The Mysterious Nazca Lines in Peru
The animal mounds were found in a region famous for a series of ancient geolyphs, called the Nazca Lines, which are now considered a World Heritage Site in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. Here, Nazca Lines resembling a humming bird, as viewed from a plane.
CREDIT: tr3gin | Shutterstock
The Nazca Lines are giant figures on the desert floor situated near the modern city of Nazca in Peru. Such drawings are called geoglyphs.
These lines are scratched onto an estimated 170 square miles (450 square kilometers) of arid ground. They depict thousands of real and imaginary animals such as spiders, monkeys and even a killer whale. Geometric shapes as well as plants and elaborate figures are also etched into the rock.
Some facts about the Nazca Lines and the people behind them:
- The Nazca people of Peru were a prehistoric culture who archeologists think created the lines. They inhabited the region from about 200 BC to 500 AD when most of the lines were created.
- Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xesspe discovered the lines after he walked across them in the 1920s.
- Archeologists say the Nazcas developed a system to bring groundwater to the surface for irrigation.
- Scientists continue to debate the purpose of the lines, offering such theories as a calendar, a map of underground water supplies or even a message.
These geoglyphs became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and thousands of tourists flock to the attraction. Similar lines have been discovered in the Middle East recently prompting even more theories on why and how the images were created.
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