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Band of Holes – The Weird & Mysterious Site in Peru
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Band of Holes – The Weird & Mysterious Site in Peru

3 min read

Apr 27, 2018


By Saloni Gupta

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The Mysterious Band of Holes in Peru

Band of Holes, about 5,500 man-sized holes can be found in Peru’s Pisco Valley on the Nazca Plateau. Also known as Monte Sierpe or Cerro Viruela, the local people & Archeologists have no idea about how these holes were formed. READ NOW to explore facts, timeline and more information about the famous Band of Holes. Let’s get started!

Theories behind Band of Holes

While experts have given a few theories behind the formation of Band of Holes Peru, it is still not clear as to why exactly they exist. Over the years,  it has been suggested that these mysterious holes were graves, war defensive positions, storage places, or even that they are of extraterrestrial origin. Recently they have been thought as storage pits built during the time of the Inca Empire from 1438 to 1533. Band-of-Holes

Band of Holes Facts

There is no real pattern in how these holes were dug or formed. The holes are almost 1 meters in diameter and range between the depth of 50-100 cm. Their width ranges from 14-21 meters. Starting at the edge of a valley and continuing up a hill for 1 mile, the band of holes extends in a north-south orientation over a very uneven rocky surface.

(American Museum of Natural History) A 1931 aerial photograph is the first known documentation of Monte Sierpe, an ancient Peruvian site popularly known as the “Band of Holes.”

Band of Holes Timeline

  • In 1933, Band of Holes was first brought to the light by an aviator named Robert Shippee who published a photograph in National Geographic.
  • In 1953, Victor Wolfgang von Hagen inspected the site and described the holes as pre-Inca graves,
  • in his book The Royal Road of the Inca, thus compounding the mystery.
  • in 1970’s, Frederic Engel and Dwight Wallace visited the site. in his book The Inca Road System, John Hyslop writes “They are between two important Inca sites (Tambo Colorado and Lima la Vieja), and very near the point where the Inca coastal road crosses the road to the highlands. They might be one of the empire’s larger storage sites”.”
  • In 2015, Archaeologists from UCLA made a visit to the site. They used drones to create a very detailed map of the holes. They speculate that the holes may have been a method of measuring the produce that would be given to the Inca state as a tribute.
(Courtesy Charles Stanish)


(Courtesy Charles Stanish) The mile-long arrangement of depressions is visible here in a recent image taken from a drone.

The archaeologists plan on doing further investigations by taking soil and rock samples from the Band of Holes site. They will also be studying if the band of holes has any relationship to the Nazca lines. There is still no answer as to what these holes exactly are and why they were formed. The Incan’s were excellent engineers and Masons as proven by Machu Picchu and now this mysterious discovery!

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