Archaeologists have mapped dozens of circular geoglyphs etched into the sand near the ancient Peruvian town called Quilcapampa in the Sihuas Valley. The geoglyphs they mapped have different ring-shaped designs, some comprising several intertwined rings.
Some of the geoglyphs consist of three or more circles. This particular geoglyph is one of the most complex. It has at least six rings arranged in an irregular pattern. Click on to check out more images of these geoglyphs …
Draped in fog
The geoglyphs are located in the Sihuas Valley in Peru near the ancient town of Quilcapampa. This photograph, taken from the Panamerican Highway, shows the Sihuas Valley draped in fog.
Many of the geoglyphs are very simple, consisting of little more than circles with some rocks piled nearby. They can be made very quickly. Many of them are located near an ancient trade route. Archaeologists say it's possible that ancient traders could have created the geoglyphs quickly to mark the end of a journey, or part of their trade route.
This photo shows a circle surrounding a pile of rocks in the Sihuas Valley in Peru. The rock piles, called cairns, do not seem to contain burials.
Etched into sand
Two more circles with the remains of rock piles are seen here, in Peru's Sihuas Valley. The geoglyphs seem to have been created by removing the surface soil to reveal the sandy soil below, the archaeologists wrote in a paper set to be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.
1- Several circles and the remains of rock piles can be seen in this image. The researchers found that many of the geoglyphs were created during the Late Intermediate Period (A.D. 1050 to 1400), when Quilcapampa supported a 70-hectare (173 acres) settlement that was a trade hub.
Here, part of the landscape where the circular geoglyphs are found in Peru.
Archaeologists aren't sure why the people of Quilcapampa often used such rings in their geoglyph designs. And because no writing system in the area existed at the time, there are no records to give the scientists insights into the question.