We will spend just one day at home after returning from Maui and then we get back on the great silver bird and fly to Quito, Ecuador. From there we will be picked up and taken into the sticks of Ecuador for 5 weeks of field school. Sandy gets 12 quarter units toward her Master's degree in Archaeology, I'm along for the ride. We will spend an extra week in Ecuador after the school is over before we fly home. My two youngest boys will spend that time at home, half of their summer vacation. However, they are essentially adults now and they will be be living off campus next year at college anyway.
Pambamarca is both a mountain and a region of Ecuador. It is way out in the middle of nowhere although the folks that live here would probably think differently. The elevation the working sites varies between 8,000 and 14,000 ft. From the photos we have seen from previous year's schools, the area is a dry hilly area. It will be cool and very windy. They warn us that it gets very cold at night.
This was a site of a many years long war between the Cayambe area tribes and the Inca. The Inca eventually "won" only to be stomped by the Spanish a few years later. The digs are in an area of many fortifications that may have changed hands many times over the course of the conflict. I'll learn more about the history of the area after I am there.
There are two groups of students at this field school. The larger group comes from Foothill College in Northern California. The smaller group comes from UCLA. Sandy is enrolled in the UCLA program. The UCLA group will be staying in a 500 year old Spanish hacienda near one of the dig sites. I am apparently on "staff" which means that I will be helping out keeping this activity running smoothly. I expect that my main job will be as a "gopher" (go-fer this and go-fer that). The Hacienda is set up like a hotel, our food will be prepared for us and we get weekly laundry service. Sandy and I get our own small room, many of the students will be staying in dorm like accommodations.
This field school has been in operation every year for many years. Since the Pambamarca school was started, many other archeological field schools have been established all around the world. It is my understanding that the Pambamarca school was the first one of it's kind. It is sponsored by the Cotzen Center at UCLA.
Sandy has created her own web page to document our trip. There is also an official project blog with entries written each day by the students.
We got back from Maui in one piece and are packing and preparing for the trip to Ecuador. The airplane leaves at about 2 AM tomorrow.
© 2009 George Schreyer
Created 5 Jun 09
Last Updated June 18, 2009