According to LiveScience.com the Nazca lines are enormous geoglyphs in arid coastal Peru that cover an estimated 170 square miles (450 square kilometers). Thousands of geoglyphs include creatures from the natural world and the human imagination.
National Geographic explains the drawings on the ground are made by removing rocks and earth to create a “negative” image. The rocks which cover the desert have oxidized and weathered to a deep rust color, and when the top 12-15 inches of rock is removed, a light-colored, high contrasting sand is exposed. Because there’s so little rain, wind and erosion, the exposed designs have stayed largely intact for 500 to 2000 years.
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 per Wikipedia.
The vast majority of the lines date from 200 BC to 500 AD, to a time when a people referred to as the Nazca inhabited the region. The earliest lines, created with piled up stones, date as far back as 500 BC.
LiveScience.com says no one knows why the prehistoric Nazca culture went through the effort of making the geoglyphs, though they may have had a ritual role or linked up to constellations in the sky. Another idea is that the lines play a role in pilgrimage, with one walking across them to reach a sacred place such as Cahuachi and its adobe pyramids. Yet another idea is that the lines are connected with water, something vital to life yet hard to get in the desert, and may have played a part in water-based rituals.
Whatever the case… the Nazca Lines are fascinating and mysterious.
Have a great weekend everyone! j & B