Wiracochan Archeological Project 2016

The Wiracochan Archeological Project 2016 is officially underway! The expedition will take place from July 13 – August 5, 2016 in the rugged Vilcabamba region, south of Corillera Vilcabamba, on the rugged slopes and ridgeline of a mountain called Wiracochan. This will be Peter´s fifth expedition to this region. The previous four have mostly been reconnaissance missions looking for sites of interest for future expeditions; the current one is different in that the team now has a government permit and so can now delve into the heavy archeological work of excavating, surveying, and mapping the previously discovered sites. The team will also be following up on some of their hunches about sites still hidden beneath the jungle…

The ridgeline and eastern slopes of Mt. Wiracochan where the expedition will be taking place.

The ridgeline and eastern slopes of Mt. Wiracochan where the expedition will be taking place.


The project´s goal is to further explore the ¨Sacred Landscape¨ concept that was so important to the Incas, whereby they would create structures that were in harmony with the natural surroundings and well situated to worship natural features and phenomena. In this region, the team wants to connect the dots between the many ceremonial platforms in the area (at least 10 are known of) and the large nearby ruins of Choquequirao, the local glaciated peaks, stars, and important astronomical events such as solstices and equinoxes. The team hopes to discover what kind of ceremonies were taking place on these platforms and gain insight into why the Incas devoted so much time and energy into building them in such remote places. Ideally, the Project will uncover Inca roads, new ceremonial platforms and the alignments of old ones, and, if they are truly lucky, burial sites and tombs with mummy bundles.

The team will have the traditional tools of archeology at their disposal: shovels, picks, sifting screens, brushes, and human sweat. But this year they have also added a DJI Phantom 3 Professional aerial drone into the mix. The drone will help them cover the vegetated, rugged terrain and identify areas of interest, possibly even the suspected cliffside tombs.


The DJI Phantom 3 Professional aerial drone

For short biographies of all the team members, click here.