Piura, an Inca administrative center, Archaeological Field School

Located at the Piura Valley, this Archaeological Field School explores through a multidisciplinary approach the historical development of the ancient societies of the Northern Peruvian Coast. This survey and excavation project will focus on Piura, an ancient Inca administrative imperial center built on top of a local (yunga) settlement. This site was one the nine inca settlements designed to control local dynamics in the northern Andes. Piura’s function is probably closely linked to water control and religious cults devoted to sacred landscapes. Once abandoned by the incas, this site latter became one of the earliest Spanish cities founded in Peru’s Viceroyalty.

This project will be highly oriented towards the combination of traditional archaeological and technological and computational skills for the understanding of ancient cultural dynamics. Archaeology has increasingly relied on technological and engineering advances to obtain the most out of the material record left by past societies. As STEM and social sciences have become more interdisciplinary, engineering, physics, chemistry and other hard sciences have come to close collaboration with Social Sciences and Humanities for exploring the most complex questions on the study of ancient ways of life.

The Piura, an Inca administrative center, Archaeological Field School aims to promote the understanding and value of cultural differences and world views within international research projects. Academically, this field school will train students in the application of technology and computational skills within socially oriented projects; as well as in understanding the importance of expanding collaborative research between the STEM and Social Sciences.

Course program 

Week 1: 

  • ♦ Analysis of aerial photographs and satellite images of Piura and nearby sites. Creating our site plan´s first draft.
  • ♦ Drone site-survey. Identification and recording of main architectural features (ceremonial platforms, plazas, streets, and yards). 
  • ♦ Pedestrian survey. Learning to identify, record and characterize architectural features, ancient inca roads and associated structures, as deposits and control structures.
  • ♦  First stage of the excavations (Inca administrative sector).
  • ♦  Lecture. From pictures to cities; the use of photogrammetry and drones in archaeological research; by Andrea Gonzales Lombardi.
  • ♦ Visit to Catacaos.

Week 2

  • ♦ Second stage of the excavations (Inca administrative sector).
  • ♦ Analysis, characterization and cataloguing of archaeological materials.
  • ♦ Lecture. “Building the bridge between STEM and Social Sciences; an archaeological perspective”. By the project’s assistant archaeologist.
  • ♦ Visit to the port cities of Colán and Paita.

Week 3

  • ♦ Second stage of archaeological excavations. Final excavations at the Inca administrative sector. 
  • ♦ Identification, classification and analysis of lithic, textile and wood archaeological materials.
  • ♦ Basic processing of the archaeological material recovered during excavations. 
  • ♦ Lecture “Conservation and management of the cultural material heritage of the Andean Region”, by Giancarlo Marcone, Ph.D.
  • ♦ Visit to Poechos´ dam.

Week 4

  • ♦ Final stage of the excavations (domestic sector). 
  • ♦ Chronological classification and functional analysis of the most representative pottery samples.
  • ♦ Analysis of zooarchaeological osteological remains.
  • ♦ Lecture: “Piura after our field school, ¿what do we know now?”, by Andrea Gonzales, Ma.
  • ♦ Visit to the city of Piura. City tour and return to Lima.


Program Fees

Important Dates

Program Fees

Confirmation Fee: USD 150.00 (non-refundable)

Program Fee: 

Program Fee includes tuition, accommodation, training materials, cultural activities, use of university facilities and local transportation.

Students need to pay for their international round-trip airfare, health insurance, and any required textbook.

Important: There is a minimum number of students required to complete the group and open the program

Important Dates

  • Coming soon!

For further information, please contact our office at international@utec.edu.pe