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Volunteer Overseas

Volunteer Incan & Wari Archaeology in Peru

  • PLACEMENT LOCATION: Lucre valley, Cusco
  • ROLE: Working alongside expert Peruvian archaeologists undertaking a combination of archaeological work
  • AREAS OF FOCUS: Investigation, mapping and excavation of ancient pre-Inca structures close to the Pikillaqta National Monument. Prospection excursion parties.
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family
  • Price: From Loading...
  • What's included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, travel and medical insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
  • What's not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

Projects Abroad volunteers on the Incan & Wari Archaeology project log the dimensions of the excavation site in Sacsayhuaman

Volunteering with Projects Abroad on our Incan & Wari Archaeology project in Peru is an exciting option for those who are interested in history and ancient civilisations. On this placement, you’ll gain hands-on experience in a number of different archaeological activities.

When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Peru in the 16th Century, the land had been ruled for roughly two centuries by the Inca people. During their rule the Incas gained control of an area about one million square kilometres in size, ranging from Colombia to central Chile. The vast Inca Empire had its administrative, political, and military centre in the city of Cusco.

The year 1533 saw an end to the Inca Empire when the Spanish captured Cusco. Despite years of Spanish rule, Peru has managed to retain a rich Incan legacy which can be seen throughout the country. The majestic ruins of Machu Picchu and the Inca capital city of Cusco are among the most fascinating Inca sites.

Our Incan & Wari Archaeology Project is based near the town of Lucre, which is a 40 minute journey from Cusco’s city center. Volunteers will live with host families in Cusco. You do not need previous experience to participate and this project is suitable for students on a gap year or school break, careers breakers, or anyone looking for a worthwhile and adventurous way to spend a vacation.

Volunteering Abroad on the Incan & Wari Archaeology Project in Peru

Projects Abroad volunteer works at the Incan & Wari Archaeology placement in Peru

One of the long-term goals of the Incan & Wari Archaeology project is the investigation and mapping of unregistered structures and forms in Pikillaqta National Park and Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park. Through our legal agreement with the Peruvian Ministry of Culture, we aim to assist them in the preservation of their national and regional heritage sites.

Volunteers will be working alongside Peruvian experts - Jhon Valencia Cordova is the Director of Archaeology, Delsi Espinoza Masias is the archaeologist assisting on the current archaeological programmes, and Daniel O’Shea is the Project Supervisor.

Mondays to Wednesdays will be spent on-site at Pikillaqta National Park, and Thursdays at Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park. Volunteers and staff will depart to the work sites and return to Cusco together at the end of the working day. You will be involved in preparation work for excavation sites, as well as site maintenance.

Activities include:

  • Registration of archaeological structures through photographs and GPS coordinates
  • Clearing the site of weeds and overgrowth
  • Drawing maps of the excavation sites
  • Establishing walkways and paths at the excavation site
  • Exploratory hikes in the region
  • Maintaining walkways and routes within the complex
  • Assisting with signalisation and information boards at the site
  • Excavations
  • Recording finds and placing them in context
  • Keep site walkways clear and carrying out preventative measures such as capping walls with clay and gravel
  • Mapping exercises and field diaries

Please note that if you are volunteering during Peru’s wet season, you may end up doing indoor archaeological activities such as registry works with Inca and pre-Inca ceramic and bone artefacts.

There are also plenty of offsite activities for volunteers to get involved in. These include:

  • Archaeology workshops on Wednesday mornings
  • Presentations about Incan & Wari archaeology on Wednesday afternoons
  • Visits to local museums or archaeological sites on Fridays, which are half-days
  • Weekly social events for all Projects Abroad volunteers in Cusco on Wednesday afternoons, such as salsa dancing, an open top bus tour of Cusco, cookery classes, and city walks.
  • A monthly archaeology social event hosted on the last Thursday of every month. Volunteers may go hiking, enjoy a pottery lesson, visit archaeological centres, or view cave paintings, carved boulders, and tombs.
  • Community work, which takes place once a month in the Huacarpay and Lucre regions between March - June and September – December.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

If you have qualifications or experience in this field then we can make use of your skills. Read more about the opportunities for skilled volunteers in Peru.

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