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2018 Archaeological Field School at Callacpuma

The Field School

The archaeological field school will take place at Callacpuma in the Cajamarca region of the northern highlands of Peru. The site of Callacpuma is conveniently located on the northeastern edge of the Cajamarca Valley, about 3 kilometers from the modern (and ancient) town of Baños del Inca, and about 8 km east of the colonial city of Cajamarca.


Callacpuma sprawls over the north and south slopes of a ridgeline and measures at least 250 hectares (~600 acres) in area. Its northern slope is covered with domestic architectural terraces, ancient agricultural terraces, and tombs. At the foot of this slope a monumental architectural zone is connected to the famous Inca trunk road that passes along the northern edge of the site.  A series of platform mounds, architectural zones, tombs, and a possible fortification rest along the ridge’s summit (at 10,000 feet). Very little is known of Callacpuma’s south slope but preliminary survey has documented dense accumulations of rock art, possible agricultural terraces, and a complex of large caves. Pottery observed on the site’s surface and in local collections spans nearly the entire Cajamarca Culture (~200 BC – AD 1532) as wel as much of the earlier Formative Period (as early as 1000 BC). The rock art at the site may indicate eaven earlier, Archaic Period use of the site.


The 2018 field school will last five weeks and will offer six units of university credit through the University of Wyoming. The only prerequisite is an Introduction to Archaeology course (ANTH 1300 at U. of Wyoming).

Primary cave at Callacpuma.

Project dates

June 16 - July 21, 2018 (See official UW dates below!!)

Students must arrive and meet the directors and the rest of the team in Lima, Peru on Friday June 15. The class will officially start on Saturday June 16th. We will spend several days in in the city of Lima visiting archaeological sites and museums and gaining some background on the prehistory of the Andes. We will then travel by comfortable tourist-class bus north along the coast and then east into the Andes to Cajamarca/Baños del Inca where we will oficially begin the fieldwork segment of the course. The last day of the project will be Saturday, July 21st. 


After the project, student participants are strongly encouraged to travel to some of Peru's many tourist destinations, such as the Peruvian north coast,the city of Cuzco, or Nazca on the south coast. Transportation within Peru is easy and relatively inexpensive.

Course information & credits

ANTH 4140: Archaeological Field School - Peru (ANTH 4140-05) (CRN=TBD)

6 Credits


What will participants gain?

Students will engage in all aspects of field archaeology - from site mapping, survey, and the use of a Total Station and GPS, to systematic surface artifact collection, excavation, artifact mapping, and documentation. 

The field experience will include both laboratory analysis and the analysis of architecture. Participants will conduct initial laboratory procedures, such as processing, recording and analyzing some of the excavated materials (ceramics, lithics, metal items, and food remains). Contingent upon the findings, students may also gain bioarchaeological experience through the excavation and preliminary analysis of human remains.

Health considerations for participants

This field school will take place under very special conditions. Many of the participants may be from the University of Wyoming and already living at 7000 feet of elevation in Laramie, WY. Baños del Inca, the city where we will live, is at an elevation of 2,750 meters, or about 8,900 feet elevation. Callacpuma, on the edge of the Cajamarca Valley, sits at ~3000 meters or 9842 feet above sea level. It usually takes several days for students to adjust to high altitude conditions. If you are concerned about how well you will adjust, you might consider asking your family physician for a prescription for Dioxx, a medication that helps you body dump carbon dioxide more efficiently. 


Excavation conditions are strenuous and students should be physically fit enough to carry heavy loads and to walk for at least a mile with these loads. While these tasks may not be difficult at sea level, they are significantly more challenging at 10,000 feet. Please do not hesitate to contact the directors if you have questions about these conditions. 

Life in Baños del Inca for the participants

Participants and directors will share a large house in the town of Baños del Inca. Sleeping will be dormitory-style with 3-4 people to a room. The house will function as living quarters, laboratory, and seminar space.

What will it cost?

Field School Fee:

The total field school fee for the course is $2600 (tentative). This includes a deposit of $500 (tentative) and covers housing and most meals and internal travel during the class. The down payment of $500 must be paid by March 15 (tentative), 2018. The remaining $2100 will appear on the students’ UW Bill and must be paid by May 31, 2018 (tentative).


Study Abroad Fee & Student Travel Insurance:

In addition to the field school fees, all participants must pay a ~$50-100 UW Study Abroad fee (this will be charged to your UW Cashier’s Account) and purchase UW student travel insurance of ~$50-100 (this was $72 in 2012). The insurance will cover two months and is purchased through UW International Programs.


University of Wyoming Tuition and Student Fees:

Field school participants will pay standard summer tuition and fees. According to the 2013-2014 U.W. Fee Book, all students (resident and nonresident) will pay resident tuition for the field school. This resident UW tuition and fees will come to approximately $1,070 (this does not include the field school fees). If you are a non-resident student, your initial U.W. bill may charge you non-resident tuition. If this happens, please contact Jason Toohey or Melissa Murphy immediately (and do not pay your bill until it gets corrected). Non-UW students may also be charged a $40 UW admission fee.

The total charged by U.W. will be approximately $3,870 for U.W. students, and $3,910 for non-U.W. students. These figures are accurate as of 1/23/14 but are subject to change.


Other Expenses:

International Airfare (US to Lima, Peru) is not covered by the field school. This round trip ticket can cost from $900 - $1200, depending on when you purchase the ticket and what airline you choose. American Airlines and United are large U.S. carriers that have regular flights into Lima. Lan Chile also flies into Lima from the greater New York metropolitan area, Miami, and Los Angeles.


What is covered by the field school fees?

Field school fees will cover housing during the official period of the class. Fees will also cover 3 meals a day, 5-days per week (covers food and non-alcoholic drinks). Some Saturdays will involve half days in the laboratory – on these days, the fees will cover student lunches. Fees will also cover all travel within Peru between Lima and Cajamarca. They will also cover all field and laboratory instruction as well as periodic weekend excursions to nearby archaeological sites.


What is not covered by the field school fees?

Field school fees will not cover meals in Lima and most weekend meals in Cajamarca. Fees will not cover alcoholic beverages. Students will also be responsible for providing their own basic field and dig kits (archaeological trowels, clip boards, etc.), and clothing. Details of these kits will be available after acceptance into the field school. While housing in Lima is included in the field school fees, participants will be responsible for their own meals during their time there (~2-3 days at the beginning of the project). Students are also responsible for their own expenses (food, travel, lodging) should they decide to travel independently before or after the project.

The total cost of the field school attendance (including airfare) is estimated at approximately $5100.00

Ideas for financial aid:

As long as there are 10 students committed to the field school and who have completed the application by February 15, 2018, we will submit a group application for U. of Wyoming supplemental funding (Cheney International Travel Grants) that will help pay for student tuition and fees. Only students with GPAs of 3.0 or higher will be eligible for this scholarship funding. Past recipients have received as much as $1000 apiece.  This funding is not available to students from non-U. of Wyoming colleges or universities.

UW students are encouraged to apply, individually, for one of the many scholarships offered through the U. of Wyoming International Programs office.

Small grants and other support may also be available through the Frison Institute and the Department of Anthropology and U. of Wyoming.

U. of Wyoming Financial Aid can also help students find other sources of funding to help cover the costs of tuition and fees.

If you are a student at another university, we strongly encourage you to seek out funding options through your university’s study abroad program, international program office, department and financial aid office.

Cave at Callacpuma.

We are still accepting applications until all spots are filled. The application can be dowloaded here. Completed applications and your letter of recommendation should be submitted via email to Dr. Melissa Murphy (

The process:

1. Download, fill out, and return the participant application to Dr. Melissa S. Murphy via email.  

2. Submit one letter of reference from a professor (on official letterhead) that can speak to your standing in your home department and how participation in the field school would benefit your studies. A PDF of the letter is acceptable and the recommender should email the letter directly to the project directors (,

3. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so you may be accepted before the final notification date. You will receive notification of acceptance or rejection in writing via email.

4. Once you have been notified of your acceptance via email by, you will then submit the deposit of $500.00 (in check made to: U. of Wyoming Department of Anthropology). To make this deposit payment, contact Dr. Melissa Murphy ( for details. This deposit is non-refundable and will reserve a spot for you on the team.

5. Non-UW students will need to apply for admission to the university. For summer session, this is not a complicated task and the instructions are listed below.

6. Register for the class. Details for registration are listed below.

7. At the time of registration, you will pay the UW registration/tuition/fees as well as $2100 of the field school fees through the Cashier's Office.


8. Pay for Student International Travel Insurance and Study Abroad Fee.

9. As the date of the field school approaches, we will hold informational meetings both on the UW campus and via Skype for those of you who are off-campus.


Undergraduate admissions procedure (for UW students):

Undergraduate students already enrolled at UW will register for the field school as they would any other summer session course. Note that you will be enrolling for a session II summer course and that the field school dates are not exactly aligned with the session II dates. 


Undergraduate admissions procedure (for non-UW students only):

If you are not a UW graduate or undergraduate student, you will need to apply for Undergraduate Non-degree Admissions Status to the University of Wyoming. The form for this application is available online at:

Please follow the Undergraduate Application Process and pay your $40 application fee. You need not submit transcripts or be formally accepted into UW to follow this process. You will be charged the UW undergraduate tuition rate.

Course registration procedure

Once you have been accepted into UW and into the field school (in writing/email), please call or email Keith Kanbe (Anthropology Department Office Associate) at 307-766-5136 / to obtain your registration "code" number. Then follow the instructions for summer registration through the Office of the Registrar


If you are a non-UW student, you will need to register with the University first. This will give you a "W" number that you can give to Keith Kanbe when you speak to him about registering in the class.


Course information that you may need in order to register includes:


COURSE = ANTH 4140-05 Archaeological Field School - Peru



DAYS AND MEETING TIMES = Session II (6B) 7/6/18 - 8/14/18 (These are the official University dates, but the actual dates of the field school will be from 6/16/18-7/21/2018)


Deadlines & notification dates

February 15, 2018: Deadline for field school applicants if the applicant wishes to be eligible for group application for supplemental U. of Wyoming funding - in order to help defray the costs of tuition and fees for students. UW STUDENTS ONLY.

March 1, 2018: All applicants will be contacted on, or before, this date with news of acceptance or rejection.

March 15, 2018: Deadline for field school down payment ($500). The remaining $2100 field school fee will appear on your U. of Wyoming bill and must be paid before May 31, 2017. Do not wait for this deadline - the deposit secures your position in the class.

Early April: Purchase your round-trip flight to Lima, Peru.

April 15, 2018: Deadline for registration in the class (includes payment of $2100 for the field school fees).

June 1, 2018: Must have paid for and secured student international travel insurance (see above).

June 16, 2018 (or before): Travel to Lima, Peru.


2004 students excavating a domestic terrace.

Contact information of directors

Dr. Melissa S. Murphy ( and Dr. Jason Toohey ( 

Department of Anthropology (Dept. 3431)

University of Wyoming

1000 E. University Avenue

Laramie, WY 82071

If you have questions, please contact the project directors: Dr. Melissa Murphy ( or Dr. Jason Toohey (