The Nazca Lines are amazing line figures in a desert, Southern Peru, depicting animals only visible from the air. The lines were first discovered over a century ago. They portray such diverse creatures like a whale, dog, monkey, man, hummingbird, condor and spider.
Where are they located?
They are located in the Pampa region of 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 Nazca, which 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. It is now believed the Nazca lines were created by the people of the Nazca culture (around 200 BCE – 600 CE). Also; even older lines have been discovered that predate the Nazca and have been created by the Paracas people.
When were they discovered?
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. No one knew who had built them or indeed why. Since their discovery, the Nazca Lines have inspired fantastic explanations.
Preserving the Nazca lines
The extremely dry climate of the desert in Peru preserved the figures for over two thousand years and will probably save them for thousands more. The question that always arises is the fact that for the Nazca people, the figures were not visible from the ground. They only were clearly visible from the sky. This strange fact has intrigued researchers for over a century now.
Did the Nazca believe the gods came from the sky? Did they want to appease them with visual tributes? The research is still ongoing.
1. Killer Whale
3. Baby Condor