Filozofická Fakulta
Ústav pro klasickou arecheologii
Ústav pro klasickou arecheologii


Archaeological excavation in Vetren/Pistiros, Bulgaria

Project team: prof. PhDr. Jan Bouzek, DrSc. et alii.

Project overview: The Thracian site of Pistiros was first settled in the late 6th century B.C. It is located on the Marica River, at the edge of the Thracian Plain, and as such, the discovery of a Greek city so far from the coast came as a great surprise, not least because of the discovery of a Greek inscription detailing a treaty between the Odrysian kings and the citizens of Pistiros. The city was fortified with a rectangular street plan in the 3rd quarter of the 5th century B.C. by colonists from Maroneia and Thasos, both on the north Aegean coast. As Pistiros was an emporion, the new citizens also kept the citizenships of their mother cities. Fine Greek pottery of the 6th – 3rd centuries B.C. is recorded, with 4th century ‘Kerch’ vases and drinking vessels being best represented. The town was destroyed in 279/8 B.C. during the Celtic foray into Thrace, the same Celtic invasion that laid waste to Delphi, but a smaller settlement survived on the site of Pistiros which primarily focused on metalworking.

We were first invited by our Bulgarian friends in 1991, a site survey took place in 1992, and the excavation proper started in 1993 and continues to this day. We have uncovered part of the fortification, two house complexes at the west end of the city, and are currently working on three houses with porticoes. The project relies on the cooperation of the University of Liverpool and University of Bradford in the UK, as well as the French Archeological School in Athens, the Archaeological Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and the Septemvri Archaeological Museum as the relevant center for the district in which the site is located. 

For more information, see the portal of the Pistiros project [in Czech].


  • Pistiros I.
  • Pistiros II. 
  • Pistiros III.
  • Pistiros IV. Bouzek J - Domaradzka, L. - Archibald, Z. A. (eds.) 2011. Pistiros IV. Prague: Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Arts
  • Pistiros V. Bouzek, J. - Domaradzka, L. - Gotzev, A. - Archibald, Z. A. (eds.) 2013. Pistiros V. Prague: Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Arts
  • Pistiros VI (forthcoming). Prague: Karolinum

Excavation seasons: 2000, 2007 and 2008.


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