Nasca Lines Drawn in Desert Near Coast of Peru (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: Although many hypotheses have been advanced, the so-called Nasca lines and figures remain enigmatic. Careful analyses of the Nasca culture indicate that these figures probably served several different purposes.
Summary of Event
About 200 miles (320 kilometers) south of Lima, Peru, is the Nasca Plain, a featureless desert of red-brown pebbles located on a high, rainless plateau. Although the view from the ground is uninteresting, aerial views reveal an enduring and enigmatic human-constructed spectacle, the Nasca lines and images. Etched into the desert floor are a huge conglomeration of lines, geometric shapes, and images of animals. Although the size of the figures is gargantuan, spanning hundreds of feet, they are surprisingly well proportioned, while the lines connecting the figures extend for miles and are absolutely straight.
These markings were created by Nasca peoples some two thousand years ago, when a thin layer of dark rock was removed to reveal the lighter-colored soil beneath, enhanced by stacking the cleared stones along the border to a height of several inches. At ground level, many of the lines are difficult to see and the figures are unrecognizable. Why would these ancient people develop the skills and dedicate considerable time and energy to construct geoglyphs (ground drawings) and markings that are neither intelligible nor impressive when viewed from earth’s surface?...
(The entire section is 1693 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!