Peruvian archaeologists have discovered more ancient geoglyphs in the Nasca desert
Cusco, April 17th 2018:
The globally famous Nasca Lines, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, were created by a series of coastal dwelling cultures over centuries, beginning more than 2000 years ago and ending with the Incas, not long before the arrival of the Spanish.
Fully visible only from the air, the Nasca Lines are composed of what are known as “geoglyphs”: geometric and zoomorphic designs produced by removing the desert’s surface and exposing the lighter colored layer below. Their original purpose remains a mystery, although theories abound. Some experts believe they were conceived as a gigantic astronomical observatory, while others theorize that they served as an agricultural calendar.
The recent discovery of more than fifty geoglyphs includes figures of humans, birds and felines, which over time have been eroded and covered by wind-borne sands, rendering them almost invisible from any distance.
Peruvian archaeologists were aided in their discovery by drones and satellite imagery. In interviews with the Peruvian press, the archaeologists Johnny Isla and Luis Jaime Castillo explained that they had been able to identify between 15 and 20 groups of figures, totaling between 50 and 60 individual designs.
These newly discovered geoglyphs appear to pre-date the famous Nasca Lines, and rather than occupying the flat desert plain are located on the slopes of hills in the Palpa Valley, some distance from the designs flown over each day by tourists in light aircraft.
According to experts, these latest discoveries were produced by the Paracas and Topará cultures, who occupied lands to the north of the area traditionally defined as Nasca culture territory. An account of the archaeologists’ findings was published in a recent edition of National Geographic magazine.
According to Castillo, most of the newly discovered figures depict warriors, and prior to the severe erosion suffered, they would have been visible from the ground at a considerable distance from the hills upon which they were traced. The discoveries have been dated to between 500 BC and 200 BC.
You can look the video from the National Geographic here: