Location: Puno, Peru
The northern Titicaca area, located in the department of Puno, Peru, is one of the few areas in the world where complex societies independently arose. The archaeological site of Taraco, located on the edge of the Ramís River in the far northern Basin, was one of a few political and economic centers in the region during the late Middle Formative (ca. CE 1300-500). The importance of this site, together with its long, uninterrupted occupation, makes it an ideal locale to study processes of increasing social and political complexity in detail. In the 2014 season we will focus on understanding the development of non-domestic, public forms of architecture at Taraco. The relationship between so-called “corporate” architecture and increasing social and political complexity is well established in the northern Basin, and figures prominently in the wider anthropological and archaeological literature. We will continue our excavation of a sunken court complex situated on the Huayra Mocco Mound (Area I), located across the river from Area A. These excavations will allow us to assess the degree to which Taraco’s political and economic success during the Formative Period was linked to the intensification of civic-ceremonial activities, or with transformations in their forms and organization.
Period(s) of Occupation: Formative Period
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full program
Room and Board Arrangements
Students will live in comfortable, but modest, field housing in the city of Juliaca, and will be provided with hotel lodging while in Puno. The site of Taraco is located at 3,840 meters above sea level (ca. 12,500 feet) so a period of adjustment to the altitude will be necessary and mandatory. Conditions at the field house are basic and hot water is not always guaranteed. Students will likely sleep on bunk beds or on mattresses on the floor and will share large communal rooms. Students will have the option to travel to Puno (approximately 50 minutes from the project house) or other nearby locales on Saturday afternoons; in these cases, hotel accommodations will be provided if necessary. Optional excursions can also be arranged (at an additional cost).