Privado: Bioarchaeology in San Jose de Moro – Excavating a 1,500 Years-Old Moche Temple and Cemetery


Field School is scheduled to take place in July. Archaeological excavations are carried out intensively for a period of 4 weeks, adding up to a total of 180hours of practical work, 32 hours of lectures and site visits. The first week serves as an introductory period during which students will learn the basis of the field work procedure and the proper use of tools necessary for the work. In the following weeks, different activities have been planned for the students. These activities do not take place in any specific order, as the nature of fieldwork is highly flexible depending on what contexts are excavated. At the same time, students will rotate among the different sites and the lab. This is in order to get the full experience of the field work.

The following schedule is a general guide. The lectures of preventive conservation and excavation techniques are mandatory.  Advanced students that wish to strengthen their knowledge of any subject will be allowed to attend basic level lectures and workshops.

Week 1

General introduction. Bone and related tissues. The skull: parts, sutures, frontal, parietal bones, occipital, temporal bones.  Preventive conservation of human remains. The sphenoid, small bones of the skull and face, maxilla, mandible and zigomatic bone. The human dentition.

Week 2

The ribs and vertebrae, the sternum. The scapular and pelvic girdles, the limbs. Sex estimation, stature.  Age estimation.

Week 3

Paleopathology and trauma. Excavation techniques.

Week 4

Biological distance. Forensic anthropology. The study of mummies. DNA, Chemical studies in bone.

Complementary Activities

In addition to doing field archeology, the students will have the opportunity to visit some of the remarkable archeological sites of the region (Sipán, Túcume, Huaca de la Luna, Huaca el Brujo, Pacatnamú, Chan Chan).

Students will also be part of an “Experimental Archaeology exhibition”, where they will participate in manufacturing and firing of ceramic vessels, textile production using a traditional loom and the preparation of maize beer (chicha).

These activities will be complemented with the participation of the most recognized archaeologists, both domestic and foreign, who will show their most outstanding research in Andean archeology as well as with specialized artisans from the region.

Besides, students will have the opportunity to interact with the community through artistic workshops that will bring together field school students with local school kids.


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Syllabus Beginner
Syllabus Advanced

Chepén – La Libertad.

Time period:

1month/4 weeks.

Number of hours:

180 hours.


6 credits

Language of Instruction:




Elsa Tomasto, MA (PUCP)


Luis Jaime Castillo, Ph.D. (PUCP)

Luis Armando Muro, PhD.C (Stanford University)


Teaching Assistants/Staff:

Julio Saldaña (PUCP)

Karla Patroni (PUCP)

Fabrizio Serván (PUCP)

Ema Perea (UNT)

Hoover Cabanillas (UN