Stretching across the Nazca plains – like a giant map or blueprint left by ancient astronauts, lie the famous Nazca Lines of Peru. It also known as Nazca figures, Nazca Pictures and Nazca Images.
The Nazca Lines are an engima. No one know who had built them or indeed why. Since their discovery, the Nazca Lines have inspired fantastic explanations from ancient gods, a landing strip for returning aliens, a celestial calendar, used for rituals probably related to astronomy, to confirm the ayllus or clans who made up the population and to determine through ritual their economic functions held up by reciprocity and redistribution or, a map of underground water supplies.
There are also huge geoglyphs in Egypt, Malta, United States (Mississippi and California), Chile, Bolivia and in other countries. But the Nazca geoglyphs, because of their numbers, characteristics, dimensions and cultural continuity as they were made and remade through out the whole prehispanic period, form the most impressive as well as enigmatic archeological group.
The Nazca Lines are located in the Pampa region of Peru, the desolate plain of the Peruvian coast which comprises the Pampas of San Jose (Jumana), Socos, El Ingenio and others in the province of Nasca, which is 400 Km. South of Lima, covers an area of approximately 450 km2, of sandy desert as well as the slopes of the contours of the Andes. They cover nearly 400 square miles of desert. Etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand about 300 hundred figures made of straight lines, geometric shapes most clearly visible from the air. They were supposedly built by an ancient civilization called the Nazca.
The Nazca plain is virtually unique for its ability to preserve the markings upon it, due to the combination of the climate (one of the driest on Earth, with only twenty minutes of rainfall per year) and the flat, stony ground which minimises the effect of the wind at ground level. With no dust or sand to cover the plain, and little rain or wind to erode it, lines drawn here tend to stay drawn. These factors, combined with the existence of a lighter-coloured subsoil beneath the desert crust, provide a vast writing pad that is ideally suited to the artist who wants to leave his mark for eternity.
The pebbles which cover the surface of the desert contain ferrous oxide. The exposure of centuries has given them a dark patina. When the gravel is removed, they contrast with the color underneath. In this way the lines were drawn as furrows of a lighter color, even though in some cases they became prints. In other cases, the stones defining the lines and drawings form small lateral humps of different sizes. Some drawings, especially the early ones, were made by removing the stones and gravel from their contours and in this way the figures stood out in high relief. eh, Nazca Lines.
The concentration and juxtaposition of the lines and drawings leave no doubt that they required intensive long-term labor as is demonstrated by the stylistic continuity of the designs, which clearly correspond to the different stages of cultural changes.
There appear to be two kinds of designs: the first are figures of various beings and things and the others form geometric lines.
Huge trapezoidal (wedge-like) designs
The former consists of figures of animals, plants, objects, such as anthropomorphic figures of colossal proportions made with well-defined lines.
There are also drawings of flowers and plants, as well as representations of deformed animals and other strange Nazca figures.
An example of this is the drawing of a weird being with two enormous hands, one normal and the other with only four fingers. Also represented are drawings of man-made objects such as yarn, looms and “tupus” (ornamental clasps). All these figures have well-defined entrances which could be used as paths or to allow people to line together along the conformations of the drawings.
The anthropomorphic figures are relatively few and are situated on the slopes.
The most well-known being The Astronaut at 32m length an E.T., discovered by Eduardo Herran in 1982.
Others are The Man with a Hat and The Executioner and they also appear to be the most primitive. These figures are very similar to the small petroglyphs found in the rocky areas of the region.
In terms of the lines, many kilometers long, they crisscross sectors of the pampas in all directions. Many of the lines form geometric figures: angles, triangles, bunches, spirals, rectangles, wavy lines, etc. Other lines form concentric circles converging with or emanating from a promontory. Other prints have formed “roads” like geometric planes and appear to have been occupied by large groups of the population.
Spirals of consciousness? Sacred Geometry?
Many lines are random and seem to have no pattern to them. They are seen over the scattered seemingly at random over the desolate plain, crossing and intersecting for no apparent reason.
The Nazca Lines were first spotted when commercial airlines began flying across the Peruvian desert in the 1920’s. Passengers reported seeing ‘primitive landing strips’ on the ground below. Today people sometimes fly in hot air balloons to view the splendors of the Nazca Lines, their eneries awakening something within their souls.
NAZCA LINES – DESIGNS
1. Killer Whale
3. Baby Condor
THEORIES ABOUT THE NAZCA LINES
Maria Reiche – Astronomical Calendar – She was the most famous Nazca Researcher. Lines should show in direction of the rising of important stars and planetary events like sun solstices.