Topic ID #30382 - posted 12/17/2013 3:16 PM

Colombia- Ciudad Perdida Field School




Dates: June 20 - July 20, 2014

Project Description: Ciudad Perdida is one of the largest in a network of Tayrona sites, polities that inhabited the Sierra Nevada for more than a millennium and until the European contact (CE 200-1,600). Relationships between Ciudad Perdida and other sites are still unclear and this project is focused on clarifying temporal, cultural, political and economic connections within this network.  The 2014 season is dedicated to mapping out flagstone paths leading in and out of the city, as well as shovel testing, conservation and reconstruction work on collapsed structures at the site.  Stratigraphic details will be carefully recorded and artifacts buried in terrace fill recovered and cataloged as students learn survey, excavation and conservation techniques. 

This field school is physically, intellectually and emotionally demanding.  Students will hike three days in and out of the site in challenging terrain.  At Ciudad Perdida, students will live at the local research station, in tropical jungle conditions and with limited contact with the outside world. This program is for fit students only. Please consider carefully whether this program is for you before applying.


Academic Credits: Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through Connecticut College.

Total Cost: $3,850

Accommodations: During the hike to Ciudad Perdida, students will stay in lodges used by tourists. The first night you will sleep in a hammock. Lodges on the second night have bunk beds. While at Ciudad Perdida, students will live in the research station located within the park itself. Conditions are basic, there is no hot water, and you will be sleeping on bunk beds, field cots, or mattresses placed on the floor. There are no private rooms. Power is provided by a small hydroelectric turbine and solar panels.

Meals: All meals will be communal events at the park kitchen and will provide plenty of food prepared by a local cook. The daily diet is based on rice, corn cakes, manioc, potatoes, plantains, lentils, beans, meat (salt beef, pork, and fish) and when available, vegetables and fruit juice.  Vegetarians may attend this program but will find that vegetable and fruit availability will diminish as the season progresses and we use up our store of fresh produce. Vegan and kosher restrictions are impossible to accommodate in a remote location such as this one.

Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs, as well as any medical or physical conditions. We will advise you accordingly. 

Travel Information: Students arriving by air will be met at the Santa Marta airport (SMR) by staff members on June 20. Students arriving by bus from Bogotá will be given instructions on how to get to Hotel Solymar or the Dreamer Hostel in Santa Marta. Students will have to fly in to Bogotá and take a connecting flight or bus to city of Santa Marta. You should make travel arrangements such that you arrive in Santa Marta on Saturday, June 20 at the latest.

If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email to the project director.  Local cell phone number and other emergency contact information will be provided to all enrolled students.

Visa Requirements: U.S. citizens traveling to Colombia do not need a Colombian visa for a tourist stay of 90 days or less. Travelers entering Colombia are sometimes asked to present evidence of return or onward travel, usually in the form of a plane ticket. For more information on travel in Colombia, please visit the US State Department Travel Advice page.

Health: For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to travel in Colombia, consult with the Centers for Disease Control website.

Project Directors and Contact Information: Dr. Santiago Giraldo, Global Heritage Fund, Fundación de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Ambientales Tayrona-FIAAT (; Ms. Catalina Bateman, Fundación de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Ambientales Tayrona-FIAAT (

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