PIAPAN Archaeological Project

This listing expired on June 1, 2020. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Nepeña District, Peru

Season: June 7, 2020 to August 1, 2020

Session Dates: Session 1: (Jun 7-Jul 4, 2020) Session 2: (Jul 5-Aug 1, 2020)

Application Deadline: April 3, 2020

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Institute for Field Research (IFR)

Project Director:
Jenna Hurtubise, Erell Hubert, Geoff McCafferty

Project Description:

During the Late Intermediate Period (A.D. 1000-1400) the Chimú, a militaristic empire on the Peruvian coast, conducted a series of expansions conquering the Lambayeque to the north and the Casma to the south. While past research has viewed conquered groups as static and passive receptors to foreign influence, current research suggests that locals respond in multiple ways based on their own world views, agendas, and values. This project focuses on examining how the Casma in the Nepeña valley responded during and after Chimú conquest and how these responses allowed them to persist. Since 2017, the project directors have excavated at the Casma settlement of Pan de Azúcar de Nepeña to examine Casma-Chimú interactions and how local elites reacted to Chimú conquest. Pan de Azúcar de Nepeña consists of a large fortified adobe stepped platform that is surrounded by 13 mounds and a large necropolis. Participants will gain excavation skills through uncovering elite Casma and Chimú material culture and intact buried buildings in the mounds, as well as excavating burials in the necropolis to examine Casma-Chimú interactions. Participants will also gain basic ceramic, textile, and skeletal analysis skills. Students will stay in a field house located in the hospitable town of Nepeña. Aside from excavation and laboratory analysis, participants will learn about Peruvian prehistory through lectures and field trips, one of which will be overnight in the beach town Huanchaco to visit Chan Chan and Huacas de Moche.

Period(s) of Occupation: Middle Horizon to Late Intermediate Period (A.D. 600 - 1450)

If you are interested please go the project website and fill out the application forms and submit two references. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jenna Hurtubise.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No experience is required.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will be housed in a large three-story, fully furnished field house in Nepeña, a small town that is 30 minutes away from Chimbote on the coast. Bedrooms are double-occupancy and are designated male and female. There are two shared bathrooms with heated showers. The kitchen is fully stocked and is available for students to use. There is no WiFi at the house. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided Monday to Saturday. Lunch will be provided and delivered in the field. On Sundays, students are on their own for food, which there are multiple options for food, including cooking at the house and restaurants in Nepeña. The project’s cook is able to accommodate celiac disease, lactose intolerance, food allergies, and those who are vegetarian. Specialized diets such as keto and vegan are difficult to accommodate. Drinking water will also be provided as well as is available for personal purchase in Nepeña.

Academic Credit:
8 Semester Credit Units (equivalent to 12 Quarter Units) ($4310) There is the option to opt out of credit and you will receive a $300 discount.

Contact Information:

Jenna Hurtubise

350 Marrs Spring Rd




United States

Phone: (225) 572-6804

support Us

The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.

Post a Fieldwork Opportunity