Enrolment of volunteers in the international project "Volunteers Of The Bolgar World Heritage" has started. The international volunteer camp will work in Bolgar in the Republic of Tatarstan from July 21 to August 2, 2019. The project participants will be 15 Russian and foreign volunteers speaking English, at the age of 18 to 35 years old. They will carry out work on the preservation and development of the Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex , and will also attend lectures, workshops on traditional crafts and excursions.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex, is located on the banks of the Volga River to the south of the confluence of the Kama River, south of Kazan. It contains evidence of the existence of the medieval town of Bolgar, the ancient settlement of the Volga Bulgars - the people who lived there from VII to XV century. In the XIII century, the town became the first capital of the Golden Horde, and remained an important trading center in the Kazan Khanate period. Bolgar was located at the crossroads of trade routes, being the center of economic, cultural and political ties. It illustrates the interaction of nomadic and settled cultures. Bolgar is also a symbolic reminder of the adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgars in 922 and remains a place of pilgrimage for Muslims.
Despite the fact that a lot is already known about Bolgar, at the moment excavations have been carried out only on 5% of the area of the complex and 95% still remain unexplored. The object occupies 424 hectares in total.
The UNESCO World Heritage Volunteers Initiative was created to involve young people in the preservation and development of World Heritage sites around the world in 2008. Under initiative 359 volunteer camps were conducted at 142 World Heritage sites in 61 countries of the world with the participation of more than 3,500 volunteers in 2008-2018. Volunteer camps under the UNESCO initiative are conducted by non-profit organizations and educational institutions.
"Volunteers of the Bolgar World Heritage" is the annual project of the the Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Museum Reserve. The participants of the first camp were 32 people from six countries of the world in 2017. Volunteers took part in archaeological excavations, field processing and conservation of archaeological finds, and also assisted museum staff in working with visitors. The participants of the second camp were 15 people from seven countries of the world in 2018. Volunteers took part in the digitization of the archaeological collections of the Bolgar Museum Reserve and in the archaeological excavations. They also translated the site of the World Heritage Site into English.
In 2019, the project is being implemented with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan, ANO "Gudsurfing", the Russian Geographical Society, the Russian Scientific Research Institute for Cultural and Natural Heritage named after D.S. Likhachyov and NKO "European Heritage Volunteers".
Applications for participation are submitted online until May 31, 2019. Applications are submitted in English.