El Campanario Archaeological Project. Huarmey - Peru

Location: Huarmey, Peru

May 28, 2018 to June 29, 2018

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 16, 2018

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Flyer: PDF icon ecapapplication-2018.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified


Project Director:

Jose L. Pena, Ph.D. candidate. Adjunct Instructor in Anthropology at HCC-Tampa (USA)

Project Description

El Campanario archaeological research project started in June 2015 with the main goal to understand the socio-political nature of the Casma culture that inhabited the northern coast of Peru between 700-1400 AD. The Casma culture is relatively unknown and there are few Casma sites that have been excavated. The initial excavations conducted at El Campanario Project focused on domestic structures in order to understand the social organization of households and the production activities conducted in these residential areas. The archaeological research at the household level revealed that the Casma inhabitants conducted various production activities that included the manufacture of pottery, textile production, maize-beer production, and extraction of marine resources. In addition, the presence of hair bundles within the household indicates that the Casma people engaged in ritual practices in these residential areas.

The main focus of the summer 2018 El Campanario Project will be the excavation of a cemetery located on the western side of the residential structures previously excavated in 2015-2016. The primary objective of this excavation will be to gather information about the health, life expectancy, stature and other physical characters of the Casma population through the analysis of human remains. Additional studies of these burials will provide more insights on Casma ritual practices and belief system.   

This is a hands on project in which students will be involved in archaeological research (excavation and material analysis) during this five week field school program. Students participating in this field school will learn  excavation methods, mapping, profile drawing, recognize cultural layers of occupation, identify human remains, recover and identify various archaeological material such as pottery, stone tools, textiles, animal bones, seeds, and sea shells. In addition, students will learn to recognize architectonic features such as walls, doorways, deposits, and kitchen. During the laboratory work portion of this field school, students will learn artifact classification, botanical analysis, pottery analysis, textile analysis, and lithic analysis.



Period(s) of Occupation: Middle Horizon-Late Intermediate Period (700 - 1400 A.D.)

The El Campanario Archeological Project started in June of 2015 in order to obtain information about household activities and social interaction among the El Campanario inhabitants. The excavation conducted at El Campanario provided significant information about the Casma polity, which occupied the northern coast of Peru. The excavation work at the site will continue in the summer of 2018 with a focus on excavating a cemetery located on the western side of El Campanario.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 5 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

What the cost include: pickup at Lima airport, accommodation in Lima and Huarmey, transportation from Lima to Huarmey and from Huarmey to the site, 3 meals a day for 6 days a week (5 weeks) in Huarmey, field trip to Caral (Supe Valley). 

What the cost does not include: Airfare, meals while in Lima, weekend meals in Huarmey, academic credits and travel insurance, and other personal expenses.

Living accommodations will be in the city of Huarmey, which is about a 20 minute drive to the El Campanario archaeological site.   

Be advised that living accommodations will be basic in that the locale will have running water and electricity; internet connectivity may not be guaranteed but there are ample internet cafes located throughout the city of Huarmey. Students will have to most likely have to share room and bathroom.


2.000 US dollars

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered Academic Credits: El Campanario Archaeological Project (ECAP) does not offer academic credits to participants. However, the project team lead is willing to work with students to aid them in obtaining credits through their own academic institutions.


Contact Information
Jose Pena
8206 Muddy Pines Place
813 391 7574
Recommended Bibliography: 

William M Bass

1995 Human Osteology: A laboratory and field manual of the human skeleton. Missouri Archaeological Society, Missouri.

Jane E. Buikstra, y Douglas H. Ubelaker

1994 Standards for data collection from human skeletal remains. Arkansas Archaeological Survey, Fayetteville.

Justin Jennings  

2010   Becoming Wari: Globalization and the Role of the Wari State in the Cotahuasi Valley of Southern Peru. In Beyond Wari Walls: Regional Perspectives on Middle Horizon Peru, edited by Justin Jennings, pp37-56. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

John Jenusek

2004   Identity and Power in the Ancient Andes, Routledge, London.

Melissa Vogel

2011    Style and Interregional interactions; ceramic form the Casma capital of El Purgatorio. Nawpa Pacha Journal of Andean Archaeology, volume 31, number 2, pp 201-224.

2016      The Casma city of el Purgatorio (Book)