The Nazca Lines

If you are interested in History, Mystery & related theories, you gotta read about The Nazca lines!

The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. Scholars believe that these were created by Nazca culture around 400-600 AD. The high, arid plateau stretches more than 80 kilometers (50 mi) between the towns of Nazca and Palpa.

There are hundreds of gigantic simple lines to drawings of Monkeys, spider,hummingbirds, fish, sharks, orcas, and lizards. The lines are shallow designs made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish/grayish ground beneath. Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes; more than seventy are zoomorphic designs of animals such as birds, fish, llamas, jaguar, monkey, or human figures. Other designs include phytomorphic shapes such as trees and flowers. The largest figures are over 200 metres (660 ft) across. Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but in general they ascribe religious significance to them.

This aerial photograph was taken by Maria Reic...

This aerial photograph was taken by Maria Reiche, one of the first archaeologists to study the lines, in 1953. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The reasons for making such gigantic drawings with incredible efforts still remains a topic of discussion, though we have many theories which try to explain this!

Theories about The Nazca Lines:

One of them says: “The geometric ones could indicate the flow of water or be connected to rituals to summon water. The spiders, birds, and plants could be fertility symbols. Other possible explanations include: irrigation schemes or giant astronomical calendars.”

Erich von Däniken’s theory: “It is the most famous approach to solve the mystery of Nazca. He had the idea that long time ago visitors from other stars visited the earth and naturally Nazca. At this place they landed, during the landing stones was blown away by the power of rocket propulsion. By approaching more the power was increasing and the cleaned band broader. In this way the first trapezes emerged. Later the Aliens disappeared and left confused people. Like in the modern cargo cults they tried to call the Gods back by drawing lines, figures and trapezes. Never Däniken said the formations was made by Aliens.”

The theory by Maria Reiche: “Maria Reiche, the most famous Nazca-Researcher, prefer the astronomical theory. Lines should show in 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 big problem of all astronomical theories is the unknowing of the age. The direction of stars is changing within centuries because the phenomena of precession.

Reiche has led a determined effort to discredit the von Daniken theory of extraterrestrials. The strategy of this attack has been to argue that the Nazca Indians constructed the Lines relatively recently – 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 Nazcan 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 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 Nazcan 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 has her theories but no conclusive proof as to their construction.

In 1968, a study by the National Geographic Society determined that, whilst 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 programme and found that only 20 per cent had any astronomical orientation – again no more than by pure chance. In 1982, Anthony Aveni obtained similar results, whilst in 1980, George Petersen pointed out that Reiche’s theory did not explain the different lengths and widths of the lines. More recently, Johan Reinhard has noted that the surrounding mountains provided a ready-made and much more effective mechanism for the Nazcans to use as a solar calendar; the lines would thus have been quite superfluous to them. In addition to this avalanche of scientific opinion, we should also note that Reiche, like von Daniken, has failed to explain the significance of the animal geoglyphs.

Maria Reiche, the German mathematician and archaeologist most famous for her research into the enigmatic figures of Nazca, died in 1998 at the age of 95. She is buried in the arid valley she loved so well.”

I hope it was interesting for you!

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2 comments on “The Nazca Lines

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