Project Description

In light of a changing COVID-19 landscape, including the rapid spread of more contagious Delta and Omicron variants, and in accordance with the recommendation of national medical experts, IFR policy requires that prior to traveling, all field school students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 AND receive a booster shot, if eligible. If you intend to participate in an IFR program this summer, we strongly encourage you to schedule your vaccination appointment as soon as possible.

All IFR field school applicants should familiarize themselves with IFR COVID-19 Practices before beginning the enrollment process. Program logistics are subject to change as health and risk management experts provide new recommendations and best practices. Each field school syllabus includes specific information about COVID-19 as related to travel regulations and recommendations, accommodations, local protocols, face mask policy and managing COVID-19 cases or outbreaks.

You may want to refer to the following websites to stay informed of COVID-19 case numbers and regulations/policies for Peru:

CDC COVID-19 in Peru

US Embassy in Peru


During the Late Intermediate Period (A.D. 1000-1400) the Chimú, a militaristic empire on the Peruvian coast, conducted a series of expansions conquering the Lambayeque to the north and the Casma to the south. While past research has viewed conquered groups as static and passive receptors to foreign influence, current research suggests that locals respond in multiple ways based on their own worldviews, agendas, and values. This project focuses on examining how the Casma in the Nepeña valley responded during and after Chimú conquest and how these responses allowed them to persist. Since 2017, the project directors have excavated at the Casma settlement of Pan de Azúcar de Nepeña to examine Casma-Chimú interactions and how local elites reacted to Chimú conquest. Pan de Azúcar de Nepeña consists of a large fortified adobe stepped platform that is surrounded by 13 mounds and a large necropolis. Participants will gain excavation skills through uncovering elite Casma and Chimú material culture and intact buried buildings in the mounds, as well as excavating burials in the necropolis to examine Casma-Chimú interactions. Participants will also gain basic ceramic, textile, and skeletal analysis skills. Students will stay in a field house located in the hospitable town of Nepeña. Aside from excavation and laboratory analysis, participants will learn about Peruvian prehistory through lectures and field trips, one of which will be overnight in the beach town Huanchaco to visit Chan Chan and Huacas de Moche.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: Session 1: June 4 – July 2, 2022 (open) & Session 2: July 2 – July 30, 2022 (open)

  • Enrollment Status: Session 1 – Closed; Session 2 – Closed

  • Total Cost: $3870

  • Course Type: bioarchaeology, field archaeology

  • Payment Deadline: April 15, 2022

  • Instructors: Dr. Erell Hubert & Jenna Hurtubise

  • Orientation:
    Session 1: April 30, 2022 at 9am PT/ 11 am PET/ 12 pm ET
    Session 2: May 22, 2022 at 1 pm PT/ 3 pm PET / 4 pm ET
  • Academic Credit: 6 semester credit units (equivalent to 9 quarter units)


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. Erell Hubert
Dr. Erell Hubert
Dr. Huburt is the Curator of Pre Colombian Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Dr. Jenna Hurtubise
Dr. Jenna Hurtubise
Dr. Hurtubise is a graduate student and Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Anthropology, University of Alabama.


This is a new IFR field school. No student testimonials are available at this time.

Tuition Includes:

  • Cost of Instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credit Units
  • Room & Board
  • All Local Transportation
  • Health & Evacuation Insurance

Student Fees

This program requires an online application — there is a $25 fee to submit an application. Once admitted, a payment of the nonrefundable deposit fee is required to secure a place in the program(s). The Tuition balance (total program cost minus the deposit fee) must be paid prior to the Tuition deadline as listed above under “Course Details.” A $100 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition deadline.

Deposit: A nonrefundable $500 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy: If you paid the deposit fee but did not cancel your participation by the Tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full Tuition regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information. In the event that IFR must cancel a field school, all accepted students will be notified as soon as possible and will receive a refund of all tuition paid including the deposit fee. IFR offers students the opportunity to transfer to another field school, permitting that there are spots available and the program director approves the student to participate in their field school. Upon approval of the program director, IFR staff will make the arrangements to transfer the student’s application and payments.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 3.5% processing fee is automatically incurred for all credit/debit card/online payments.

Academic Credit Opt Out: Students who wish to participate in an IFR field school without earning academic credit units may do so and receive the following discounts: $300 off a full program (4 or more weeks in length) or $200 off a short program (2-3 weeks in length).

Trip Cancellation Insurance: Please consider purchasing a travel interruption insurance policy that will cover your travel cost and the cost of the IFR program once you make a commitment to attend a field school.

The added risk of COVID-19  should be a “covered event” in your policy.
Please note that the cost of coverage varies, based on your age, the program duration and geographical location.
You may get help and advice from your insurance broker and we offer the links below to help you educate yourself on these insurance products.
Travel Insured International offers coverage for Trip Cancellation or Interruption for Any Reason (review coverage based on your state).
– Compare quotes from different companies offering Trip Cancelation insurance plans.


Students will be housed in a large three-story, fully furnished field house in Nepeña, a small town that is 30 minutes away from Chimbote on the coast. Bedrooms are double-occupancy and roommates will be assigned after arrival based on roommate answers from the field school application. This field school is an inclusive space, and we will make sure all co-habitations are comfortable. There are two shared bathrooms with heated showers. Cleaning will be done regularly to clean and disinfect high traffic areas of the house and materials. Potentially contaminated materials will be disposed of. Masks must be worn indoors in all shared spaces (e.g. during lectures, labs, kitchen).

Regular hand washing will be a part of the project’s daily schedule.

Laundry lines and sinks are available to do your own laundry. Access to a washing machine is available at the project cook’s (Veronica) house. Veronica will do your laundry for a small fee. Washing detergent must be provided by the student.

The kitchen is fully stocked and is available for students to use. There is no WiFi at the house. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided Monday to Saturday. Lunch will be provided and delivered in the field. On Sundays, students are responsible for their individual meals; there are multiple options for food, including cooking at the house and restaurants in Nepeña. Veronica is able to accommodate celiac disease, lactose intolerance, food allergies, and those who are vegetarian. Specialized diets such as keto and vegan are difficult to accommodate. Typical breakfasts include bread, eggs, and avocado. Typical lunches and dinners include rice, beans, and meat. Vegetables and fruit are served in small portions. It is recommended that you buy your own vegetables and store them in the kitchen if you need more vegetables in your diet.

Drinking water will be provided by program staff and is available for personal purchase in Nepeña.

Travel Info


Due to ongoing uncertainties regarding the travel regulations related to COVID-19, IFR will assess the local conditions closer to the travel date (5-6 weeks prior to the program beginning) and will make Go/No Go decisions then. We urge you to participate in the mandatory orientation meeting when we will discuss the latest travel information and regulations. We also suggest you consider postponing the purchase of your airline ticket until after the program orientation.

Students will arrive in Peru on the first day of their session (Session 1: June 4 / Session 2: July 2) through the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima. Participants will be met at the airport by one of the field school directors where they then will travel to the Flying Dog Hostel in Miraflores, Lima where they will stay for one night before traveling to Nepeña.

We require that all students use face masks during travel to, from, and on airlines, ferries, trains, busses, regularly wash their hands, and in so far as possible, maintain social distancing of 6 feet/2 meters in airports, bus depots, and other public spaces. Current regulation in the International Jorge Chávez Airport in Lima is that you MUST wear a face mask AND a face shield.


Students must have a valid passport with at least six-month validity and at least two empty pages to enter Peru. Participants must also have a return or onward ticket when entering the country.

Citizens of other countries are asked to check the embassy website page at their home country for specific visa requirements.

Student Safety

The IFR primary concern is with education. Traveling and conducting field research involve risk. Students interested in participating in IFR programs must weigh whether the potential risk is worth the value of education provided. While risk is inherent in everything we do, we do not take risk lightly. The IFR engages in intensive review of each field school location prior to approval. Once a program is accepted, the IFR reviews each program annually to make sure it complies with all our standards and policies, including student safety.

Students attending IFR international programs are covered by a comprehensive Health Insurance policy that includes physical illness or injury, mental or chronic conditions. No deductible and 100% of costs are covered up to $250,000. In addition, we provide Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation policy, which allow us to remove students from field school location if local conditions change. Our field school directors are scholars that know field school locations and cultures well and are plugged in into local communities and state institution structures.

Students attending IFR domestic programs (within the US) must have their own health insurance and provide proof upon enrollment. IFR field school directors are familiar with local authorities and if in need of evacuation, local emergency services and/or law enforcement will be notified and activated.

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

Call (877-839-4374) or email ( if you have questions about the safety of any particular program.