Project Description


The Huari Empire (ca. 600—1000 A.D.) is undoubtedly one of the most complex, enigmatic, and important civilizations of the ancient world. As the earliest, most expansive, and powerful empires known to prehistory, Huari emerged in an arid, highland Andean region of Peru called Ayacucho, an area that had not previously experienced high cultural development, nor had the benefit of an immense population, great wealth or abundant natural resources. Given these challenges, how did Huari become the first–and the largest–civilization of the New World? The answer may be found in the sprawling, unexplored ruins of Wari, its eponymous capital city.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: June 16-July 15, 2018
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $3,500
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Instructors: Dr. Jose A. Ochatoma, Dr. Marta Cabrera,  Dr. Nene Lozada, Dr. Danielle Kurin
  • Online Orientation:  May 3, 2018, 5:00 PM PST
Apply Now


The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. José Ochatoma
Dr. José Ochatoma Director
San Cristobal Universidad – Peru
Dr. Marta Cabrera
Dr. Marta Cabrera Director
San Cristobal Universidad – Peru
Dr. Danielle Kurin
Dr. Danielle Kurin Director
UC Santa Barbara


This is a new IFR field schools. There are no student testimonials available at this time.

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credits
  • Room & board
  • All local transportation
  • Health Insurance

Student Fees

A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to secure a seat in this program.  This program requires an application (no application fee is requested). Only accepted students should pay the deposit fee. Deposit fee is part of the program Tuition. The remaining tuition, minus the $500 deposit, must be paid prior to the tuition deadline (see above under “Course Details”).

Important Note: If you were accepted to this program but did not cancel your participation by the tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full tuition regardless of attendance in this program. Please read the IFR Cancellation Policy for further clarification.

  • A 2.5% Processing Fee is automatically assessed for all credit/debit card payments
  • A $100 Late Fee will be assessed if full tuition payment is not completed by the deadline.
  • Look at the field school syllabus above for room & board details.


Participants will stay at a house rented by the project that will have common rooms and clean, but rustic and basic facilities. Conditions are provincial, and participants share accommodations. There is running water, but we do not guarantee that it will be plentiful, potable, or hot. Rolling blackouts may also occur. Beds are provided but students are responsible for linens and are encouraged to bring sleeping bags. Lastly, the project maintains a communal kitchen and dining area with a stove, coffee maker, mini-fridge, and other essentials like pots & pans, and dishes & flatware.

With respect to diet, the project provides plenty of nutritious but basic breakfast and lunch offerings in the tradition of local highland Andean (Quechua) cuisine. Breakfast usually consists of coffee, tea, evaporated milk, fruit, cereal, fresh baked bread, jams, butter, and oatmeal. Hot lunches, prepared and served at the site, are heavily based on staples like rice, corn, potatoes, legumes, pasta, and some animal protein such as eggs and chicken. Our cooks can’t accommodate strict vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher or other specialty diets. Those with specialized diets will find their options very limited and should be prepared to bring their own food down, or purchase items locally to supplement their diet.

Note that the project provides breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, but you are responsible for all meals on Saturdays and Sundays. Dinner will not be prepared and provided by the project. Those who wish to eat out for dinner on weekdays, and for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekends, should allocate an additional $200-$300 for the duration of the project. Ayacucho is known as a foodie’s paradise and cheap-eater’s heaven. There are scores of very affordable restaurants which provide delicious foods and offer a diverse range of local, regional, and international cuisines.

Alternatively, the project will maintain a cupboard stocked with basic staples and foodstuffs. Participants can use the facilities and food available to prepare dinner for themselves, free of charge.

Travel Info

You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements. Note that all international flights land at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru’s Capital. It is there where you must go through customs and immigration before boarding any connecting flights. Students will be met by project staff at the Ayacucho Airport (airport code: AYP) at 4:30pm on the first day of the field school (June 16). Students will be met at the arrival area, immediately after you exit baggage claim. Look for a project staff member holding the sign “IFR Field School”. Don’t worry about missing us: it’s a tiny airport. Ayacucho is served by twice daily domestic flights from Lima. LATAM is our preferred carrier. Consider purchasing one ticket from your departure home airport directly to Ayacucho as this might be the cheapest ticket available. There are many buses between Lima to Ayacucho and the trip takes about 12 hours over paved roads. Cruz del Sur is the most ‘tourist-friendly’ bus company. However, the highway is winding, interminable and generally unsafe. We strongly encourage students to fly to Ayacucho rather than taking the bus.

The Ayacucho Airport is the designated meeting point. If you can’t make it to the meeting point at the scheduled arrival time (4:30 pm, June 16), take a taxi to Hotel San Francisco De Paula (Address: Jiron Callao 290), near Ayacucho’s Plaza Mayor [main plaza]. The concierge will help you contact Project staff. The Project cannot reimburse you for any expenses if you fail to reach the meeting place at the scheduled time, or otherwise fail to meet staff due to your own actions (this excludes flight cancelation/delays).

Student Safety

Student safety is paramount for the IFR. Unlike many universities who are self-insured, the IFR purchases a range of high end insurance policies from some of the largest insurers in the world. Students in all our international programs have a comprehensive health insurance policy. It covers sickness, and chronic and mental health conditions at 100% of the cost. We have a strong evacuation and extraction policy. We can remove students from any location anywhere in the world with one phone call – whether medical evacuation, political or natural disaster extraction and anything in between. We purchase intelligence services from a global private provider and monitor the world 24/7. We automatically enroll our students to the US State Department STEP program. All of our students receive safety orientations both before and on the first day of each program. Our faculty have all been working in the areas where we operate field schools for years. They are intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, know the landscape well and have deep relationships with local communities.

All our domestic programs are coordinated with local authorities which are informed of our operations. Students in domestic programs are covered by their own health insurance and evacuations are managed by local emergency services, as appropriate.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field (click here for a shortcut). If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with the field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students can contact IFR personnel directly.

Travel does involve risk, but we try to minimize this risk as much as possible. Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.