Researchers Identify 168 New Nazca Lines in Peru
If you’ve read much of my writing, you’ve probably noticed that ancient human history is a favorite topic of mine. I just love learning about how people lived thousands and hundreds of thousands of years ago. We can’t know everything about them. We may not even ever know much about them all because only remnants of them remain — long since buried beneath our feet.
I want to know their perspectives, beliefs, and wisdom and understand their thinking behind creating the things we’ve found. Like today’s topic, the infamous geoglyphs known as the Nazca Lines in Peru. Scientists have known about them for a while, but archeologists recently discovered over a hundred more!
Geoglyphs are simple ancient designs, like pictographs, except instead of being drawn on cave walls, geoglyphs are created using the planet’s terrain. They are often challenging to date for the same reason, but they’ve been discovered worldwide, and the artifacts found in the areas are thousands of years old.
The Nazca Lines are easily the most famous grouping of geoglyphs and were created by and named after the pre-Hispanic Nazca civilization — one of the most sophisticated ancient Peruvian cultures. Based on current evidence, the Nazca culture etched their geoglyphs across the desert plains of the basin river of Rio Grande de Nazca between 400 BCE and 650 CE.
For over a thousand years, the Nazca drew over a thousand geoglyphs (that we know of) that sprawl across 75,358.47 hectares (186,214.8 acres). The images portray large-scale geometric shapes and lines, plants and animals like insects, birds, and flowers, and mysterious, fantastical human-like figures. These and other geoglyphs are protected UNESCO heritage sites. UNESCO states:
“[The Nazca Lines] are the most outstanding group of geoglyphs anywhere in the world and are unmatched in their extent, magnitude, quantity, size, diversity and ancient tradition.”