Volunteer Incan & Wari Archaeology in Peru
- Placement location: Lucre valley, Cuzco
- Role: Working alongside expert Peruvian archaeologists undertaking a combination of archaeological work
- Requirements: None
- Areas of Focus: Investigation, mapping and excavation of ancient pre-Inca structures close to the Pikillaqta National Monument. Prospection excursion parties.
- Accommodation: Host family
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
The project is based near the town of Lucre, a 40 minute journey from the city centre of Cuzco. The town itself is in the Lucre Valley and the work we undertake on the project here focuses on archaeology. One of the long-term goals of the Archaeology project is the investigation and mapping of unregistered structures and forms in Pikillaqta National Park.
Volunteers will be working alongside Peruvian archaeological experts. John Valencia Cordova is the Director of Archaeology and Delsi Espinoza Masias is the archaeologist on the current archaeological programmes.
Volunteers on the Incan and Wari Archaeology Project will live with host families in Cuzco.
Info about Archaeology
Volunteers will work three days a week on site in the Lucre valley. The other two days will be office work, classifying ceramics, work at the local museums and community work. Archaeological presentations will be given once a week during the office day and volunteers will have the opportunity to attend the weekly Projects Abroad social.
Volunteers and staff will depart to the work site and return to Cuzco together at the end of the working day. Archaeological work can include exploring the area looking for "new" sites, mapping, excavating, cleaning and maintaining current sites, classifying artefacts etc.
FIRST AGREEMENT – Preliminary Investigations in the Lucre Valley (APRIL – EARLY JUNE)
The first part of our project regards preliminary investigations. This involves the registration of Inca and pre-Inca tombs, burial chambers, buildings, Inca trails, water channels, terrace systems, petroglyphs and access routes in the district.
Volunteers will be involved in the registry works using scales, photographs, GPS and also making physical maps of the structures and forms.
We expect these works to take approximately 2 months to complete. Due to our agreement with the Peruvian Ministry of Culture we cannot advance to the second agreement until the first agreement is completed and a report is presented to the Ministry.
SECOND AGREEMENT – EXCAVATIONS AT UNOQOCHAYOK Y TANTAESTANCIA, PIKILLAQTA (EARLY JUNE – MID OCTOBER)
We expect to commence excavations at six locations close to the National Monument of Pikillaqta, a pre-Inca site dating from the Wari civilization.
These excavations will be undertaken during the drier months of the year and volunteers will travel to the site 3 days a week to participate in the ‘dig’.
ANALYSIS AND REGISTRY OF CULTURAL MATERIAL (MID OCTOBER – MARCH 2017)
During the wetter months of the year it is not possible to continue with excavations in the Cuzco region. The majority of archaeological works during this time of the year are undertaken indoors. Volunteer activities include, but are not limited to: cleaning and codifying evidence, analysis and classification of cultural material, drawing and registering evidence before the final presentation is made to the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.
SITE VISITS (ALL YEAR)
Apart from the activities mentioned above, volunteers will visit archaeological sites in the Cuzco region once or twice a week depending on the time of year. They will be accompanied by a project archaeologist and will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss different aspects of these sites with them.
WEEKLY OFFICE REGISTRY WORKS (ALL YEAR – FRIDAY AFTERNOON)
Volunteers will work in the office and transfer all weekly registry works onto computer to help prepare the reports to be presented to the Peruvian Ministry of Culture. This also gives the staff and volunteers a chance to plan the forthcoming week’s activities and discuss any problems encountered during the previous week. At the end of the project in March 2017 all volunteers who participated on the report will receive an electronic copy.
WORK at the MUSEUMS (ALL YEAR – MONDAY AFTERNOON)
Every Monday the volunteers will help the local museums in Cuzco with translations and codifying objects.
ARCHAEOLOGY PRESENTATIONS (ALL YEAR)
Once a week volunteers will be given a presentation related to the Archaeology Project. Topics may include: Machu Picchu, Inca architecture, Andean construction techniques and Ancient Andean Beliefs. Again, the project archaeologist will be on hand to answer any questions that volunteers may have regarding the presentation.
CLASSIFICATION OF CERAMICS (ALL YEAR – MONDAY MORNING)
Measure, clean, classify and description of ceramics will be done every Monday morning at Projects Abroad office.
COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES (MAY to DECEMBER – FRIDAY MORNING)
As of May 2016 our community activities will commence in the Lucre Valley at the small primary school in Huacarpay. Activities will include but are not limited to: clearing pathways and making the playground safe, painting classrooms and school furniture, and preparing educational materials for the teachers and students. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to interact will the students during their recess. This project is part of our legal agreement with the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.
PROJECTS ABROAD WEEKLY SOCIAL (ALL YEAR – WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON)
Every Wednesday afternoon Projects Abroad organizes a social event for volunteers based in the Cuzco region. This gives the volunteers from projects based in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley the opportunity to meet up on a social level. Social activities include: Cooking classes, Salsa lessons, nature hikes, and ceramic workshops. The locations of the socials change between Cuzco and the Sacred Valley.