Mandible examined during Bioarchaeology Field School

Bioarchaeology Field School

MOCHE-Wagner College Bioarchaeology Field School in Peru

2018 Dates and Program To Be Announced Soon


This field school provides beginning students with the opportunity to learn the basics of human osteological methods, and provides advanced training for students with previous experience. In addition, students will receive instruction on the prehistory of the north coast of Peru. The program begins with workshops on osteological methods and the prehistory of Peru, after which, students are prepared to work five days a week in the lab, inventorying human remains, estimating age-at-death and sex, as well as collecting a wide variety of health related data. We spend a few hours on Saturdays touring local archaeological sites including Huaca del Sol and Chan Chan, and Sundays are free days in Huanchaco.


This field school is part of the ongoing Moche Valley Bioarchaeological Project (Dr. Celeste Marie Gagnon, Wagner College) and the Huanchaco Archaeological Program (Dr. Gabriel Prieto, Universidad Nacional de Trujillo) and is associated with the Moche Origins Project (Dr. Brian Billman, UNC and Dr. Jesus Briceño, Ministerio del Cultura del Perú). The goal of the MVBP is to examine how the dramatic social events in the Moche valley from the beginning of sedentism through the demise of the Southern Moche state affected the diet and health of Moche valley residents.

This year we anticipate examining remains from a number of different sites in the Huanchaco Bay area dating from the Initial through the Colonial periods (1500 BC- AD 1600). Some remains have been recovered from looted contexts and others from careful excavations. This variety will provide students with a wide range of experiences, preparing them to work in a variety of contexts.


The bioarchaeological field school is offered as non-credit for a discount rate through MOCHE Inc. Students may also take the course for credit. Non-credit students will have the same opportunity for the hands-on experiences as for credit students, but will not have the same academic requirements.

The focus of the course is the intensive lab work with human remains but we will also engage in workshops, talks, group discussions, and site tours.

There is no language requirement as all classes are taught in English and logistics are handled by bilingual staff. For more information please contact  Dr. Celeste Gagnon

Archaeology Internship Program