San Miguel de Piura; First Spanish Settlement in Peru

This listing expired on September 30, 2018. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Lima, PI, PE

Season: June 1, 2018 to August 1, 2018

Session Dates: June 1 st - July 1st; July 2nd - August 1st

Application Deadline: April 15, 2018

Deadline Type: Contact for details


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

Universidad de Piura

Project Director:
César Astuhuamán, Ph.D.

Project Description:

The Universidad de Piura, one of the leading research institutions in the Peruvian North Coast, announces the first season of the archaeological field school “San Miguel de Piura, first Spanish foundation in Peru (1534 d.C.)”. Fieldwork will take place at the archaeological site of San Miguel de Piura, located in the Morropon province, La Matanza district, in the northern city of Piura. Our field school has a strong research background since it derives from the ongoing research project that the Universidad de Piura, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and the Municipalidad Distrital de La Matanza have been conducting in San Miguel de Piura since 1999, under the authorization of the Ministry of Culture.

San Miguel de Piura, also known as Piura la Vieja, was the first colonial town founded by the Spanish conquerors in the South Pacific area. It is one of the few early colonial cities that still preserves its16th-century layout, which makes it an invaluable source of information for the archaeologists and historians. The city was composed by a main square surrounded by a hospital, a church, a Mercedarian monastery and its church, and the houses of authorities and conquerors (Encomenderos). It also was the main northern entrance to Peru and as such it hosted several important personalities, like the first viceroy of Peru, Blasco Nuñez Vela. Although San Miguel is mainly known for its colonial occupation, it also has a long prehispanic history which is evidenced by the presence of important inca and preinca buildings ( around 1000 d.C.).

This academic program offers personalized training in archaeological fieldwork in historical contexts and introduces students to the most important methods and concepts of archaeological fieldwork and laboratory analysis. Specifically, training will include survey, excavation, architectural and laboratory analysis. In this way, students will be able to understand the processes behind the settlement planning of San Miguel and the history of its occupants. Likewise, students will have hands-on experience in preservation and analysis of amazingly well-preserved botanical remains, ceramics, textiles, lithics, animal and human bones, among others. Additionally, workshops on a variety of subjects will be carried out each weekend to complement the training, which will include visits to the most representative touristic sites and traditional communities in Piura. Our program offers academic credits (*), depending on each student’s request, which can be submitted to the student’s home institution.

The region’s capital, the city of Piura, is only an hour and a half away from the site of San Miguel. In Piura, students will find hotels, supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and plenty touristic sites to visit during the weekends. Students will spend the nights in a family hosted lodge, located 15 minutes away from the archaeological site. All costs include lodging facilities, food, pick up and drop off at Piura’s airport and working material.

Period(s) of Occupation: Inca - Early Colonial Period

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will stay in a local hotel, 20 minutes away from the site. There will be acces to water, internet, electricity, drugstores, stores and other facilities. All of this is included in the tuition cost. Cost:

Academic Credit:
4-6 credits offered by Universidad de Piura, see flyer for more details. Tuition is See flyer for details.

Contact Information:

Andrea Gonzales

Av. Ramón Mugica 131, Urb. San Eduardo.




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