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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Central America - Nicaragua - El Rayo Field School -2016

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2016-06-30
End Date 2016-08-04

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

Institute for Field Research, University of Calgary

Academic Credit

8 semester credit units (12 quarter units)

Archaeology Field School Tuition


Archaeology Field School Room and Board

Included in tuition

Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

Tuition includes registration, accommodations, program activities, meals on workdays, and health insurance. Airfare, weekend meals and optional excursions are additional.

Archaeology Field School Description

Ethnohistorical accounts from the 16th century CE describe the indigenous cultures of Pacific Nicaragua, including strong evidence for shared Mesoamerican cultural and linguistic traits. For the past 15 years, archaeologists have excavated sites along the shore of Lake Cocibolca in search of archaeological evidence for Mexican colonization. This field school will continue this quest through investigations at the site of El Rayo, the most significant site for studying the potential impact of outsiders on indigenous cultural traditions. Previous excavations at the site have encountered mortuary and domestic contexts representing both the pre-migration Bagaces period (500-800 CE) as well as the post-migration Sapoa period (800-1250 CE). Through comparisons of the material culture and behavioral contexts of these two periods we expect to recover key evidence for further interpretations of culture change, especially relating to ancient ethnic identities. El Rayo is located on the Asese peninsula into Lake Cocibolca, in a tropical zone currently cultivated with bananas. Excellent preservation of organic materials allows the recovery of animal bones and carbonized seeds in addition to the beautiful polychrome pottery for which the region is famous. Mortuary remains have been recovered from several site loci, including a separate cemetery zone, in association with a masonry altar, and within the domestic context. The field school project will include continued excavation of domestic and mortuary contexts at El Rayo. This research project will continue a longstanding program from the University of Calgary, working in close collaboration with regional institutions including the National University of Nicaragua and Mi

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Directors and Instructors

Dr. Geoffrey McCafferty

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Call us toll free at +1 (877) 839-4374

Institute for Field Research office address:
2999 Overland Ave. #103, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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