Topic ID #30397 - posted 12/17/2013 3:35 PM

Peru- Taraco Field School





Dates: June 22 - July 26, 2014

Project Description: 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. 


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

Total Cost: $5,050; includes tuition, cost of credit units, and room & board.

Accommodations: Students will live in comfortable, but modest, field housing in the village of Taraco, 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 bank beds or on mattresses on the floor and will share large communal rooms. 

Meals: All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food in the tradition of local cuisine. The daily diet in Peru is heavily based on rice, corn, potatoes and meat.  Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are near impossible to maintain in this location. Vegetarians may attend but will find options limited.

Travel Information: Students arriving by air will be met at the Juliaca airport (JUL) by project staff members.  Students traveling by bus from Lima (a 24 hour bus ride) will be met at the bus station in Juliaca. If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email to the project director.  Local cell phone numbers and other emergency contact information will be provided to all enrolled students.

Visa Requirements: A valid passport for at least six months is required to enter and depart Peru. Tourists must also provide evidence of return or onward travel. Travelers to Peru will receive a card from Peruvian Immigration upon arrival stating the length of approved stay (usually 90 days). Extensions are not available, and overstays will result in fines. For more information, please visit the US State Department Travel Advice page.

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

Project Directors and Contact Information:

Dr. Abigail Levine, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA (


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