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  • Locations: Huanchaco, Peru
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications
Fact Sheet:
Study Abroad Advisor: Katelyn Brown-Gomez Program features: Field Study
Minimum GPA: 2.5 Class eligibility: Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Open to Non-UNC students: Yes Housing options: Hotel/Hostel
Program type: Faculty-Led Language prerequisite: No
Area of study: Anthropology, Archaeology, Global studies Language of instruction: English
Program Description:
Location| Courses & Credits| Housing| Program Costs| Application Process | More Information|

UNC Archaeology & Bioarchaeology Field School in Peru

The 20th Annual UNC-MOCHE Multidisciplinary Field School in South American Archaeology & Bioarchaeology is a 5-week field school in archaeology and bioarchaeology on the north coast of Peru. Through excavation, analysis of human remains, and visits to archaeological sites, students learn how to conduct archaeological and bioarchaeological research as well as learn about ancient and contemporary Peru.
The field school is directed by Brian Billman (UNC-CH), Gabriel Prieto (Universidad Nacional de Trujillo), and Celeste Gagnon (Wagner College). Collectively they have 60 field seasons of archaeology and bioarchaeology experience in Peru. Brian Billman is an Associate Professor in Anthropology at UNC-CH. He has been doing research in Peru since 1985 and has been directing the UNC field school in Peru since 1999. Gabriel Prieto has a PhD in archaeology from Yale and was born and raised in Huanchaco. He is the director of a long-term archaeological project investigating the prehistory and history of Huanchaco and the surrounding area. Celeste Gagnon is a bioarchaeologist and an Associate Professor in the Department Anthropology at Wagner College. She has taught the bioarchaeology field school since 2011 and has been conducting boarchaeological research on the north coast of Peru since 1999. 
No prerequisites -- Spanish not required -- Non-majors accepted. 


The field school is located in beautiful Huanchaco, a fishing village and beach resort on the north coast of Peru. Huanchaco is just a few miles from Trujillo, Peru’s third largest city.

Courses & Credits

Students will enroll in Anthropology (ANTH) 453, Field School in South American Archeology. This course carries 6 UNC credit hours and will be graded credit. ANTH 453 fulfills the following General Education requirements: (1) Historical Analysis, (2) The World Before 1750, and (3) Experiential Education.
This course provides students with training and experience in archaeological excavation and the analysis of human remains and artifacts. In addition, students learn about the history and prehistory of Peru. The program begins with workshops on the culture history of the region, the research project, and research methods, after which students work in the field and lab. Students will work at Jose Olaya, a fishing village dating to BC 200 to AD 200. The site is located on the grounds of a high school in Huanchaco. It has well-preserved households, tombs, and trash middens, containing pottery, basketry, textiles, metal objects, and stone, bone, and wood tools. Organic remains, such as bone, shell, and plant remains, are abundant and well preserved because of the dry climate. Through excavation, lab analysis, readings, and discussions, students learn how archaeologists and bioarchaeologists study social status, class, and economic relationships.
The program also includes educational tours of world-famous archaeological sites on Saturdays and ends with a 3-day tour of Cajamarca, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru.
The program has two options for students:
(1) Primary Focus on Excavation and Artifact Analysis: Students will learn how to excavate prehistoric households and burials and how to analyze artifacts from their excavations. After the initial workshops, students work 5-days a week excavating human burials and households at the site of Jose Olaya and analyzing artifacts from the excavations. This option includes a workshop on the analysis of human remains. Enrollment is limited to 12 students.
(2) Primary Focus on Bioarchaeology:  Students will learn how to excavate and analyze human remains. After the initial workshops, students will excavate several burials at the site of Jose Olaya. Then students will work 5-days a week in the lab, studying human remains recovered from their excavations. Enrollment is limited to 6 students. This option includes a workshop on household archaeology. 

Courses in this program are UNC Graded Credit.
UNC Graded Credit Programs (often taught by UNC Faculty): No action required
  • These courses automatically show up on your Tar Heel Tracker and UNC Transcript.
  • You will receive a letter grade for those courses, and this does affect your GPA.
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The field school is located in beautiful Huanchaco, a fishing village and beach resort on the north coast of Peru. Huanchaco is located just a few miles from Trujillo, Peru’s third largest city. Students stay in double or triple rooms with private baths at a hostel two blocks from the beach in Huanchaco. The hostel has free wifi and hot showers. The program provides three meals a day, six days a week. Meals typical Peruvian dishes prepared and served at the hostel by local chefs. Vegetarian meals are available. 
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Program Costs

Review the Budget Sheet posted above for detailed information on costs and fees. Costs vary per term and are subject to change.
Tuition and fees for the program are based on the cost of operating the program abroad and are subject to change due to exchange rate fluctuation. Tuition and fees will be charged to the participant’s UNC student account. Review the Budget Sheet for additional Cashier Billed Expenses and Out-of-Pocket Costs. The Study Abroad Office strongly encourages students to budget carefully for their time abroad. 

Getting Started: Funding Study Abroad

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Application Process

Complete the required UNC application by clicking “Apply Now” at the top of the page. If you have not done so already, create a profile to start your application.

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More Information

For additional program information, please contact Prof. Brian Billman -

For information on requesting ARS accommodations (academic, health, and mobility concerns) for a study abroad program, contact the Advisor for Access
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Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications