The mystery of the Nazca lines, what do archeologists say?

The mystery of the Nazca lines, what do archeologists say?

Among the Peruvian cities of Nazca and Palpa, lies one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of all time. Since archaeologists began studying the figures of Nazca desert in the thirties of the twentieth Century, there have been dozens of theories about its creation. Which is the correct one?

Nazca Desert, one of the driest in the world, was home of the Nazca culture that took place between 200 BC and 600 AD. This civilization created a set of enormous geoglyphs  in the Pampas of Jumana, in Peru, visible only from a certain height. These lines are drawings of animal figures, human and also geometric.

Pampas de Jumana are located at a height of 330 meters and maintain an average of 25 degrees Celsius during all the year. It is one of the driest areas of the Planet, which helped to preserve the drawings all these centuries. Hot air also helps, because it has prevented the lines from being erased by the wind.

The creation theories

There are many theories about the creation of these geoglyphs and its  meaning. Why and how did they created these enormous figures? Archaeologists initially thought the lines were just roads, like Julio César Trello and Toribio Mejía Xesspe in their researches in 1932. With the time there were other theories that claimed that the figures were like sanctuaries for religious use.

Photography by Maria Reiche, one of the first archaeologists to study the lines in 1953.

One of the most curious discoveries is that, according to some japan experts, Nazca figures were designed by at least two different cultures, with different techniques and symbols. Researchers at Yamagata University, led by Dr. Masato Sakai in Japan, say that there are four different types of figures with different routes.

All of them tend to connect in same point: the pre-Inca city of Cahuachi. Today in Cahuachi there is only a pyramid, but between year 1 and 500, when the city experienced its splendor, it was a center of pilgrimage the center of the Nazca culture.

Archaeologists discovered that the drawings were very different to the rest when they start to be closer to Nazca Valley, and from there to Cahuachi. In that area, there is a particular style of drawings, with supernatural beings and heads shown as trophies. According to these experts, a third group of geoglyphs, perhaps drawn by both groups, is on the Valley of Nazca, between the two cultures.

If you watch the last movie of Indiana Jones, you will see the Nazca lines filmed. However, we invite you to see them in person. Come to Peru and discover this and other mysteries of ancient cultures!

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