Stretching across the Nazca plains like a giant map or blueprint left by ancient astronauts, lie the famous Nazca Lines of Peru. Peru is associated with the Inca Civilization.
The Nazca Lines, mysterious geoglyphs that span a vast swath of the rugged Peruvian desert, remain an engima. No one has proof as to who built them and what their function was. Since their discovery, the they have inspired fantastic explanations from ancient gods, a landing strip for returning aliens, a celestial calendar created by the ancient Nazca civilization -- putting the creation of the lines between 200 BC and 600 AD, 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, were made and remade throughout the whole pre-hispanic period, forming a most impressive, as well as enigmatic, archeological group.
The Nazca Lines are located in the Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau that stretches between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the pampa (a large flat area of southern 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, 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.
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-colored 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.
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 various designs consisting of figures of animals, flowers and plants, objects, and anthropomorphic figures of colossal proportions made with well-defined lines. 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 is The Astronaut at 32m length discovered by Eduardo Herran in 1982.
The lines are many kilometers long and crisscross sectors of the pampas in all directions. Many of the lines form geometric figures: angles, triangles, bunches, spirals, rectangles, wavy lines, concentric circles.
Satellite Image NASA
The Monkey (Biogenetic Experiments)
Dog? Four-legged Animals
Wing (Ascension of Consciousness)
Hummingbird or Phoenix (Creation)
Spider - Spider Woman or Spiderweb Effect
Flower - Flower of Life?
The Lines were allegedly made by removing the iron-oxide coated pebbles which cover the surface of the desert. When the gravel is removed, they contrast with the light color underneath. In this way the lines were drawn as furrows of a lighter color. Off the Pampa, south of the Nazca Lines, archaeologists have now uncovered the lost city of the line-builders, Cahuachi. It was built nearly 2,000 years ago and mysteriously abandoned 500 years later.
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.
It is difficult to keep the Nazca Lines free from outside intervention. As with all ancient ruins, such as Machu Piccu, weather by wind and rain, and human tampering will take their toll on these ancient Lines.
In recent years the Nazca Lines have suffered gradual destruction, as tomb raiders seeking pre-Inca artifacts scar the terrain with hundreds of burrows, garbage, among other waste material. A boom in copper and gold mining - including a mine built in 1997 a few feet from a 2,000-year-old, two-mile-long trapezoid -- is defacing parts of the Nazca Lines with tracks from truck traffic.
Over the past decade, advertisers and political campaigns have carved huge messages in the rock and sand between the ancient designs in this region 250 miles south of Lima.
In 1998, floods and mudslides from the El Nino weather pattern seriously eroded several figures.
As electricity reaches the growing local population, utility companies are running power cables over and around the site.
The damage to the Lines underscores Peru's desperate struggle to preserve its national patrimony. Archaeologists say they are watching helplessly as the quest for scholarship and conservation in a country viewed as the cradle of New World civilization is losing out to commercial interests, bleak poverty and the growing popularity of heritage sites as tourist attractions.
=Toribio Mejia Xespe, a Peruvian doctor and anthropologist was the first scientist, in 1927, to show interest in what he called "great Incan ceremonial artifacts".
Michael Coe believes the Nazca Lines are sacred paths to walk by specific rites. The primary lines were an offering for elders, heaven, and mountain deities who gave them water for their fields.
Erich von Daniken suggested, in his 1968 book, Chariots of the Gods, that the lines were built by ancient astronauts as a landing strip. But the soft clay soil and layer of brown and black rocks in the Nazca desert would seem an unsuitable site for landing and were blown away by the power of rocket propulsion. The aliens left - never to return - leaving the people confused. Like in the modern cargo cults they tried to call the Gods back by drawing lines, figures and trapezes.
Robin Edgar beieved that the Nazca Figures were inspired by, and intended to be seen by, the (so-called) Eye of God that is manifested during total solar eclipses. An extraordinary series of solar eclipses coincided with the construction of the Nasca lines. Some Lines are aligned with the winter solstice, a less spectacular but more regular, death and rebirth of the Sun God.
The Code of Carl Munck - The Ancient Geomatria of Numbers --The Nazca Line ground markings locate themselves on The Code Matrix system. Nazca Lines and Archaeocryptography The ancient sites around the world are very precisely positioned on a global coordinate system in relation to the position of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The positions of the sites are given in the geometry of their construction. A very ancient system of numbers was used in the system, which we will call Gematria. Gematrian numbers are found in ancient myths and religions, including the Bible. Gematrian numbers were used in systems of weights and measures by ancient peoples, including the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Babylonians and the Romans. The Code system uses mathematical constants, such as pi and the radian. The system also uses conventions that are still in use, such as the 360 degree circle, 60 minute degree, 60 second minute, the base-ten numbering system, the 12-inch foot, and the 5280-foot mile.
The ancient Mayans used Gematrian numbers in their very accurate timekeeping.
Maria Reiche was a German mathematician and archaeologist who was famous for researching the Nazca Lines. She believed the lines were an Astronomical Calendar indicating the direction of the rising of important stars and planetary events like sun solstices. Formations like the spider and the monkey could show star constellations like Orion and Ursa Mayor. The problem with all astronomical theories is the unknowing of the age. The direction of stars changes within centuries, explained by the precession of the equinoxes.
Reiche led a determined effort to discredit theories of extraterrestrial visitors. She argued that the Nazca Indians constructed the Lines some time between 300 BC and AD 800. In support of this possibility, some scientists have put forward ingenious ideas on how the geoglyphs could theoretically have been designed from the ground. The more important evidence, however, is that which attempts to link the Lines definitively to the Nazcan culture. Here, neither of the two key pieces of evidence survive close scrutiny.
The first piece of evidence is a series of radiocarbon dates, based on ceramic and wood remains which were left at the Lines by the Nazca people. It is claimed that this proves that the Nazcans constructed the Lines. On the contrary, the dating of these materials tells us only that the Nazcans lived in the area of the Nazca Lines. Since the Lines themselves cannot be radiocarbon dated, the possibility remains that they already existed when the Nazcan culture emerged. The second piece of evidence is the alleged resemblance of the Nazca geoglyphs to certain features found on Nazca pottery. This is an important issue because it potentially offers proof that the Nazcans had either designed the images or at least viewed them from the air. Maria Reiche died in 1998 at the age of 95. She is buried in the arid valley she loved so well.
Professor Gerald Hawkins and his group went to Nazca to prove the astronomical Theory of Maria Reiche but was unsuccessful. In 1968, a study by the National Geographic Society determined that, while some of the Nazca lines did point to the positions of the Sun, Moon and certain stars two thousand years ago, it was no more than could be expected by mere chance. In 1973, Dr Gerald Hawkins studied 186 lines with a computer program and found that only 20 per cent had any astronomical orientation - again no more than by pure chance.
Simone Waisbard stated that the drawing of Nazca are a giant astronomical calendar. Further the Nazca-line-system was used to measure the precipitation value. Figures, especially seabirds, have a connection to the meteorological prophecy system of the Nazca-Culture. Her ideas for the trapezoid formations: places for holy animals before sacrifice them, or field claims connected with filter galleries, observatories or places for ritual ceremonies of the different clans.
Alan F. Alford concluded that the Nazca-Lines was made by Negroid Slaves of the Tihuanaco Culture. After a revolution the Negroid population destroyed some figure, this is the explanation for overdrawn zigzag-formations. Later this people went in northern direction and founded Chavin and the Olmec culture.
Robert Bast linked the lines to the Flood Stories in his book A Memory of the Deluge. The animal, plant and human-shaped figures are lying together on the ground as a memorial place of the big flood.
Gilbert de Jong wrote A Nazcan Zodiac. He traveled to Nazca and measured the GGF by GPS. He obtained a length of the square side of about 54,7 Meter. In the formation he recognized a Zodiac.
Markus Reindel's Dowsing Theory says that the Nazca Figures are markers for a subterranean waterflow. Trapezoides show the broadness of the waterstream, zigzaglines show where they end, lines show into direction of the puquitos. He explain the nature of the figures by rod-dowsing (to find the subterranean water) and shamanstic flights (to overview the figures).
Nazca Lines Google Videos
On the pampa, south of the Nazca Lines, archaeologists have now uncovered the lost city of the line-builders, Cahuachi. It was built nearly two thousand years ago and was mysteriously abandoned 500 years later. New discoveries at Cahuachi are at last beginning to give us insight into the Nazca people and to unravel the mystery of the Nasca Lines.
In general, Nazca culture is considered to consist of three stages; Early, Middle, and Late stages, and also the Classic Nazca (approximately A.D. 250-750). One of the most famous and distinctive features of the Nazca culture is the polychrome pottery which has attracted attention because of its technological refinement and the exciting symbolism of its motifs. This pottery culture spreads in the area of the valleys of Chincha, Pisco, Ica, Nazca and Acari.
In the Early stage, these wares did not have much color, but Middle and Late Nazca polychromes are buff or red and are painted in three to eight colors. The most popular choices of color were red, black, white, brown, yellow, gray and violet with an outline in black. Bowls and beakers were common forms, but double-spout and head-and-spout jars are also found. Birds, fish or fruits were commonly drawn on the pottery, and Nazca's religious or mythological features were also used in its design.
Nazca Figurine depicts a Solar Eclipse and the Eye of Creation
Cahuachi was a major ceremonial center of the Nazca culture and overlooked some of the Nazca lines from 1 CE to about 500 CE. Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Orefici has been excavating the site for the past few decades, bringing a team down every year. The site contains over 40 mounds topped with adobe structures.
The permanent population was quite small, but it was apparently a pilgrimage center that grew greatly in population for major ceremonial events. These events probably involved the Nazca lines and the giant sand dune of Nazca. Support for the pilgrimage theory comes from archaeological evidence of sparse population at Cahuachi and from the Nazca lines themselves which show creatures such as killer whales and monkeys which were not present in the Nazca region. Trade or travel may explain the images. Due to the dry climate the finds are quite rich and include even such ephemeral material as clothing. Looting is the greatest problem facing the site today.
Their ancient technique of weaving, that the Nazca people developed, has given an insight into how the lines may have been made, and what they might have been used for more than 1,500 years ago.
Cahuachi, in Peru, was a major ceremonial center of the Nazca culture and overlooked some of the Nazca lines from 1 CE to about 500 CE. Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Orefici has been excavating the site for the past few decades, bringing a team down every year. The site contains over 40 mounds topped with adobe structures. It has also been studied by Helaine Silverman, who has written a book on Cahuachi.
The permanent population was quite small, but it was apparently a pilgrimage center that grew greatly in population for major ceremonial events. These events probably involved the Nazca lines and the giant sand dune of Nazca. Support for the pilgrimage theory comes from archaeological evidence of sparse population at Cahuachi and from the Nazca lines themselves which show creatures such as orca and monkeys which were not present in the Nazca region. Of course, trade or travel may explain the images. Due to the dry climate the finds are quite rich and include even such ephemeral material as clothing.
Looting is the greatest problem facing the site today. Most of the burial sites surrounding Cahuachi were not known until recently and so present a very tempting target.
Stunningly preserved in the dry soil of the Peruvian desert
are the mummified bodies of the Nazca people themselves.
Mysterious Nazca Lines Desert Drawings Form Labyrinth Live Science - December 27, 2012
Some of the Nazca Lines, mysterious geoglyphs that span a vast swath of the rugged Peruvian desert, may have once been a labyrinth with a spiritual purpose, a new study suggests. At the time the Nazca Lines, which span 85 square miles (220 square kilometers), were drawn, people were not looking at this stuff from the air, they were looking at stuff from the ground level. To appreciate what they might have meant to ordinary people, then you have to walk them.
Logging 'caused Nazca collapse' BBC - November 2, 2009
The ancient Nazca people of Peru are famous for the lines they drew in the desert depicting strange animal forms. A further mystery is what happened to this once great civilisation, which suddenly vanished 1,500 years ago. Now a team of archaeologists have found the demise of the Nazca society was linked in part to the fate of a tree. Analysing plant remains they reveal how the destruction of forests containing the huarango tree crossed a tipping point, causing ecological collapse.
Forest clearances sealed ancient civilisation's downfall PhysOrg - November 2, 2009
Archaeologists examining the remains of the Nasca, who once flourished in the valleys of south coastal Peru, have uncovered a sequence of human-induced events which led to their "catastrophic" collapse around 500 AD. The Nasca are probably best known for the famous "Nazca Lines", giant geoglyphs which they left etched into the surface of the vast, empty desert plain that lies between the Peruvian towns of Nazca and Palpa.
The Epoch Times, May 24, 2005
A group of about 50 drawings of giant figures recently discovered in the hills of Peru's southern coastal desert near the city of Palpa has been said to predate the famous Nazca lines nearby.
Mr. Johny Isla, director of the Andean Institute of Archaeological Studies, said the 'geoglyph' figures appear to have been created by the Paracas communities between 500 and 400 BC, whereas the Nazca culture developed after 50 BC.
Mr. Isla and his partner Dr. Markus Reindel from the Dutch Institute of Archaeology discovered the Paracas figures using aerial photography and land-based surveys. The figures of humans, birds, monkeys and cats vary in size from 10m to 50m across, and are also grouped together in areas up to 60 m to 90 m across.
The Paracas figures were created by removing dark stones in order to expose the lighter surface underneath. Some areas were cleared and others built up with rock, creating figures in high and low relief. With the Nazca lines though, the geoglyphs were only made by clearing low-relief areas. Until recently scientists believed that the figures in the Palpa and Nazca regions were only from the Nazca culture. Mr. Isla says cultural dating and style of the newly found Paracas figures sets them apart.
Mr. Isla told The Epoch Times, "Most of these geoglyphs belong to the Nazca culture but our recent studies demonstrated that there are at least 50 geoglyphs pertaining to the Paracas culture. These new figures are definitely different and older than those of the Nazca culture.
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