Peru - Chincha


The Paracas culture of coastal Peru is known for its exquisite art.  It is also known for explicit presentation of violence, in particular, trophy head iconography on textiles and ceramics.  At the same time, the Paracas peoples constructed some of the earliest monumental architecture on the Peruvian south coast – enormous adobe platform mounds rising more than 10 meters above the alluvial plain. This confluence of organized violence and the construction of monumental ritual structures make Paracas one of the best case studies for the study of early complex societies in Peru.  For the 2014 season, this field school will focus on two major Paracas mound sites at the Chincha Valley: Cerro del Gentil and Huaca Soto.  Through careful excavation and analysis of recovered material culture, students will study the nature of conflict and cooperation that characterized the Paracas society and examine issues of violence, coordinated action, and social complexity.  

Peru Chincha Archaeology Field School - Institute for Field Research Field Schools Peru - Chincha18-352014-06-20
Course Dates: Jun 29 - Aug 2 2014
Enrollment Status: CLOSED 
Total Cost: $ 4,950 
Course Type: Field Archaeology
Instructors: Prof. Charles Stanish, Dr. Henry Tantaleán, Mr. Benjamin Nigra



Charles Stanish

Prof. Charles Stanish

Prof. Stanish is the Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences.  For more information, click here.
Henry Tantaleán

Dr. Henry Tantaleán

Dr. Tantaleán is an Associate Investigator at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA and at the Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos in Lima (Peru). 
Benjamin Nigra

Mr. Benjamin Nigra

Mr. Benjamin Nigra ( is a doctoral student at UCLA in the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. His research interests include the evolution of cooperation and the development of social complexity in the Peruvian Andes.


“This field school offered a well-rounded student experience that involved us in many different steps of the archaeological research process from mapping and survey to excavation and analyzing material in the lab. Because this was a new project, the element of uncertainty and potential for discovery made the research exciting and very real. The Chincha field school was very much a "live," dynamic research project, and since we were a small group, we benefited from being able to do work closely with fellow undergraduates and with graduate students and professors. Living off the beaten track of Peru's tourist cities and working with Peruvian students also provided a refreshingly unique and enjoyable cultural perspective that left most of us hoping to see more of the country. Overall, the project was fun, academically motivating, and made me want to pursue archaeology."

-Camillle Weinberg, UCLA (2012)

"Chincha was an amazing experience that removed any doubts I had about pursuing archaeology. I learned basic skills required for the field while immersing myself within the Peruvian culture. I always found myself having fun, whether I was interacting with the people, learning their history or digging on the site. This is something I would definitely do again."

-Michael Rosales, UC Santa Barbara (2012)




Student Fees

Early Enrollment Begins November 15 - Full payment must be received by April 1  
(Full Payment = Deposit + Tuition)
 Payment by Cashier or Personal Check Payment by Credit Card/Debit Card
Deposit:500 USD Deposit: 510 USD 
Tuition: 4,450 USD Tuition: 4,540 USD 

Late Enrollment Begins April 2 - Full payment must be received 10 days prior to course start date
(Full Payment = Deposit + Tuition)
 Payment by Cashier or Personal Check Payment by Credit Card/Debit Card
Deposit:500 USD Deposit: 510 USD 
Tuition: 4,550 USD Tuition: 4,640 USD 


Students will live in comfortable, but modest housing in the city of Chincha Alta.  Conditions at the field house are basic and students should expect shared accommodations.     

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.