Topic ID #37737 - posted 12/2/2016 10:14 AM

Peru: Sondor Field Schools 2017


Project Overview

On the Sondor Bioarchaeology Project, participants will help investigate the enigmatic fate of a late prehistoric society known as the Chanka. Situated in a region of the southern Peruvian Andes called Apurimac, the Chanka began to coalesce in earnest around 1000 CE, establishing dozens of fortresses on precipitous hilltops and ridges. Until recently, much of what we knew about the Chanka was gleaned from written accounts authored by Spanish missionaries, conquistadors, and aristocrats. Recalling the testimonies of indigenous informants, Colonial authors vividly related the trials and tribulations of Chanka chiefs and tribesmen who were singularly motivated by an incurable desire to invade foreign lands and enslave the conquered masses. Yet these lofty aspirations were never realized. Around 1400 CE, the Chanka were decisively vanquished in a grisly battle with their bitter rivals, the illustrious Inca. However, for scholars of Andean history, a nagging question still remains: What became of Chanka after their spectacular defeat? This project, situated at Sondor, the premier Chanka-Inca settlement in Apurimac, addresses that perplexing issue by examining the biological and social consequences of “growing up Chanka” in the face of Inca imperial incursion. The upcoming 2017 field season will immerse participants in a full spectrum of bioarchaeological methods and anthropologically informed research–an approach which fosters the development of skills necessary to interpret multiple data sets and test working hypotheses. Project members will engage in field recovery operations, laboratory practicums, and museum conservation work to learn how archaeological data are collected, processed, and assessed.  At the conclusion of the field program, participants will be able to effectively excavate a mortuary unit as well as conduct comprehensive analyses of skeletonized and mummified human remains.

Program Director: Dr. Danielle Kurin   
Course Dates:
Session 1: June 18-July 15, 2017
Session 2: July 16-August 12, 2017 
Application Deadline
Session 1: June 16, 2017
Session 2: June 14, 2017
Tuition: $2,800
Accommodations: Students will stay in our rustic Field Station in the town of Talavera, a suburb of Andahuaylas City. The Field Station has a fully outfitted lab, running water, showers, electricity, flush toilets, rooftop terrace, guinea pig hutch, full kitchen, table games, and lending library; students sleep in bunk beds in doubles, triples, or quads. The project will provide you with a mattress and some warm llama wool blankets.
MEALS: All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food in the tradition of local cuisine. Students will be provided with continental breakfast and sack lunches. Dinners are drawn from Peruvian highland cuisine which is heavily based on rice, corn, potatoes, legumes and animal protein such as eggs and chicken. Specialized diets (vegan, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) are near impossible to maintain and strict vegetarians will find options limited.

For further information visit Program Page:


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