer vacation.


Village of Nikyp, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo.

Skills needed?

No previous archaeological experience or special skills required. Some of the volunteers already on the list are teachers, journalists, university students, designers, retired people and all kinds of adventurous characters from all over Bulgaria. One thing to consider though is that the job is physically demanding and work is done outdoors all the time. You gotta be a tough cookie, come rain or shine. It is also required to be 18 or older.

Necessary equipment?

Work clothes and shoes, sun hat, sunscreen products, raincoat.


All volunteers arrive at Nikyp on their own. Free transport is organized for the daily 3 km commute from the village to the archaeological complex, with support from the TimeHeroes Microfund.


You can buy groceries at the local shop or eat at one of the village restaurants. The organizers have arranged a restaurant menu for all volunteers at a discount rate of 15 BGN per day (breakfast, lunch, dinner).


Volunteers are asked to cover their accommodation expenses. For more information about rates and recommended guest houses in the village, please contact the organizer.

Health risks?

There might be reptiles lurking among the ruins. Some of the ancient walls have become unstable. Stones happen to fall from time to time. August temperatures during the day are 30 °C and above.

All volunteers will have a security briefing on the spot.

How do I take part?

Click the green "I will do it" button and see how to sign up.

// photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis

Sign up by 31 May 2016

The mission is from 1 August 2016 until 31 August 2016

Registration closed


Once a mission you participate in ends, you can tell us how it went in a couple of sentences ("it was great" won't do).

It's simple: after the end we send you instructions - follow them. This way you earn points and rise in rank , others get inspired and we're all happy.

  • Iordanka Atanasova

    Iordanka Atanasova (Future for Nikyup Association)

    С общ брой 25 участника, мисията премина вълнуващо, както за участници, така и за организатори. Създадоха се нови приятелства, а всеки остави в сърцето си спомен от вълнуващите преживявания. От артефактите, които бяха открити по време на разкопките, от участието в организацията и провеждането на Петото издание - Фестивал на динята, посетено от 2500 души, от организацията и провеждането на Първия римски фестивал "Нике - играта и победата" посетен от 4200 души, от разходките до Античния керамичен център в Павликени и Нове край Свищов, Царевец и околностите.Местните хора бяха що за хора са тези доброволци, които вместо на море по време на горещниците са дошли в Никюп и дори си плащат за квартира и храна, за да могат да копаят без пари под жарките лъчи на слънцето. Още повече бяха учудени, че по-голямата част от доброволците са жени. От различни възрасти, с различни интереси, в Никюп се събраха най-сърцатите хора, които имам честта да познавам.


Something's not clear? Ask, we answer quickly.

  • Neda Pavlova

    Neda Pavlova

    Може ли контакт на организатора, защото имам въпрос преди евентуалното ми записване?

  • Iordanka Atanasova

    Iordanka Atanasova (Future for Nikyup Association)

    [email protected] -Йорданка Атанасова
    [email protected] - доц. Владкова

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