Venner worked a short season in northern Peru, surveying and excavating a Chimu village site, dating from the 10th to 12th centuries A.D. The project's goal was to determine if the village had been planned and built all at one time--something typical for the Chimu, who operated under a highly centralized and organized political system. The research demonstrated that the village was built all at one time.
The site is located in Peru's extremely dry Atacama Desert. Here, not far from a small river, the Chimu had dug a series of canals and turned the barren desert into a verdant area for growing maize. The Chimu harvested the maize and fermented beer, which was shipped to the Chimu capitol city, Chan Chan. Interestingly, the modern-day citizens of Casma still make this corn-beer.
The field team lived an an adobe-built compound without running water. Meals were prepared in an outdoor kitchen. The town of Casma was small, its main street having only an open-air market, a couple restaurants and bars, a government building, church, and a school house.