Nazca Line Cactus

Nazca Line Cactus

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Nazca Line Cactus - History

Masaki Eda In a new study, researchers re-examined 16 of the geoglyphs formed by the Nazca lines.

Researchers have unlocked another piece of the puzzle related to Peru’s ancient Nazca lines — and no, they still don’t think they were made by aliens.

Using enhanced techniques from multiple disciplines, a group of Japanese animal scientists re-examined and re-identified 16 of the bird geoglyphs that stretch across Peru’s desert plains, and have determined that many of the birds depicted in the ancient designs were actually species foreign to Peru.

Which gets us one step closer to figuring out why these birds were carved into the Earth 2,000 years ago.

“Until now, the birds in these drawings have been identified based on general impressions or a few morphological traits present in each figure,” noted study co-author Masaki Eda of the Hokkaido University Museum. To identify the birds, “we closely noted the shapes and relative sizes of the birds’ beaks, heads, necks, bodies, wings, tails, and feet and compared them with those of modern birds in Peru.”

Paul Williams/Flickr Thanks to their dry surroundings in the Peruvian desert, the Nazca lines have been mostly preserved in the last 1,000-2,000 years.

The Nazca lines are often considered the Eighth Wonder Of The World and were built by the Nazca people between 400 B.C. and the 1,000 A.D.

They are spectacular lines that stretch miles and miles to form different geometric patterns and animals, so big that they can only be captured fully from the sky. Some lines are as long as 30 miles.

The Nazca lines comprise 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures like spirals and triangles, and — most famously — representations of 70 plants and animals, including what appear to be spiders, cactus, whales, and of course, birds.

These ancient bird depictions had originally been identified by archaeologists to be local species of hummingbirds, flamingo, duck, mockingbird, and guano bird. According to this new study, however, many of the birds may have been species that aren’t native to the area of Peru where they were drawn — like pelicans, hermits, and parrots.

Among the reclassifications, a geoglyph previously identified as a hummingbird — Geoglyph No. PV68A-CF1 — is apparently a hermit, which is found on the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains.

Eda M., Yamasaki T., Sakai M. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports This time around, scientists used an ornithological approach to examine the Nazca lines.

“Due to its long and thin bill, short legs, three toes facing the same direction, and the long tail with an elongated middle section, the previously identified hummingbird [Geoglyph No. PV68A-CF1] is re-classified as a hermit,” the study notes. “In Peru, long and pointed tails only occur in hermits whereas the tails of typical hummingbirds are forked or fan-shaped.” The new study was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

While the newly classified birds may not be native to the area, they are still found in South America’s tropical rain forests and coasts, places where the Nazca people would have gone to forage for food.

While we still don’t know why these lines were drawn — to communicate with the gods? to encourage rain? – one thing is clear: the exotic birds that the Nazca people drew were important to them.

“If exotic/non-local birds were not significant for the Nazca people, there [would be] no reason to draw their geoglyph,” Eda told Newsweek.

The Nazca Lines: A Mystery on the Plains

By Tarini Carr

Some billions of years ago the earth’s crust and surface features began to form and shift into a semblance of what we know as the Earth planet today. The shape of the continents would have been quite foreign to our eyes then, and indeed the climates were quite different as well, over the very long time from then till now, the moremany incidents occurred with some very interesting results.

One such routine incident, such a mind bogglingly long time ago, began to form what would later be known as South America. Upon this continent in what then would be the southern part of Peru, at some point in the great scale of prehistory, began to form lush valleys, and gorges, and between them all dry elevated plains. These plains were covered in small dark red surface stones that would be polished by the desert winds. The climate of these ‘pampas’ is now extremely dry, as it only rains once every few years, and there is little wind.

About 1500-2000 years ago the Nazca people inhabited this area. They might not be quite so well known today if it weren’t for the particular geological and climatic features of their homeland. Most people learn about the Nazca because of the famous Nazca lines etched in the desert between the Ingenio and Nazca river valleys. The desert formed an enormous drawing board for the Nazca upon which they etched huge lines, trapazoids, and animal figures by removing the dark colored surface stones and top soil to expose the lighter colored sand underneath. Spread out across several hundred sq kilometers (about 3-4x the size of Manhattan island) of the arid Peruvian desert, these drawings have been remarkably preserved. In any other climate, these drawings would have been obliterated in months, but the Nazca is one of the driest and most windless regions on earth. Much mystery surrounds these drawings, for their exact purpose and meaning remains unknown. How were they created so precisely? Some of the lines continue for kilometers on end only varying by a few degrees. For whom? And why? Even their dating is only somewhat certain, as it was approximated by the pottery shards found within the sands. It is possible of course that these lines were created before the Nazca, but it is difficult to ascertain the truth with no evidence to give us a clear and conclusive answer. As any find, or object from past civilizations is apt to do, these lines have drawn a lot of attention and speculation as to their use and reason for creation. It seems no one person can quite agree on how to understand the Nazca lines. Archaeologists and others have been trying to understand how and why these lines were formed for over 80 years. Anything from ancient foot race paths, and ceremonial walking, to alien runway’s have been suggested for the reason of the lines existence. It is necessary to explore all of these theories and to look at the recent and past research to see if one can come to any sort of conclusive picture behind the enigmatic lines in the desert.

As with all things from the past, it is nearly impossible to analze and interpret the findings with a completely objective and accurate viewpoint. Archaeologist’s, and other scientists project the ideas and values of the present upon the past. It is very difficult to escape our own cultural conditioning. This is the inherent problem within archaeology, especially, but they try to the best of their ability to understand the past with the tools they have.

How Were the Lines Made?

Fortunately one thing that most scientists can agree upon is how the lines were made. At first the enormity and preciseness of the lines seems to point to a remarkable feat of engineering. Many of the drawings must also be viewed arially to see them in their entirety, and thus it was thought that it would have required an airborn observer to aid the artists in creating the precise figures and proportions we see today. However, according to Dr. Persis B. Clarkson, an archaeologist and geoglyph expert at the University of Winnipeg “ It was not a difficult technology.all you need is the will.” It would have just taken careful and diligent attention to sight the lines. To prove this, a group of 10 Earthwatch volunteers helped an astronomer and anthropologist, Anthony Aveni, in a study of the Nazca lines. In just and hour and a half, without a printed plan, they created a straight line winding into a spiral 35 meters long and one meter wide. Splitting into groups, each one performed a different task, and the result was, according to Aveni, a figure as accurate as any Nazca drawing measured with a surveyor’s instrument. It is fairly conclusive that it was not necessary for the Nazca to have possessed great mathematical or engineering skills to create the figures or lines in the desert. It was possible simply by people working together with their eyes and hands. So there is one of the mysteries cleared up.

There will always be the naysayers, and the alien theorist’s, but it is fair to point out other possible means of these lines creation. Because of the drawings being so large, and as previously mentioned, only fully viewable from the air, it was suspected that perhaps the Nazca were capable of flight. Pottery found in the area depicted images that could have been kites, or baloons. At the end of many of the lines were found wide circular pits containing charred rocks that could have been a launching site for a hot air baloon. A big if, but one some felt was worth testing. Bill Spohrer, an American living in Peru, and Jim Woodman, a member of the International Explorers Society, recreated a baloon using materials they thought would have been available to the Nazcans. Using only the heat generated from the ‘burn pit’ to lift off, the balloon flew a total of 14 minutes, on three different tries. Although a fascinating possibility, there is no evidence that the Nazcan’s actually could have or did fly. It still remains much more likely that they lines were created only from those on the ground.

Why Were the Lines Made?

This question is not quite so easy to answer, for there are dozens of theories and no conclusive hard evidence to point to one absolutely.
Why would these ancient people make drawings so huge that they could not be appreciated from the ground, but only fully from above? Perhaps that was the point they were intended for the eyes of the gods, as a sort of offering to them. The Nazcan’s were very religious, and much of their life revolved around the growing of crops. Their very lives depended on it, and no doubt they wanted to insure the good will of the gods. Or perhaps there was a more practical purport to the seemingly pointless lines in the desert?

Astronomical Alignments

One of the first people to study the lines was the American geologist Paul Kosok. He proposed an astronomical meaning to the lines, after he observed the sun setting exactly over the end of of the long single lines, on the winter solstice. The straight lines from “The largest astronomy book in the world’ as he proposed it, were intended to point astronomical events on the horizon. Keeping track of the position of the sun, moon, and other staars would have enabled the Nazca to predict when to plant and harvest their crops, as well as know when the rivers would have more water in them. By drawing upon the social developments he thought had taken place in that era, Kosok attributed the creation of the lines to a ‘power hungry-astronomer priest’ who used his knowledge and the lines as a form of rigid social control.

Marie Reiche continued the study after his death, and devoted over half her life to the measuring and mapping of the lines. She attributed a less practical application to the Nazca they were intended as a sort of mental excersize to show off the Nazcan’s capability with geometry. Her extensive study, however, did not examine all the lines, and she came up with three different lenghts of measurement, 32.6m, 26.7, and 32.5 meters. Although possible that there is some correlation, it is probably unlikely that 3 such unrelated numbers have any real significance. Unlike the Egyptian Pyramids or Hindu temples, where their ‘sacred geometry’ repeats many auspicious numbers, such as pi, or 108.

The astronomical alignment hypothesis was basically disproved in 1968 by the astronomer Gerald Hawkins.He plotted the lines and analzyed them by computer to see if they corresponded to any constellations. Hawkins had studied Stonehenge years before and had developed a technique that enabled him to find an atronomical key to the site. Using this same technique, Hawkins found that the Nazca lines he studied were random, and did not correspond to any celestial bodies.

A point to note, for either of these view points, is that the scientists did not take into consideration which constellations where visable in South America, and whether they were different from those in the Northern Hemisphere. Also, little study has been done to discover which astronomical dates were important to the Nazcan’s to see if any of the events can be observed to correspond in some fashion to the lines. Without knowing what these people thought and held to be important, it is difficult to say that the monkey, or the spider, or any of the lines aligned astronomically with a particular star or group of stars. Especially as some formations are viewable only in one hemisphere and not the other.

The Cheque System

Another explanation posited for the lines is that they were a precursor to the Inca ceque system. The Inca had a tradition of imbuing power to features in the landscape. About 250 kilometers east of Nazca, is the Inca capital of Cuzco. It has four roadways, called suyus that lead out from the most remote areas of the kingdom. Spanish chroniclers documented that each of these roadways lay within 41 imaginary straight lines, or ceques, which all radiated outward from Coricancha, the temple in Cuzco which was considered the center of the Inca universe. Sacred places, called huacas, lay out on each of these ceques. Many of the ceques had the last huaca marking the subterrenean water sources of Cuzco’s irrigation system.

There were many functions to the ceque system it provided an agricultural calender with each huaca representing a day in the agricultural year. Anthony Aveni noted “ the third huaca in the 13th ceque of the southwest quadrant consisted of a large hill with two markers. When the sun reached them, it was time to sow”. It was a very intelligent system, but that was not its only purpose. Like with many ancient people there were practical as well as spiritual purposes to their actions. The ceques were used as routes of pilgrimage, and also served a social purpose. Different classes of people gathered to worship and care for their particular huacas.

The Nazca lines, when compared to the Cuzco ceque system by Aveni and his team, were found to have a similarity to the ceques in that they tended to radiate outwards, like the spokes of wheel from landscape centers such as hills. They hypothesized that perhaps the Nazca lines were a precursor to the ceque system of the Inca. They did further research by measuring and mapping 800 of the straight lines. Remarkably, noted Aveni, each of the Nazca line ‘centers’ “bore an uncanny likeness to one another. Each one consisted of a natural hill or low mound topped by a rock cairn that may have served as an identifying marker. “. His team also discovered that the trapezoid’s axes were oriented along the underground water sources. All of these discoveries would point to one certainty: that the lines were in some important way connected to water sources. The Nazca only predate the Inca by 2,000-500 years depending on the region, so it seems very possible that the Inca may have carried on certain traditions from their ancestors.

Drawing for the Divine

What is so curious aboout the Nazca lines is why would the people have bothered to make the figures so large as to be unappreciable except from above? This naturally suggests that perhaps the figures weren’t meant for human earthbound eyes, but for the gods. The Nazca were so dependent on nature and her cooperation for their existence, they surely wished to keep the gods happy and thus perhaps the lines were merely an enormous offering to their divinities. The Nazca were an agricultural society and knew how to irrigate, plant, harvest, distribute, collect etc. However the one thing they could not control was the weather. The climate was stable for years, decades or even centuries on end, but then suddenly they would be struck with an extended drought or volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, fires, or some other natural catastrophy. Was the Nazca plain a place of pilgrimage and worship? It could have been, it is not fully certain, but it is as plausible as many of the other theories. Because the figures seem to be best appreciated from above they could have been offerings or appeasements to the gods to help them with fertility, crops, and a good source of water.

Alien Encounters and the South American Olympics

The most notorious theory of how the Nazca lines were formed, we owe to Erich Von Daniken, who first proposed that these lines and figures were ancient landing sites for aliens. He proposed that aliens landed in the Nazca desert way back when humans were supposed to be evolving from primative beings. The many lines in the desert were gouged by the landing spacecrafts of the beings from outerspace. It is probably not necessary to linger on his theories, as it falls into the same category as those that like to propound any ancient wonder such as the pyramids of Egypt as being the work of beings from other planets or universes. Even allowing the possibility that aliens may exist, the desert sand is far to soft to be a good landing spot for an arial vehicle, and does not explain how or why the animal drawings were created.

Some have also proposed that the lines and spirals were used as running race paths. G. Von Bruenig suggested in 1980 that the lines were used for running races, after he examined the lines and determined that they were partially shaped by continous running. His imaginative hypothesis detailed a series of local races, which led up to national competitions, and even included team outfits that were supposedly depicted on Nazca pottery.

In 1978 William Isbell theorized a similarity between the building of pyramids in Peru around the same time as the lines, in that they could be a "social mechanism for investing unpredictable surpluses in ceremonial activities" in order to regulate population. The problem with this theory is that it was proved the lines could have been created quite easily, and in a short amount of time without a huge labor force. It wouldn’t have been a very effective form of population control.

All of these theories are imaginative, have very little evidence to their favor, and are overwhelmingly filled with large gaps. They are however, worth a notice, because in some ways their guess is as good as any. It is not truly known how or why the lines were created, and most likely we will never know, unless something such as a literature is discovered which can say for certain what their purpose was.

Sacred Paths

Johan Reinhard, an archaeologist known for his research on Incan ice mummies, postulated that the lines were sacred pathways to a place from which the people worshiped the mountains as the source of water, and invoked the mountain gods. Many of the lines seem to be made for walking upon, being the width of a footpath, and made of one single continous line. The animal figures, he proposed, were the manifestations of the mountain gods, who were believed to take the form of different animals and to have controlled certain animals. The Andean people still worship the gods of the mountains today. The figures were made so large in order that the mountain gods, who presumably existed above, might view them.

This seems to be a logical explanation for the animal figures, as the Nasca people were religious, and believed the gods must be pleased in order to insure good crops and reliable sources of water.

The Nazca Lines Project

The Nazca’s most important resource was water and the seasonal and long term variation’s had a direct impact upon them. Below the surface of the pampa lie subterranean aqueducts and wells. The lines placement, as seen in various studies, seems to reflect the location of these underground channels. One of the most recent studies being done upon the Nasca lines are aiming to prove that there is a direct correlation between underground water sources and the lines on the surface.
Conducted by Don Proulx and David Johson, who have been collaborating since 1996, this study endeavored to show the correlation between geoglyphs and the subsurface water flow, as well as to structural geology and hydrology. Johnson mapped the location of all the puquios and high yield wells in the Aja area of the Nazca Valley, and found everywhere there were faults, puquios, and wells, the sources of fresh water were clearly marked by geoglyphs. Further they discovered the various lines, and shapes appeared to have particular purposes. For example:

“Trapezoids were found to lie directly over the track of faults and the width of the trapezoids defined the width of the fault zone capable of transmitting ground water as concentrated flow. Triangles, or what Johnson refers to as pointers, pointed to areas where the faults crossed the ridges or hilltops. If one follows a pointer to the ridge line, evidence for the fault can usually be found in the bedrock exposures. In contrast, a zig-zag pattern located along the boundary of a geoglyph system indicated there was no water. The last correlation that he noted was that there were always archaeological sites affiliated with the geoglyphs, geologic faults, puquios and wells.” (Nasca_Lines_Project )

Johnson’s observations led them to postulate a new hypothesis to explain the purpose of the Nasca lines: that the geoglyphs were used to mark subterenean water sources, and geological faults that could tell the Nazca people where they could reliably find fresh water. As of 1999 ,a group of geologist’s and archaeologist’s supported by funding from the National Geographic Society, began to scientifically test Johnson’s new hypothesis. The goal of the group was to prove by scientific evidence that:

1. Faults intersect the valleys and often conduct aquifers (subterranean concentrated hydraulic flows),
2. Aquifers supply water to the puquios via fault systems and
3. Geoglyphs map the course of the aquifers.

The research is ongoing, but the results have been overwhelmingly positive.(For more information visit: ). This study has been the most scientific so far, but it does not account for the animal figures in the desert. Unfortunately,it seems no one theory can explain the presence of all the different lines. It is still necessary to find a more holistic hypothesis. I believe the lines probably had a religious and magical purpose as well as a practical one.

Whether made by the landing gears of alien spacecrafts, a homage to the gods, a sacred pathway meant for worship, or more simply a means to mark the sources of precious water to for the Nazca, the lines, figures, and animals that are etched upon the barren Peruvian plain, continue to inspire us to inquire about the past, to wonder at what was accomplished before the advent of modern technology and living, and remind us that there are forces we will never be able to understand within this universe. Life would be a lot less interesting if there were no mysteries to unravel.

The lines are shallow trenches having a depth of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm). These are bounded within an area of 190 sq mi (500 km 2 ). The biggest Nazca figures measure more than 200 meters across and several kilometers long. The hummingbird measures 310 ft (93 m), the spider 150 ft (47 m), the monkey 310 ft X 190 ft (93 m X 58 m), and the condor 440 ft (134 m).

Nazca Lines Astronaut Condor
Heron Hummingbird Nazca Lines and Geoglyphs
Nazca Lines fro the Top View Outline of Hands Nazca The Dogs
The Monkey The Pelican The Spider

The theories

The Kosok-Reiche astronomy theories held true until the 1970s when a group of American researchers arrived in Peru to study the glyphs. This new wave of research started to poke holes in the archeo-astronomy view of the lines (not to mention the radical theories in the ‘60s relating to aliens and ancient astronauts).

Johan Reinhard, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, brought a multidisciplinary approach to the analysis of the lines: “Look at the large ecological system, what’s around Nasca, where were the Nasca people located.” In a region that receives only about 20 minutes of rain per year, water was clearly an important factor.

"It seems likely that most of the lines did not point at anything on the geographical or celestial horizon, but rather led to places where rituals were performed to obtain water and fertility of crops," wrote Reinhard in his book The Nasca Lines: A New Perspective on their Origin and Meanings.

Anthony Aveni, a former National Geographic grantee, agrees, "Our discoveries clearly showed that the straight lines and trapezoids are related to water … but not used to find water, but rather used in connection with rituals."

"The trapezoids are big wide spaces where people can come in and out," says Aveni. "The rituals were likely involved with the ancient need to propitiate or pay a debt to the gods…probably to plead for water."

Reinhard points out that spiral designs and themes have also been found at other ancient Peruvian sites. Animal symbolism is common throughout the Andes and are found in the biomorphs drawn upon the Nasca plain: spiders are believed to be a sign of rain, hummingbirds are associated with fertility, and monkeys are found in the Amazon—an area with an abundance of water.

"No single evaluation proves a theory about the lines, but the combination of archeology, ethnohistory, and anthropology builds a solid case," says Reinhard. Add new technological research to the mix, and there’s no doubt that the world’s understanding of the Nasca lines will continue to evolve.

New Nazca lines uncovered in Peru as ‘lost’ 2,000-year-old giant cat figure unearthed

The country's Ministry of Culture is classing the 2000-year-old drawing as a new Nazca line that has gone undiscovered for all this time.

Nazca lines were first "discovered" by archaeologists academically in 1927, and have proved mysterious ever since.

Around 1000 of the enormous drawings have been found across the desert, and are so big they can generally only be identified properly from the air.

The ancient cat geoglyph measures 121 feet wide.

It was discovered during maintenance work at a visitor vantage point.

The Ministry said: "The figure was barely visible and was about to disappear as a result of its location on a fairly steep slope and the effects of natural erosion."

It added: "Representations of this type of feline are frequently found in the iconography of ceramics and textiles in the Paracas society."

The hillside the cat was found on is already popular with tourists.

As workers started to clean and restore the area they noticed the lines carved into Earth and carefully uncovered them all till the cat figure was observed whole once more.

It's thought that it was carved in 200 BC to 100 BC.

The Nazca lines cover an area of around 174 square miles.

They were created by pre-Hispanic societies and may have had religious purposes.

Lots of them depict animals but others are just mysterious shapes and patterns.

Nazca Lines & the World’s First Hot Air Balloon: A Theory of Ancient Flight in Peru & Nazca Desert Mystery

In the 1970s, an American by the name of Jim Woodman set out to prove his new and radical Nazca Lines theory. While both the purpose and construction of the Nazca desert geoglyphs have often divided scholarly opinion, Woodman’s idea was to come, quite literally, out of the blue. Could the Nazca civilization really have built and flown the world’s first hot air balloon?

A New Nazca Lines Theory

Woodman theorized that the magnificent geoglyphs would not have been made if the Nazca people themselves could not have appreciated the results of their labors. Why, he argued, go to such lengths to create the intricate lines and figures if they could never be seen? Looking down on the Nazca Lines from the air, Woodman became convinced that the Nazca people had taken flight.

While historians do not always agree upon how and why the Nazca Lines were created, there is a general acceptance that they were built by the Nazca civilization. This in turn places the construction of the lines somewhere between 200 BC and 600 AD. That the Nazca had flown, therefore, would seem a somewhat fanciful notion. Woodman, however, was determined to prove his theory.

The Nazca Lines & the Construction of the World’s First Hot Air Balloon

Woodman took into account the highly skilled weaving methods which the Nazca civilization was known to have possessed. He claimed that the construction of a hot air balloon or, more specifically, a hot air smoke balloon was not beyond the capabilities of the ancient civilization. These balloons would have been used both to aid the construction of the Nazca Lines and for “ceremonial flights” over the geoglyphs themselves.

Not settling for pure theory, Woodman approached British ballooning expert Julian Nott with his concept. Together, they set about building, theoretically, the world’s first hot air balloon in the Nazca desert. Using only materials that would have been available to the Nazca (such as totora reeds, cloth, and rope), the giant tetrahedron balloon, Condor I, was completed.

Condor I Takes Flight Above the Nazca Lines, Peru

In 1975, Condor I was prepared for its maiden flight over the Nazca desert. Smoke was used to fill the balloon, helping to seal the porous materials while providing the all-important lighter-than-air lift.

With the balloon inflated, Woodman and Nott confounded their critics by lifting gracefully into the air. A distinctly ungraceful landing followed, but several minutes of flight had been achieved at an average altitude of 300 feet. Woodman and Nott had proved, at the very least, that the Nazca could have flown above the desert.

Criticism of the Nazca Balloon Theory

Scholars and critics were quick to dismiss the Nazca Lines theory put forward by Woodman, despite his valiant airborne display. Historian Katherine Reece thoroughly (and quite relentlessly) counters all of Woodman’s claims in her article entitled “Grounding the Nasca Balloon”.

Woodman’s belief that the Nazca would not have created the lines had they themselves not been able to see them is one of Reece’s primary targets. She sees Woodman’s theory as coming from a “modern, and incorrect, viewpoint”. If the lines were built for the view of the Gods then why would the Nazca people need to see them?

On a more practical note, Reece also points out that “It is incorrect to say that the lines can not be seen from the ground. They are visible from atop the surrounding foothills”. Reece goes on to highlight a plethora of holes in Woodman’s theory, many of which center upon his inconsistent and inexact supporting evidence.

The Legacy of Condor I, the “World’s First Hot Air Balloon”

His practical demonstration may have been spectacular, but Woodman had failed to impress the historic and scientific community. While not as outlandish as Erich von Däniken’s extraterrestrial orientated Nazca theories, Woodman’s hot air balloon concept is largely discredited. However, what Woodman and Nott accomplished with their Nazca hot air balloon was not without lasting merit.

Referring to the successful flight, Julian Nott himself stated: “while I do not see any evidence that the Nazca civilization did fly, it is beyond any doubt that they could have. And so could the ancient Egyptians, the Romans, the Vikings, any civilization”. The successful though short-lived flight of Condor I had raised some interesting questions about aviation history and the history of technological development as a whole.


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Since its discovery, many have tried to delve into the question of how the Nazca lines were made. The Nazca lines are said to date back from 200BC to 500AD. This was the time when the Nazca people lived in the region. The ancient Nazca people, in their prehistoric culture, used engineering techniques to bring water to the surface for irrigation purposes. Some of the most interesting facts are the following:

  • It is mentioned that the Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejía Xesspe was the first to study and report the Nazca Lines after discovering the lines on foot in 1927. Then, with the increase in air travel in the 1930s, these lines became more known and today attract multiple tourists each year. Thanks to him you can enjoy the Nazca lines map and all its wealth.
  • In the 1940s, American professor Paul Kosok investigated the lines when the sun set. He noticed that the sunset was in direct alignment with the lines, which is why he called the lines the largest astronomy book in the world.
  • Maria Reiche was another renowned student of the Nazca lines. Reiche studied the Nazca lines images for 40 years and fought tirelessly for the acceptance of her theories. She claimed that the Nazca lines were made for a clear astronomical purpose. Reiche believed that the geoglyphs functioned as a type of calendar.
  • Mr. Proulx and Mr. David Johnson had been working on the Nazca Lines since 1996 and found the connection between the lines and the water system. Johnson mapped the location of wells and faults that were sources of fresh watermarked by geoglyphs.
  • Johnson and Proulx stated the following: “Trapezoids were found directly above the tracks where the width of the tracks defined the width of the fault zone capable of transmitting groundwater.” The comments and observations led them to a new hypothesis to explain the purpose of the lines. The Nazca Lines in Peru were used as a source of water, and the Nazca people depended on them for freshwater.

There is no doubt that the global understanding of the Nasca lines will continue to evolve with the passing of the years and new technological advances. Likewise, it is never too late for you to fly over the Nazca lines and put together your own theories about how they were made.

In another variation on the water-cult theory, Professor Anthony Aveni has noticed that the Nazca lines seem to converge in spoke patterns and trapezoids. This point of convergence is at the spot where surface water enters the river valleys or at patches of elevated land between streams. This nexus point would be the ideal place for rituals to thank the gods for providing water.

Independent researcher David Johnson believes that the Nazca lines were actually markers for subterranean aquifers, the location of which he has identified using a controversial method known as dowsing. His theories conflict with the prevailing understanding of Andean agricultural methods.