The Mystery of the Nazca Lines of Peru Is Unlocked
The Nazca lines in Peru have been called the Eighth Wonder of the World and date back to 500 B.C.
Drones and Satellites Have Helped To Unlock the Nazca Line Mystery
Thanks to huge advancements in technology, there have been many archaeological discoveries that have been startling. Recently satellites and drones have been put to good use and have worked and have become just as important as using a shovel and trowel out in the field.
The initiative founded by Sarah Parcak, GlobalXplorer, allows citizens who want to research to be able to do so as they can analyze satellite images and look at archaeological features along with identifying looting signs at heritage sites. Their first project was in the desert of Peru and involved volunteers looking at satellite images. Parcak is from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and said that when choosing which countries to go to that country needs to be one that everyone worldwide knows is important. For their first task, they chose one of the most enigmatic sites, the Nazca lines in Peru.
More Than 300 Geometric Patterns Including 70 Animal Forms
The Peruvian Nazca lines are called ground drawings, and they are characterized by huge lines running for many miles parallel and some are wavy, and they crisscross others. The lines are known to cross over and make more than 300 geometric patterns along with 70 animal forms and plant forms. One of the most intriguing of patterns is a figure named “The Astronaut.”
GlobalXplorer sent drones in over a stretch of desert 37 miles in length and a mile in width. During the research, they came across 50 new drawings on the ground opposite to the province of Palpa. The team used drones at low altitude, which meant that they could see lines that the human eye could not.
Geoglyphs Date Back 200 and 700 A.D.
Some of the new geoglyphs are said to come from the Nazca culture between 200 and 700 A.D. Archaeologists also think that some of them might have been formed during 500 B.C. and 200 A.D. during the Paracas and Topara cultures. There are many differences between the geoglyphs belonging to the Nazca and the Paracas cultures. The Topara culture was said to be a transitional culture that came between the two. The geoglyphs of the Nazca are generally seen from the sky, and the Paracas figure etched into the side of the hill, and the villages below can be seen them.
The etchings of the Paracas show humans over straight lines of the Nazca. There has always been a fascination with the Nazca lines, as the people would remove about 12 to 15 inches of rust-color parched earth, to reveal a light color contrasted sand. The lines have been unchanged for between 500 and 2,000 years thanks to the weather conditions in the region being stable.
Could Lines be Message to Gods or An Astrological Calendar?
While scientists know how the lines were made what is not known is why they were made. It does look as though they have been interpreted from above the Earth. Perhaps they were a message to gods, or they are a type of astrological calendar or perhaps something else. There have been many theories about the meaning of the Nazca lines since they were re-discovered by Toribio Meija Xesspe in 1926.
In 1941, a day after the winter solstice Paul Kosok realized the sunset was in direct alignment with a line and on doing so, he came across the biggest astronomy book in the world. In 1946 Maria Reiche, student, mathematician, and archaeologist from Germany developed upon the ideas of Kosok that the lines were a huge observatory and pointed out the rise of celestial bodies.
This is a theory that Gerald Hawkins, the American astronomer disproved as he found that only some of the lines corresponded with lunar, solar and stellar alignments and these only occurred by chance.
Eric Von Daniken wrote a book in 1968 called Chariots of Gods and used the lines as a rather elaborate theory. He said that perhaps ancient societies had been in contact with alien races that were advanced who had taught them everything they knew. He thought that the Nazca lines might have been used as a terrestrial airport for alien life forms. This is a theory that has been going around the internet and even made into a TV series and books.
Some researchers attributed the lines to rituals to bring on rain as each year the region gets around only 20 minutes each year. Johan Reinhard, an explorer for National Geographic, had in 1988 compiled meanings behind the specific bimorphs and he drew on symbolisms of animals from the Andes and compiled meanings behind the bimorphs. This was just another idea that was not proven.