Rhea Bennett: Harvard Summer School Program in San Jose de Moro, Peru

Rhea Bennett, Kirkland House class of 2020, is concentrating in Archaeology and getting a secondary degree in biology. She loves traveling to the field and spent the summer of 2018 at an archaeological dig in Acre, Brazil, and the summer of 2019 on the North Coast of Peru. Her love of fashion has led her to be a costume designer with the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatics Club and to do her Honors Thesis research on the body ornamentation of the elite pre-historic women of the Moche, Lambayeque and Chimu cultures.


Harvard Summer School Program in San Jose de Moro, Peru

Photo Essay by Rhea Bennett

The summer of 2019 has been an amazing adventure. We learned about Incan quipus from the world expert on the subject, toured important archaeological sites and museum with their directors, took lectures from Peru’s Minister of Culture and interacted with locals whose lives have been affected by archaeological research. On the weekends small packs of students ventured into town visiting local restaurants and cultural craft stores. I even got to practice my Spanish language skills as a I ordered the best milkshake I have ever tasted.

This past summer I had the pleasure of attending the Harvard Summer School Program in San Jose de Moro, Peru. In addition to providing me with course credit towards my concentration and access to the archaeological sites I am researching for my honors thesis, this trip provided me and my peers with invaluable cultural experiences as we traveled through the highlands and along the north coast of Peru. Having the opportunity to attend this archaeological field school has been invaluable to me as a student of Anthropology and as a global citizen.

Solsire Cusicanqui Marsano (TF) enjoying a meal in a highland Village

Idabelle Paterson ‘22 observing an Inca Quipu


Nam Hyun Kim ‘21 at a colonial cross in the Peruvian Highlands

Idabelle Paterson ‘22 observing pre-Columbian textiles
Professor Gary Urton, world expert on quipus, explaining quipus to students
A replica of traditional pre-Columbian circular home along the Inca Trail in the highlands

Mackinley Fitzpatrick ‘20, Michael Corolla (Yale), and others resting during a hike to an archaeological site located on top of a mountain.

Rhea Bennett ‘20 cleaning human vertebra in the bioarchaeology lab during the San Jose de Moro field school.

Professor Gary Urton and program participants celebrating the American Independence Day in Peru with a 1776 birthday cake.
Caroline Elson ’22 reading the menu at Nes - Soda & Café in Trujillo, Peru
Angeline Diana ‘20 taking a photo of her fancy milkshake at Nes - Soda & Café in Trujillo, Peru

Partially excavated Huaca - Tucume