Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Nazca Animal Figures

Nazca Animal Figures (Nazca Lines), Peru, South America

Nazca Animal Figures (Nazca Lines), Peru, South AmericaNazca Animal Figures

Had there been no figures

Two millenniums back an ancient civilization by name Nazca flourished in the present Nazca town and its surrounding areas coming under Pampas de Jumana (San Jose) region of Peru. It has been estimated that this animal and other figures were made by those people who lived there between 200 BC and 700 AD. This desert land would never have got the attention of the modern world had there been no carvings (geoglyphs) on its ground because this arid desert has nothing other than these.

Two millenniums of solitude

These geoglyphs were lying undiscovered for centuries; only when commercial flights started across the Peruvian Desert in 1920 it came to the attention of some passengers who noted markings similar to airstrips on the desert surface. It was Toribio Mejia Xespa a Peruvian archaeologist who started initial works on bringing these intriguing figures before the modern world.

Geometry and artistry

These Nazca Lines are very large sketches made on earth’s surface by carving out the upper layer there by exposing the inner surface; they include humanoids, monkeys, birds, insects and even aliens! Straight lines, angles, triangles and rectangles, and all sorts of geometrical shapes. Potteries recovered from the area contains the prototypes of these figures hence it is presumed that the creators had observed these figures from the sky! One standing even within the sketch will not be able to identify what the object is!

What are these geoglyphs?

Making of the geoglyphs was a practice found in ancient cultures from time immemorial. These are figures, motifs or markings made on the hard earth surface either by placing stones or its pieces to form a sketch (positive geoglyph) or by chipping away the top layer thereby exposing the inner layer with a different hue to form the desired motif or figure; such geoglyphs are called negative geoglyphs the Nazca Lines belonged to this category.

What is it so special?

Nazca Animal Figures (Nazca Lines), Peru, South AmericaNazca Animal Figures

Geoglyphs are found in many parts of the world like Egypt, Malta and Chile; and even in US (Mississippi) but those of Nazca are far more intriguing, far greater in numbers, dimensions and size. The alien pictured alone can easily win hands down as the most mysterious thing in the world. The City of Nazca is located about 400 km from Lima the capital of Peru. They lay spread in the desolate desert and amount to around 500 sq km (200 sq miles) in area between Nazca and Palpa towns.

Can be understood from only a helicopter!

There are hundreds of figures made on the hard earth surface from simple lines to figures of human beings, birds, monkeys, spiders, fishes, sharks, llamas etc made of earth chippings; these are of very great size as the biggest of them is 900 feet in length! But these figures can be seen only as mere chippings of the earth for those who are standing near them, it could be appreciated only standing (or floating at least at a height of 50 feet (it is a desert and no tree available to climb and appreciate these figures!).

The Nazca Desert (Sechura or Peru-Chile Desert)

Nazca Animal Figures (Nazca Lines), Peru, South AmericaNazca Animal Figures

It is a long arid desert stretching from the Atacama to the northwester part of Peru, like Atacama Desert this is also the driest part of the world; known as the winter deserts. As per archaeologists; there existed great cultures like Moche, Sican etc since 400 BC. There is a town by name Sechura which stands in the name of the original Sechura town was swallowed by a terrible tsunami in 1728. Though San Jose (Pampas de Jumana) is a desert flooding rarely occurs; a freak flood occurred 1998 gave birth to a huge lake in the desert, now this lake is the second largest in Peru.

The Nazca Culture

The Nazca Culture flourished between 300 BC and 800 AD; living in arid deserts they mastered the art of water management; the underground aqueducts ducts they made still function for the proof of its efficacy. The City of Cahuachi was the place; were they assembled for celebrations and rituals. Archaeologists are excavating the Cahuachi Town for getting more and more evidence to study the way the Nazca Culture functioned.

Who made it?

The modern scientists are after these simple questions even a little child could ask. It may be funny to see the space-age scientists raking their heads after the people who made it and meaning of these drawings (geoglyphs). While some of the evidence and common sense suggest it as ancient people, some strange evidences are pointing fingers to the aliens.

Why they made them, astronomy?

Why these people lived in this arid land sweat to make these figures? A school of thought is that they lived in arid land and water was so scarce available only with rains. They marked these lines to study the position of sun, moon and other celestial bodies to understand season changes (when it would rain etc). Perhaps they would have been made by aliens to mark the place for a probable return; if sounds silly; go on reading the article.


Some of the scientists opine that these figures have no connection with astronomical or astrological events and they would have drawn it as a method of worship to gods. Worshiping of animals and birds was common practices throughout the globe it can be taken for granted; Ok then what about the lines and geometrical drawings; how straight lines and triangles can be gods?

One version is that these lines are showing directions where source of water available and animals are symbols representing landmarks.

Any other purpose?

These straight lines and geometrical patterns have been stated to be surveying standards. The wooden stakes found from nearby place has found to agreeing in measures to the patterns appear in the geoglyphs. Carbon dating tests conducted on these wooden stakes also has proved its age agreeing.

But how could they?

One question is how could those people make figures that could not be understood from the ground? These prehistoric people made these figures by removing iron oxide coated chips that covered the surface of the Nazca Desert thereby exposing the light lower part. How people standing on the ground can figure it out?

Listen to Erich Woodman

The ancient people probably knew the technology to make and ride in hot air balloons, these lines are for them to land there balloon-craft. To illustrate this theory Mr. Woodman even made a hot-air-balloon using the materials and technology available at that time and made a ride in it!

Erich von Daniken had no doubts regarding the origin of these figures; they were marked by aliens who visited this planet long ago! He has stated the same in his book titled ‘Chariots of Gods’; because these designs are so large and complex that a primitive tribe neither could make nor had they any use with them. Only those who use space crafts alone had any use with such large motifs! The 32 meters long figure of an alien discovered by Eduardo Herren in 1982 stands as a strong case for his point.

Those phenomenal bores!

Scientists have a phenomenal power to make the most interesting things to mere bore! For them human heart is an emotionless pump! It is same with these animal figures of Nazca; for Joe Nickell these figures could be made by ancients who even did not know the art of taming animals!

(Joe Nickell has demonstrated that using the technology and materials available at that time such big figures (geoglyphs) could be made without aerial guidance. A small team led by Joel could make such a large geoglyph within two days).

Natural Preservation

Perhaps the strangest thing with these geoglyphs is their survival for so many centuries without getting covered by sand or mud. We may thank to the particular environment available in Nazca for this ‘natural preservation’. The sand of Nazca is heavy due to iron oxide contents which do not get carried away by the wind or water; moreover there is seldom any rain or strong wind in this desert.

Thank You nature!

Nazca Animal Figures (Nazca Lines), Peru, South AmericaNazca Animal Figures

The real thanks should go to the absence of human beings in this area. These markings are just 10 to 30 cms deep and human interference if any would have demolished them far before. How many such valuable monuments have perished before human presence? Fortunately the scarcity of water and lack of any sort of wealth keep these human beings away; otherwise the fate of Amazon Forests would have haunted Nazca too! Absence of water and wealth also can be considered a natural preservation technique!

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