Topic ID #39052 - posted 12/13/2017 11:07 AM

Peru- Sondor Archaeology Field School 2018


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 2018 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. 

·         Course Dates: July 21-August 18, 2018

·         Enrollment Status: OPEN

·         Total Cost: $3,491

·         Course Type: Biorchaeology

·         Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018

·         Instructors: Dr. Danielle Kurin


Once in Andahuaylas, you will stay in our rustic Field Research Station in the town of Talavera (pop. 4,000). Conditions are basic and participants share accommodations. There is no central heat; it is always chilly indoors, so bring warm clothes. There is running water, but we do not guarantee that it will be plentiful, potable, or hot. Rolling blackouts may also occur. There are common areas for socializing and lab work. Modest amenities include electric showers, flush toilets, charcoal grill, guinea pig hutch, common kitchen, table games, fire pit, and lending library. Bedrooms are monastic and consist of bunks configured as doubles or triples. The project will provide you with a simple mattress and some warm llama wool and fleece blankets. Bring earplugs and a sleeping mask if you are a light sleeper. You should bring a towel, a bed sheet, a sleeping bag and a crash pad for added comfort and a combination lock to further secure any personal items. Nurse Olga’s mini-clinic is on the third floor.

We provide plenty of basic, but nutritious food Monday through Friday. Breakfast consists of coffee, tea, evaporated milk, fruit, cereal, fresh baked bread, jams, butter, and oatmeal. Lunch consists of sandwiches with cookies and fruit. Dinners are on a set schedule. The main course will rotate, but is drawn from Peruvian highland cuisine which is heavily based on rice, corn, potatoes, legumes, pasta, and some animal protein such as eggs and chicken. The project will provide an abundant supply of purified drinking water. Electric kettles are used to boil water. Soft drinks, ramen noodles, and snacks can be purchased at local bodegas. Fresh juice and produce is available at the market. Those with specialized diets will find their options very limited and should be prepared to bring their own food down, or purchase items locally to supplement their diet.

  • We can’t accommodate strict vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher or other specialty diets
  • You are responsible for all meals on Saturday and Sunday.

The Field Station charcoal grill and kitchen is available should you decide to cook at home. There is a stove, storage shelves, gadgets, and a small refrigerator available use. You are required to wash your own dishes, flatware, and coffee/tea mugs.


ACADEMIC CREDIT UNITS & TRANSCRIPTS Credit Units: Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter credit units) through our academic partner, Connecticut College. Connecticut College is a private, highly ranked liberal arts institution with a deep commitment to undergraduate education. Students will receive a letter grade for attending this field school (see grading assessment and matrix). This field school provides a minimum of 160 direct instructional hours. Students are encouraged to discuss the transferability of credit units with faculty and registrars at their home institutions prior to attending this field school.


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