Home & 2007 Field School Info


Note: New and final deadline is March 23rd!

Welcome to the Buena Vista Archeological Field School website! Here you can find information on joining us on our 2007 Field Schools and see what we have done already in the past seasons. If you want to learn more about the upcoming field school, download this flyer in either Word or PDf format:

Bioarchaeology and Archaeoastronomy Field School in Perú Flyer (Word file)

Bioarchaeology and Archaeoastronomy Field School in Perú Flyer (PDF file)

Download the Application Here!

Field Schools

There will be two sessions this semester. Unlike previous seasons, this year there will be no excavating. The first session will be a bioarchaeology lab, from June 1st to the 29th. We will be working on previously excavated material in a laboratory in Lima. The second will be an archaeoastronomy lab, from July 2nd to August 3rd. This will take us to the field where we will find astronomical alignments at various sites.


Fees are $2400 for each session, or $4000 if you enroll in both. The fees do not include tuition, personal expenses, or airfare. Tuition for course credit is shown in this table:

  Undergraduate 2007 Graduate 2007
Missouri Resident $247.62 per credit hour $296.79 per credit hour
Non-Resident $589.82 per credit hour $734.09 per credit hour



There will be several gringos with signs “MU Field School” waiting for you as you exit customs.  Look for them before you leave the building, and as you exit. Ignore everyone who is trying to rent you a taxi. If by any chance we miss you (you miss a flight and come in early or late without letting us know), go to the Airport Information desk, which is to the left of the gate that exits the airport and ask for help in calling us (424-0519 ask for Benfer or Chan). We will be there as soon as possible.

Preparation for the Field School

Immunizations: Hepatitis A and B and Typhoid strongly recommended. Start six weeks before leaving the country.

Passport: To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to one of  9,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States with two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license. Routine service requires 6 weeks ($97) and expedited 2 weeks ($157). Bring a photocopy of the first two pages with you in your luggage in case you lose the original. In the cities (but not in the field) you can carry the photocopy instead of the passport.

Things to Bring

(Though all items can be purchased in Lima if you come early and have the time to shop; it is a city of 8.5 million; there are few if any items you can’t find, but it might take some time (Good black tea is one exception, very difficult to find in Lima)).
  • Clothes
    • Long sleeved shirt
    • Long pants
    • Hat with brim to protect against sun at 12º latitude
    • Medium weight jacket or shell
    • Hiking shoes for the field and everyday shoes for Lima
  • Flashlight
  • Wash cloth: If you use one. They are not  generally available in Latin America. In the field, there is no hot water so you may want a wash cloth and bucket (provided) to bathe without standing under a very freezing shower head.
  • Sink stopper: If you wash some clothes by hand—there is a washateria around the corner from the Hostal (Hospedaje) in Lima with one day service usually.
  • Credit or Debit Card (although you could be robbed by a thief who would make you withdraw money from an ATM)—there are ATMs on the corner by the Hostal. This is by far the easiest way to get money in Peru, though chance of robbery is greater. Consider getting a debit card with limited funds for this trip.
  • Traveler’s Checks: It is advisable to also bring some as a backup ($200). You get a much more favorable exchange rate from the ATM but sometimes  they run out of money for a few days.
  • Phone cards: Though they are much cheaper in Lima than here. You can buy a card that lets you talk for 100 minutes (without hanging up permanently) to the United States for less than $5.00. There are phones in the rooms at the hostal, and you can use a phone card from them. Pay phones are common in the street but the cards deduct quite a bit for their use.
  • Student ID: Sometimes you get a break at museums or sites if you have one.
  • Sun Block and Insect Repellant: (not a real problem in Lima) can be brought or purchased locally.
  • Books: An introduction to Spanish. Some books, novels or whatever you like to read to relax, in English; they are not widely available although my project keeps a library of a 100 or so for loans. Also consider a travel guide to Perú to enjoy the culture and attractions.
  • For the Bioarchaeology Session (June): One pair of plastic dial calipers in mm ($20 to $30.).
  • For the Archaeoastronomy Session (July): Inexpensive compass (the ones you will buy in the U.S. will have a weighted down south arrow)

Things NOT to bring

  • Appliances (110v): Unless they are dual voltage for the 220V of Lima. Hair dryers blow up quite spectacularly with the small “converters” sold at air ports. A radio or tooth brush will work so long as you don’t forget and plug it in the wrong outlet. For computers, cameras, and iPods, check the charger to see if they can convert 220v. Many do!
  • Plug Adaptors: Not necessary in the hostal in Lima; they will furnish you one. If we are staying in a hostal outside Lima, electricity from a generator is usually only a few hours, if at all, a day.
  • Clothes: The ones that require dry cleaning (cleaners are not close by).
  • Beach attire: You will be in Lima during the Austral winter when the temperature will fluctuate between upper 40s and upper 50s most of the time.
  • Wool sweaters: Very practical for layers but good alpaca sweaters can be bought for $10 in Lima.
If you have any questions feel free to email Bob Benfer (at benferr AT missouri DOT edu) or Keith Chan (at kccnp7 AT mizzou DOT edu).
Quick Info Links





Keith's 2005 Photos

Neil's 2005 Photos


Columbia Missourian

Discover Magazine

National Geographic

Archaeology Magazine

El Comercio


Thanks to Neil Duncan (nad2b1 AT mizzou DOT edu) for the site design and layout. 2007 updates by Keith Chan