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ArchaeologyPart of HumanitiesPostgraduate study

Mr Pavel Yordanov Georgiev BA, MA

Postgraduate research student, Centre for Maritime Archaeology, Archaeologist, Centre for Underwater Archaeology, Sozopol

Mr Pavel Yordanov Georgiev's photo

Pavel Y. Georgiev is a Postgraduate Research student at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology with interests in the human response to the changes in the coastal environment and digital documentation of cultural heritage as means to bequeath our discoveries to future generations.

Understanding the past will allow us to better prepare for the future

I graduated with honours my BA in Archaeology from the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria in 2014. Already during my studies there, I was fascinated by maritime archaeology and its immense potential to provide insight into the human past. From the same university, I hold two MA Hons one in archaeology with a focus on conservation and restoration of cultural artefacts and one in archaeometry which is on digital photogrammetry of a submerged multiperiod archaeological site. In the course of my higher education, I developed strong critical thinking and a desire to have an unbiased view of the question at hand. Those motives inspired my interest in interdisciplinary studies as means to support and enrich archaeological research. It also gave me a specific attitude that it is quality and not quantity that provides the best results.

My career in underwater archaeology started in 2017 when I joined in the underwater excavation in the bay of the Ropotamo river. It was part of the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (BSMAP), an international collaboration with no previous analogue. The main partners of which were the Centre for Maritime Archaeology (CMA), the University of Southampton and the Centre for Underwater Archaeology (CUA) to the Ministry of Culture, Bulgaria. Without exaggerating this was a life-changing event that set my path to discover, record and present the submerged secrets of the past. It led me in 2018 to a full-time appointment as an archaeologist in the CUA  and in 2020 I was awarded the “Hristina Angelova” scholarship by the Expedition and Education Foundation, England (EEFE) for a PhD in the CMA.

To facilitate my interest in underwater archaeology in 2013 I received my first recreational diving qualification of CMAS* diver. After many years of hard training that culminated in 2018 when I became CMAS * instructor and also acquired a CMAS Scientific diver certificate in 2014. Furthermore, I  underwent training in “Basic Offshore Safety Induction & Emergency Training” and “CA-EBS Initial Deployment Training” for offshore work. Qualifications that are essential for the archaeological survey on commercial activities in open seas.

Research interests

My main area of study is human creativity and adaptation to the changes of their environment. From submerged prehistoric settlements to inundated harbours. Brought forth of my work on underwater sites on the Black Sea and abroad. Another passion of mine is the implementation of digital technologies in archaeological research for more accurate and swift results. In particular the use of digital photogrammetry and laser scanning for documentation.

PhD research

My PhD thesis researches the submerged prehistoric sites at the bay of Ropotamo river and the harbour of Sozopol in light of the 4th millennia BC. It is a period of major changes on the Balkan peninsula on all levels of human society. A transition from the Late Copper (Chalcolithic) Age (LCA) to the Early Bronze age (EBA) that is marked by a hiatus of several hundred of years. For that, the two sites provide a good opportunity in Ropotamo bay are the remains of an EBA settlement and in the harbour of Sozopol is a LCA settlement with an EBA overlapping it. We are hoping that by high-resolution documentation and analysis of the sediments combined with dendrochronology and 14C dating, to give more insight of the causality of the process during the 4th mil. BC.

PhD supervisors

Prof. Jonathan Adams, Prof. Fraser Sturt and Prof. Justin Dix.

Research projects

As an underwater archaeologist to the CUA I have worked on several surveys and rescue excavations in connection to infrastructure projects and on annual projects on the Black Sea and abroad:

  • The prehistoric settlements at the harbour of Sozopol, Bulgaria, 2020 to present.
  • The international EXPLO project in Lake Ohrid, Northern Macedonia and Albania, 2018, 2019, 2021.
  • The submerged fortifications of the ancient Nesebar, Bulgaria, from 2017 to present.
  • The multiperiod site at the bay of the Ropotamo river, Bulgaria, 2017 – 2020.
  • Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project, Bulgaria. 2017.

Research group

Centre for Maritime Archaeology

Affiliate research groups

Archaeological Computing, Maritime Archaeology

Archaeologist at the Centre for Underwater Archaeology to the Ministry of Culture, Bulgaria. Responsible for the operation and utilizing the equipment for digital recordings such as photogrammetry, computing and GNS systems. As well as on-site management during fieldwork.

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Since 2019 I lead the digital photogrammetry for underwater archaeology workshop in the Balkan Heritage Foundation summer field school. Which is annually conducted in the waters around the ancient town of Nesebar. In addition, I give seminars and presentations on digital photogrammetry and its application in the CUA’s projects. Also, I carry out an introductory course in underwater archaeology during the training for CMAS Scientific diver qualification which is conducted by the Bulgarian National Association of Underwater Activity.

Mr Pavel Yordanov Georgiev
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton
Avenue Campus, Highfield
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom
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