The Humay Holes

In the rocky soil of the Pisca Valley, a path of holes can be found. Generally, it consists of holes one meter in diameter and one meter in depth, eight holes per row with rows stretching for nearly a mile. They stretch up a mountain from a river, and no one knows who built them or why. If you like closure, now’s your chance to turn back. If you like being wrapped up in a mystery, read on…

The strange band of holes in the desert
The strange band of holes in the desert

The main trouble surrounding this archaeological site is the lack of artifacts in the area. Were they used as tombs? No bones have been found, so it seems unlikely. What about a storage site for grain? No grain has been found either and there are certainly much easier methods to store grains than carving into a mountain. And not all of the holes seem to be complete. While some holes are merely depressions in the earth, others are precisely carved and perfectly circular.

Lieut. George R Johnson (chief photographer of the Peruvian Naval Air Service) flew over the marks in the early 1930s.
Lieut. George R Johnson (chief photographer of the Peruvian Naval Air Service) flew over the marks in the early 1930s. Photo from National Geographic Vol. XIII, January 1933

One exploratory trip in 1996 brought Polish researcher Piotr Strzyzewski to the hypothesis that the holes were used for transportation of some sort:

We also believe the purpose of the construction could be the transportation of large oblong and heavy objects weighting some 100 metric tons or more by means of a tow method involving the muscle power of hundreds of Indios in a very efficent way. My own model and calculations confirm the feasibility of such transportation method. The open question remains what kind of object or objects could had been moved there, why and when. We admit, our explanation is also a highly speculative one and we still look for other possibilities.

Strzyzewski's associate Margarethe standing amidst the holes
Strzyzewski’s associate Margarethe standing amidst the holes

The theories of these holes range from transportation to extraterrestrial visitation, but no theory has evidence to support it. Local people indigenous to the area, alas, have no legends or myths regarding the holes. This leaves very little to go off for research, and makes it anyone’s guess. Perhaps the nearby Nazca lines (on the same plateau) were constructed by the very same culture. Or perhaps these holes are more ancient than even the Nazca (who emerged around 100 BCE).

A few miles east of the site (seen through satellite imagery) lies the possible ruins of an ancient community or city. Though no archaeological work has been done there, this could lead to some answers about the people that built the band, but unlikely the band itself. It seems the answers may be lost to history, and such is the way with many ancient constructions. We live in a universe of deep time and will never fully know our past.

The possible nearby settlement seen in Google Maps (click through to view)
The possible nearby settlement seen in Google Maps (click through to view)

One thought on “The Humay Holes

  1. Duh… These were created by an ancient culture whose lack of sanitation knowledge led to the need for an excessive number of pit toilets.

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