Department of Ancient History

Dr Adela Sobotkova

Research Fellow

Adela SobotkovaPhD, University of Michigan

Office: W6A 510
Telephone: (02) 9850 7085




Dr Adela Sobotkova has joined the Department of Ancient History in 2015. She is a Research Fellow and will be researching socio-cultural evolution among the Ancient Thracians and teaching into the new Archaeology Programme.

Adela comes from the Czech Republic, where she got a MA degree in Art History, Classical Archaeology and Cultural studies at the Masaryk University in Brno. She went on to PhD studies at the Interdepartmental Programme of Classical Art and Archaeology (IPCAA), at the University of Michigan which she finished in 2012.  Adela has 15 years of field experience at excavations, surveys and artefact processing projects in different parts of the Mediterranean and Continental Europe, including Lisbon, Portugal; Xanten, Germany; Musov, Czech Republic; Chersonesos, Ukraine/currently Russia; Anrdos, Greece; Tel-Kedesh, Israel; and others. She has been co-supervising the Tundzha Regional Archaeological Project (TRAP) in Bulgaria since 2008 (with Dr. Shawn Ross) with funding from the ARC Linkage scheme, America for Bulgaria Foundation, University of Michigan, INSTAP and other sources. Adela wrote her thesis on the evolution of social complexity in Ancient Thrace, using survey data collected by TRAP.  Her thesis brackets the 1st millennium BC when Thracian society underwent fundamental social and political changes, due to both indigenous developments and the influence of Greco-Macedonian and Persian cultures. After her graduate studies, Adela spent two years at UNSW Australia as a Research Fellow, managing the development of Federated Archaeological Information Management Systems (FAIMS) project, an Australian National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) award, aimed at developing a collaborative internet-based platform for digital archaeological research.

Research Interests

Adela's interests include the archaeology and history (both environmental and socio-cultural) of the Black Sea region and northern Balkans, with a special focus on local trajectories of (non-)state formation. Adela is interested in the human-environmental interactions, specifically the approaches to measuring human impact on the landscape. Adela applies the framework of the adoption of innovation to her study of social evolution. She is interested in the socio-technic barriers to innovation, and archaeological evidence for resistance to social changes. In terms of methodological expertise, Adela specializes in landscape archaeology approaches, including regional surface survey, paperless archaeology, data management and the application of GIS and remote sensing to large-scale archaeological problems.

Grants and awards

  • 2013 - Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grant "Federated Archaeological Information Management System: Transforming archaeology through digital technologies". Chief Investigator. We were awarded AUD 735,000 for the deployment of the tools developed in 2013.
  • 2012 - National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR), eResearch Tools program (RT043). Development coordinator, "Federated Archaeological Information Management Systems". Circa AUD $950,000 for development of mobile device applications, database interoperability tools, knowledge discovery strategies, and other resources for archaeological information management. 2012-2013. NeCTAR is an Australian Government project and Super Science initiative financed by the Education Investment Fund.
  • 2010 - America for Bulgaria Foundation, International Collaborative Archaeological and Bioarchaeological Research Program Award for continued work on TRAP project in Bulgaria, USD 49,900.
  • 2010 - University of Michigan Pre-doctoral Award, USD 27,000.
  • 2009  - Australian Research Council Linkage Grant. AUD 117,000 for three years archaeological research and cultural resource management in Bulgaria. ARC, 2009-2011: Partner Investigator.
  • 2009  - Geo Eye Foundation satellite imagery grant in the value of USD 8,500
  • 2009  - Institute for the Study of Aegean Prehistory Grant. Circa USD 7,000 for archaeological research at the Tundzha Regional Archaeological Project (TRAP), Bulgaria.
  • 2009  - American Research Center in Sofia 9-month fellowship for research in Bulgaria in fall 2008-spring 2009 in the value of $14,000

Current research projects

FAIMS project - ongoing development and deployment of the FAIMS Mobile platforms on field projects around the Globe. The assessment of technological adoption among archaeologists and the main obstacles to adoption of a new tool.

TRAP project - currently in a study season with annual small-scale bridging projects focusing on topics such as geochemistry and subsistence strategies, feasibility of OSL dating of the Thracian burial mounds and legacy data verification in the Yambol Region in collaboration with the local museum and the Charles University in Prague.


Select papers

  • Ross, R., B. Ballsun-Stanton, A.Sobotkova, P. Crook. "Building the Bazaar: Enhancing archaeological field recording through an open source approach", Open Source Archaeology (in press)
  • Sobotkova, A. "Settlement Evolution in the Middle Tundzha River valley from the Early Iron Age through the Roman period". Settlement Life in Ancient Thrace, 5th International Symposium, Yambol, 7. - 9. November 2012,   Historical Museum of Yambol Press (forthcoming).
  • Sobotkova, A., B. Ballsun-Stanton, S. Ross, P.Crook. 2014 "Arbitrary Offline Data Capture on all of your Androids: The FAIMS Mobile Platform" Across Space and Time. Selected Papers from the 41st Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Conference (Perth, WA, 25-28 March 2013).
  • Ross, S., A. Sobotkova, B. Ballsun-Stanton, and P. Crook. 2013. "Creating eResearch Tools for Archaeologists: The Federated Archaeological Information Management Systems Project." Australian Archaeology 77:107-119.
  • Sobotkova, A. 2013 "Resisting Rule in Ancient Thrace" in Manoledakis, M: Exploring the Hospitable Sea; Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Black Sea in Antiquity held in Thessaloniki, 21-23 September 2012. Archaeopress, BAR, Oxford, 133-146.
  • Connor, S.E., Shawn A. Ross, Adela Sobotkova, Scott Mooney, Andrew I.R. Herries, Ilia Illiev. 2013. "Agricultural expansion stalled by early-Holocene aridity on the Thracian Plain, SE Bulgaria." Quaternary Science Reviews 68, 200-215.
  • Ross, S., A. Sobotkova, S. Connor, and I. Iliev. 2010. "An interdisciplinary pilot project in the environs of the ancient city of Kabyle, Bulgaria". Archeologia Bulgarica 14.2: 69-85.
  • Sobotkova, A., and S. Ross. 2010. "High-resolution, multi-spectral satellite imagery and extensive archaeological prospection:  Case studies from Apulia, Italy, and Kazanluk, Bulgaria" (pp. 25-28). Space, Time, and Place 2009: The Third International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology (Tiruchirappali, India, 17-21 August 2009). Archaeopress.
  • Ross, S., A. Sobotkova, and G.-J. Burgers. 2009. "Remote sensing and archaeological prospection:  A case study from Apulia, Italy". Journal of Field Archaeology 34.4 (December): 423-437.