Saturday, March 1, 2008

Back To The Line

If you happen to be flying in a plane over western Peru, between the towns of Palpa and Nazca, make sure you look down. Chances are you will see some of the hundreds of Nazca lines, a series of geolyphs ranging in complexity from simple lines to stylized creatures. These include hummingbirds, spiders, fishes, sharks, llamas, lizards, and monkeys, as shown above. The figures exist within an area of 500 square kilometers, and the largest figures are nearly 270 meters long.

Small stones coated with iron oxide cover the surface of the Nazca desert. The lines are created by removing these pebbles, revealing the lighter-colored earth underneath.

These lines were created by the Nazca culture between 200 BC and 700 AD. However, the real questions to be asked are how and why, rather than when. Nobody really knows the answers, but there are always theories.


Some suggest that the Nazca people made the lines using simple tools and surveying equipment. Using the technology available to the Nazca Indians of the time, a team of researchers lead by Joe Nickell managed to reproduce the figures without any aerial supervision.

  1. The Nazca lines can only be recognized as coherent figures from an aerial vantage point. For this reason, many believe that their motivation was to make images for gods to see from the skies.
  2. Others hypothesize that these lines suggest the Nazca Indians had some form of manned flight, specifically a hot air balloon, from which to view the lines themselves.
  3. Another theory suggests the lines were "walking temples," where a congregation of worshipers walked in the predetermined pattern of that particular holy entity.
  4. Lastly, in his book Chariots of the Gods, Erich von Daniken claimed that the lines were landing strips for alien spacecraft

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