Kathryn Reese-Taylor through University of Calgary, Yaxnohcah, Calakmul Biosphere, Mexico - May 5-19, 2021
    The Maya Archaeology and Ecology field program offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of rainforest
    ecology and Maya cultural heritage. The students participate in a unique field program that is integrated with the
    Yaxnohcah Archaeological Project, located in the Calakmul Biosphere, a protected area of pristine rainforest in Mexico.
    If interested contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Maya Archaeology and Ecology through University of Calgary, Calakmul Biosphere, Campeche, Mexico - May 1-22, 2019
    The Maya Archaeology and Ecology field program incorporates a multidisciplinary approach to the study of rainforest ecology and Maya cultural heritage. Students will study the development of the ancient Maya civilization and how these ancient people created large densely populated urban landscapes in a tropical environment. Additionally, students will examine the heritage and environmental resources of the Calakmul Biosphere, a protected area of pristine rainforest, through a variety of hands-on field and lab activities.

    Students will travel to several significant archaeological sites around the Yucatan to develop an understanding of the different adaptations that the ancient Maya made to the diverse niches encountered in the rainforest.

    Up to nine hours of course credit is available.

    Kathryn Reese-Taylor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Hana Curtis This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    If interested contact Kathryn Reese-Taylor or Hana Curtis

Peru: Corral Redondo, Institute for Field Research

In January of 1943, workmen at the Chorunga Valley discovered extraordinary Wari and Inca objects at Corral Redondo. The finds included imperial Wari face-neck jars, dozens of spectacular Wari feathered textiles, silver Inca objects and high-end Inca ceramics, miniatures and textiles. The site was likely a huaca – a sacred Andean site. The nature of the recovered objects suggests that the site functioned as a capacocha, an important ritual location where high-end objects were part of elite ceremonies. This alone makes Corral Redondo an important site. The fact that such high-end objects were interred at the site over an extended period of time (AD 600-1550) suggests that Corral Redondo was remembered for centuries as a potent ceremonial location – an extremely rare occurrence in the Andes. This project will excavate the site and attempt to recover additional objects, understand its architecture and through ground survey, contextualize Corral Redondo is time and space. Students will also engage in artifact conservation at a local museum where finds from the site will be displayed as part of the community’s cultural heritage

  • Course Dates: July 14-August 10, 2019
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $3,800
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 5, 2019
  • Instructors: Dr. Maria Cecilia Lozada, Dr. Danny Zborover, Vanessa Muros
  • Online Orientation:  June 8, 2019, 1:00 PM PST

Apply here:

Huari-Ancash Bio-Archaeological Research Project, Tulane University

Our research examines how changes in mortuary patterns were associated with transformations in the political and social organization between AD 200 and 1600. By applying a diachronic approach, we study, how variation in tombs is reflected in public and ceremonial architecture; if there is continuity in the use of some type of tombs, and rituals associated with the dead. Tombs were places where ayllu-based social organization materialized. 

The Field School is focused on three aspects of research and we follow different techniques in the field and lab:

Archaeology: This part of the program involves archaeological excavations in different types of context; our goal for the student is to learn to identify stratigraphic layers, be able to set up and fully fill out an excavation form and improve archaeological drawing and recording. It will also include surveys of sites around the valley. We will examine different material recovered during the present and past seasons (e.g. pottery, lithics).

Bio-archaeology: This part consists of mapping and excavating funeral structures located in Ampas (and the sites in the surrounding area). This part includes drawing/mapping of funeral structures/caves, techniques of bone recovering, and identification of taphonomy process in human remains. No previous experience is required.

Lab: analysis of human remains from Marcajirca site and sites surveyed. The bone analyses are performed to obtain biological data from the remains recovered by students themselves during the current season or from previous excavations. At least 2 days or 16 hours of the full lab will be provided with a dedicated instructor. All the participants in the team will rotate between different parts of research so that everyone gets to try everything.

  • Location: Huari, Ancash, Peru
  • Date: July 11, 2019 to August 3, 2019
  • Application Deadline: Monday, June 24, 2019
  • Cost: $2,500 USD

Apply here:

El Campanario Archaeological Project

The archaeological project is directed by Jose L. Peña (Ph.D. Candidate and Adjunct Instructor in Anthropology). The aim of the El Campanario Project is to increase our understanding of the Casma culture that occupied the northern coast of Peru. There are different aspects of the Casma society that are still unclear within the archaeological community, thus by continuing with the archeological excavation and remains analysis, we can reconstruct past social behavior of the Casma people. Furthermore, the project will contribute to the development of the cultural history in the Huarmey Valley with the hope that local communities will perceive archaeological sites as areas that contain the key to understanding past social systems that must be protected.

Participants will learn excavation methods, mapping, profile drawing, recognizing cultural layers of occupation, identifying human remains, and recovering and identifying various archaeological material such as pottery, stone tools, textiles, animal bones, seeds, and sea shells. During the laboratory work portion, participants will learn artifact classification, botanical analysis, pottery analysis, textile analysis, and lithic analysis. El Campanario Archaeological Project will offer two separate fieldwork sections:

Bioarchaeology Section (5 Weeks): This section will consist of excavation of the cemetery and laboratory work. This section will focus on osteology analysis, population demography, funerary rituals, and paleopathologies.

Archaeology Section (5 Weeks): This section will consist of fieldwork and material analysis. In this section participants will spend half of the fieldwork in the excavation of the adobe platform and the other half on the cemetery. This section will also include the analysis of human remains during the laboratory portion. 

Academic Credits: El Campanario Archaeological Project (ECAP) does not offer academic credits to participants. However, the project team lead is willing to work with students to aid them in obtaining credits through their own academic institutions.  

  • Duration: 5 weeks 
  • Dates: July 8 to Aug 9, 2019           
  • Cost: 2,100 US dollars 

Apply here:


Colombia: El Congo, Institute for Field Research

The El Congo-Ciudad Antigua archaeological site is located on the western face of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range towards the upper section of the Rio Frio basin. The archaeological remains, which include a number of terrace structures, extend over more than 60 hectares, spreading down the slopes of narrow hillcrests from 900 to 600 meters elevation. Many of the remains are located within ProSierra’s El Congo research station and adjacent farms. The El Congo research station is an archaeological and biological conservation area owned by ProSierra since 1991, and the 2019 field season seeks to continue preliminary research that began in 2018.

Between 2006 and 2017, our research program concentrated on Teyuna-Ciudad Perdida Archaeological park and sites in the surrounding area, focusing on producing a better understanding of its construction sequence and layout. For 2019 and subsequent years, we are directing research towards the Rio Frío basin to compare inter-basin differences and similarities between sites and towns. El Congo-Ciudad Antigua is located a relatively short distance due west of Teyuna-Ciudad Perdida but in a completely different basin, such that we believe them to be part of two different polities. One of the general aims of the research program involves trying to investigate whether these political differences do or do not manifest themselves in architecture and material culture. During the field season, we will also be doing limited conservation work at a number of structures that have collapsed and need rebuilding. We will be working with a local conservation team led by Eduardo Mazuera. Given that some of these terraces may have buried occupations, stratigraphic details must be carefully recorded, and artifacts buried in terrace fill recovered and cataloged. Students will rotate between the excavation and conservation teams.

  • Course Dates: June 2-June 29, 2019
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,375
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 5, 2019
  • Instructors: Dr. Santiago Giraldo, Eduardo Mazuera
  • Orientation:  TBA

Mexico: Oaxaca-Pacific Rim, Institute for Field Research

The role of the Pacific Ocean is taking on increasing importance in Pre-Columbian, Colonial, and Contemporary studies of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Our project focuses on a key region within this vast system— the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca and its adjacent Pacific Coast— one of the most ethnically and linguistically complex and biologically diverse regions in the world. For over two millennia Oaxacan Indigenous cultures constructed here monumental sites; ruled over vast city-states; invented complex writing systems and iconography; and crafted among the finest artistic traditions in the world, some of which are still perpetuated to this day. The clash of the Indigenous and the European worlds in the 16th century created unique cultures; the legacy of which underlies the modern nation of Mexico. By traveling from the bustling Oaxaca City through the valleys, mountains, and down to the Pacific Coast, students will be introduced to a dynamic arena where long-term colonial interests were negotiated between Indigenous and European powers such as the Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Aztecs, Pochutecs, Chontal, Huaves, Spanish and, even English, Dutch, and French Pirates! Students will conduct interactive exercises in ceremonial centers and off-the-beaten track archaeological sites and museums, learn to decipher and employ Indigenous pictorial documents and European maps, experience urban and rural lifestyles in various geographical zones, visit sacred sites where rituals are still being performed today, conduct basic language documentation and investigate local language revitalization projects, and actively participate in local festivities. Finally, through the study of long-term colonial processes in southern Mexico, students will gain a better understanding of this fascinating modern nation-state and its direct impact on contemporary debates.

Please note that in compliance with Mexican policies, this field school does not involve an active participation in an archaeological excavation. All data resulting from this project are historical, ethnographic, and linguistic in nature, intended to be integrated with published and observed archaeological records.

  • Course Dates: June 16-July 13, 2019
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,645
  • Course Type: Ethnohistorical Archaeology, Ethnography
  • Payment Deadline: April 5, 2019
  • Instructors: Dr. Aaron Sonnenschein, Dr. Danny Zborover, Dr. John M.D. Pohl
  • Orientation:  May 12, 2019, 4:00 PM PST

Buen Suceso, Ecuador, Institute for Field Research

Join us on the coast of Ecuador as we excavate Buen Suceso, a Late Valdivia site dating to 2000 BC. The Valdivia culture (4400-1450 BC) is one the earliest ceramic traditions in the Americas and the first sedentary society in this region, initiating the widespread cultivation of maize and other crops. Buen Suceso is located at the base of the Chongon-Colonche hills in an incredible tropical forest environment filled with orchids, hummingbirds, leaf cutter ants, howler monkeys, and more! Our research seeks to understand the ways in which the people living at Buen Suceso constructed and maintained a community identity, and how this differed from other Valdivia communities. We will emphasize systematic excavation techniques and detail-oriented laboratory analyses within an overall theme of community-based archaeology in cooperation with the comuna of Dos Mangas, where we will be staying. By the end of the session, all should be able to excavate a unit and engage in comprehensive artifact analyses and will also have the opportunity to collaborate with the local community on heritage projects.

  • Course Dates: June 22-July 26, 2019
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $3,900
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 5, 2019
  • Instructors: Dr. Sarah M. Rowe and Dr. Guy S. Duke
  • Orientation:  May 18, 2019, 1:00 PM PST

Anthropology and Archaeology in Oaxaca, Mexico, University of Calgary

This intensive block program will take place in Oaxaca located in the southern highlands of Mexico. It will sample the archaeological, cultural and ecological diversity of this unique area.

Oaxaca is has a deep history of archaeological investigations into the past 10,000 years of human occupation in the region.  It is the site of some of the earliest experiments in plant domestication. Studies of the cultural ecology have exposed aspects of plant domestication which facilitated the evolution of social complexity in the region not previously possible. It also has enduring evidence of the impacts of post-colonial contact. Today, despite modern pressure, Oaxaca remains home to numerous indigenous communities who still practice traditional lifeways, speak native languages, and dress in regional costume. This make it an ideal setting for holistic studies of indigenous cultures, past and present.

The course content is designed to follow up on to the ARKY 341, 343, 345 sequence which surveyed the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica and their legacy in contemporary Mexico, but is also designed to be accessible to undergraduate students with a background interest in Latin American studies.

Apply here: