El Campanario Archaeological Project. Huarmey – Peru (Bioarchaeology and Archaeology Fieldwork)

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

Location: Huarmey, PE

Season: July 13, 2020 to August 14, 2020

Application Deadline: March 13, 2020

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:

RPA Certified:

Project Director:
Jose L. Pena, Ph.D. candidate. Anthropology Instructor

Project Description:

El Campanario Archaeological Project stated in 2015 with the aim of understanding the nature of the Casma polity, a pre-Inca society that flourished on the north coast of Peru between A.D. 700 and 1400. The Casma polity is relatively unknown and there are few Casma sites that have been excavated. The initial excavations conducted at the El Campanario site 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, as well as the extraction of marine resources. In 2018, the project started the excavation of an adobe (mud-brick) platforms and the cemetery which provided information about Casma public architecture and mortuary practices. Various construction events were recorded during the excavation of the platform which indicated a period of remodeling and extension of public architecture by the Casma elite. In addition, excavations at the cemetery provided information about Casma people, such as mortuary practices, access to resources and health conditions.

The main objective of El Campanario Archaeological Project in 2019 is to continue the excavation at the adobe platform and the cemetery. Participants will learn excavation methods, mapping, profile drawing, recognizing cultural layers of occupation, identifying human remains, and recovering and identifying various archaeological material such as pottery, stone tools, textiles, animal bones, seeds, and sea shells. During the laboratory work portion, participants will learn artifact classification, botanical analysis, pottery analysis, textile analysis, and lithic analysis.

El Campanario Archaeological Project will offer two separate fieldwork sections:

Bioarchaeology Section (5 Weeks): This section will consist of excavation of the cemetery and laboratory work. This section will focus on osteology analysis, population demography, funerary rituals, and paleopathologies.

Archaeology Section (5 Weeks): This section will consist of fieldwork and material analysis. In this section participants will spend half of the fieldwork in the excavation of the adobe platform and the other half on the cemetery. This section will also include the analysis of human remains during the laboratory portion.

Period(s) of Occupation: Middle Horizon-Late Intermediate Period (800 - 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 2019 with a focus on excavating a cemetery and the adobe platform.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 5 weeks

Minimum Age: 19

Experience Required: None

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), Chankillo, Las Aldas and Sechin.  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.   Program Cost: 2.300 US dollars

Contact Information:

Jose L. Pena

17033 S Mesa Shadows Drive





Phone: 520 849 7836

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