Mysterious holes in Peru connected with Inca Empire

Archaeologists focus attention on the mysterious site in Peru that consists of numerous, dense pattern of holes in the ground following a linear outline. The site, known as Band of Holes, is located in the Pisco Valley in Southern Peru. Archaeologists from University of California who started to study the site speculate that it could have been part of a defensive structure, or served as a marker for a trail, or might even be a geoglyph in the tradition of the nearby Nazca lines.

The Band of Holes in the Pisco Valley on an archive photograph (by National)
The Band of Holes in the Pisco Valley on an archive photograph (by Archaeology)

A survey showed that most of the holes were about three feet across and 20 to 40 inches deep. They were made in various ways, some dug into artificial mounds of soil and others made up of small rock structures on the surface. None were dug into the hill’s volcanic bedrock. The archaeologists also noted that the band is divided into several unique groupings, each of which have different patterns of holes.

The Band of Holes in the Pisco Valley at present (by Archaeology)
The Band of Holes in the Pisco Valley at present (by Archaeology)

Using a drone, they collected aerial images and created a new, detailed map of the Band of Holes, which they estimate is made up of between 5,000 and 6,000 depressions. The band could have been completed by a team of 100 workers in a month. A smaller group of 10 workers could have made it in perhaps 300 days, though it’s likely the holes were dug gradually over a long period of time.

Detail of The Band of Holes (by Archaeology)
Detail of The Band of Holes (by Archaeology)

Finds suggest that the Band of Holes dates to sometime around the fifteenth century, after the Inca Empire conquered the Chincha people, who were native to the region. It is possible that the holes at Monte Sierpe could have been used to measure out tribute. Monte Sierpe is only four miles from Tambo Colorado, a massive fifteenth-century Inca administrative centre built above the agriculturally productive Pisco Valley. It’s the perfect place to stop, measure your produce, and make sure you have the proper amount of tribute.

(after Archaeology)

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