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Pre-Inca Cultures of Peru
*Minimum $100 level
Ancient cultures and catastrophes in the Andes
July 26–August 7, 2014
Pacific coast, parched deserts, the peaks of the Cordillera Blanca: Peru is a land of contrasts. On this tour, scholars who specialize in geography, environmental catastrophes, and the archaeology of Peru trace the relationship between Peru's extreme geography and pre-Inca cultures including the Moche and Chimú. We will explore the monumental sites that define these civilizations, such as the city of Moche and the Chimú city of Chan Chan. How did ancient peoples adapt to such extreme geographical diversity? And how did they respond to the challenges of droughts, floods, and earthquakes? We'll be in on the investigation.
The origins of pre-Inca civilization and the development of ritual, art, and human sacrifice to establish hierarchy
How natural catastrophes such as weather patterns, earthquakes, and landslides shaped the rise and fall of ancient kingdoms
Dr. David K. Keefer conducts research about how natural catastrophes influenced the development of many of the great archaeological complexes and prehispanic cultures in Peru. He is adjunct professor of geoarchaeology at the Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, and honorary scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California.
Dr. Daniel Sandweiss is a professor of anthropology and climate studies at the University of Maine. He conducts archaeological research throughout Latin America, with a particular interest in environmental catastrophe. He codirected the archaeological project at Túcume, Peru's largest pyramid center, where he worked closely with Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl.
Saturday, July 26: Arrive at Chávez International Airport in Lima. Our outfitter provides shuttle service to our hotel. Dinner on your own. Overnight, El Tambo, Miraflores district.
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Sunday, July 27: Free morning in Lima. Meet for lunch and introductory program, then visit the Larco Museum and its world-famous gallery of Moche huacos eróticos pottery. Afternoon flight north to Chiclayo. Overnight, Gran Hotel Chiclayo–Casa Andina, Chiclayo. (B, L, D)
Monday, July 28: Tour Chiclayo, including the Mercado Modelo (shamans market), Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipán, and ancient pyramids at Túcume. Overnight, Chiclayo. (B, L)
Tuesday, July 29: Visit the 4,000-year-old temple ruins of Huaca Ventarrón, site of the oldest documented mural in the Americas; Huaca Rajada and the tomb of the Lord of Sipán; and the vast ruins of Pampa Grande. Overnight, Chiclayo. (B, L)
Wednesday, July 30: Take the Pan-American Highway to ancient Moche sites: the burial of San Jose de Moro; the complex of El Brujo—three 2,000-year-old temples, the earliest thought to have been overwhelmed by a tsunami; and the Museo Cao, dedicated to the first-known woman ruler of ancient Peru. Overnight, Hotel Libertador, Trujillo. (B, L, D)
Thursday, July 31: Visit the ancient city of Moche and its monumental Temples of the Sun and Moon; murals depict human sacrifices in response to destructive El Niño weather and prolonged droughts. Continue to the great Chimú sites, including Chan Chan and the Tschudi temple-citadel. Finish the day in Huanchaco, a seaside town where fishermen still use traditional reed boats. Overnight, Trujillo. (B, L)
Friday, August 1: Head south through desert irrigated by the huge Chavimochic canal, passing near Los Morteros, an early mound site on an ancient shoreline. Cross the Santa Beach Ridge Plain, formed by earthquakes and El Niño, then visit the 7,000-year-old fishing site of Ostra, which attests to a very different former climate. End the day in Casma, an oasis in the coastal desert. Overnight, El Farol Inn, Casma. (B, L, D)
Saturday, August 2: Tour Cerro Sechin, where images carved on 3,400-year-old temple walls are among the earliest signs of interpersonal violence in Peru, and other sites of that period, including Sechin Alto, the largest mound in the Americas, and Pampa de las Llamas-Moxeke, a temple mound and storage complex. Later, visit the fortress-temple of Chanquillo (first millennium BC); archaeologists have found evidence of a sophisticated solar observatory here. Overnight, Casma. (B, L)
Sunday, August 3: Drive 4 to 5 hours to the mountain town of Huaraz. Free afternoon and evening to acclimate to the 10,000-foot elevation. Overnight, Andino Club Hotel, Huaraz. (B, L)
Monday, August 4: Follow the Santa River between the Cordillera Blanca—the highest part of the Peruvian Andes—and the Cordillera Negra, visiting traditional villages on the way. At Huascarán National Park, enjoy a high-altitude stroll and views of snow-covered peaks. In the afternoon, visit the cemetery of Yungay, a mountain town buried by an earthquake-triggered avalanche in 1970. Overnight, Huaraz. (B, L, D)
Tuesday, August 5: Head south to Querococha Lake. Take the trans-Andean tunnel to 3,000-year-old Chavín do Huántar, core of the first highland culture to spread through the Andes; visit the Museum of Chavín. Overnight, Huaraz. (B, L)
Wednesday, August 6: Drive to Barranca, with stops as time allows: a Chimú fortress at Paramonga; the preceramic coastal site at Aspero, where there is evidence of long-ago El Niño inundation; or Simón Bolívar's house, now a museum, in Pativilca. Overnight, Hotel Chavin, Barranca. (B, L, D)
Thursday, August 7: Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Caral, the center of a flourishing civilization—the first of its kind in the Americas. After 2,000 years, Caral collapsed during a period of severe environmental stress. South of Caral, Bandurria shows evidence of similar environmental change; today it is a test site for the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, which builds local economies through tourism rather than looting. Lunch in Chancay. Drive to Lima airport for afternoon departures. Remaining guests: overnight in Lima on your own, Miraflores district. (B, L)
Itinerary subject to change
B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner
Tuition: Tuition is per person, based on shared accommodations, and includes accommodations, meals listed, entry fees and permits, group gratuities, and group transportation from arrival in Lima, Peru, on July 26, 2014, until departure from Lima on Aug. 7, 2014. International transportation to and from Lima is your responsibility. Airport departure taxes and visa fees not included. Program prices are based on current tariffs and currency exchange rates and are subject to change. Crow Canyon reserves the right to levy a surcharge, if necessary, prior to the final payment date.
International Air: International flights are not included. When making travel arrangements, plan to arrive in Lima no later than midnight on Saturday, July 26, 2014. Schedule departure from Lima for after 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.
Accommodations: First-class or boutique hotels (double occupancy); single accommodations available for an additional fee of $1,230.
What to Expect: This custom itinerary includes a Peruvian escort during the entire program. All road travel is by modern coach. No drive is more than 5 hours, one-way; expect short portions of driving to be over rough roads. This program involves some strenuous activity, with access to and exploration of some sites requiring moderate walks of up to a mile on packed trails, climbing and descending steep steps, site visitation at high altitudes (10,000 feet), and standing for an hour or more at a time. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in this program, please contact us.
The following penalty schedule applies: On or before April 23, 2014: $500 handling fee; after April 23, 2014: forfeiture of all payments. For complete cancellation and refund policy, see Terms and Conditions.
The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center's programs and admission practices are open to applicants of any race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, or sexual orientation.
Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California
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