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Unexplained / Unknown Earth / Mysterious Places / Nazca Lines / 

Nazca Lines

Nazca Lines are the most outstanding group of geoglyphs in the world. Etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand about 300 hundred figures made of straight lines, geometric shapes and pictures of animals and birds - and their patterns are only clearly visible from the air.

There are three mysterious aspects to Nazca Plateau.

First, the straight lines, many kilometers long, crisscross sectors of the pampas in all directions. Many of the lines appear to be random and seem to have no pattern to them.

Second, many of the lines form geometric figures: angles, triangles, bunches, spirals, rectangles, wavy lines, etc. Other lines form concentric circles converging with or emanating from a promontory. Other prints have formed "roads" like geometric planes and appear to have been occupied by large groups of the population.
Third, many lines form animal patterns.

Could these geoglyphs be effigies of ancient animal gods or patterns of constellations? Are they roads, star pointers, maybe even a gigantic map? If the people who lived here 2,000 years ago had only a simple technology, how did they manage to construct such precise figures? Did they have a plan? If so, who ordained it? It all seems so otherworldly. To comprehend the Nasca lines, created by the removal of desert rock to reveal the pale pink sand beneath, visitors have proposed every imaginable explanation - from runways for spaceships to tracks for Olympic athletes, from op art to pop art, to astronomical observatories.

It is believed that the geoglyphs were built by a people called the Nasca- but why and how they created these wonders of the world has defied explanation.

As much as the lines awe us, we marvel equally at the imagination of the people who have sought explanations for them.

The Nasca Lines are located in the Pampa region of Peru. The desolate plain of the Peruvian coast which comprises the Pampas of San Jose (Jumana), Socos, El Ingenio and others in the province of Nasca, which is 400 Km. South of Lima, covers an area of approximately 450 square km, of sandy desert as well as the slopes of the contours of the Andes.

The Lines were first spotted when commercial airlines began flying across the Peruvian desert in the 1920's. Passengers reported seeing 'primitive landing strips' on the ground below. No one knew who had built them or indeed why. Since their discovery, the Nasca Lines have inspired fantastic explanations.

On the pampa, south of the Nasca Lines, archaeologists have now uncovered the lost city of the line-builders, Cahuachi. It was built nearly two thousand years ago and was mysteriously abandoned 500 years later. New discoveries at Cahuachi are at last beginning to give us insight into the Nasca people and to unravel the mystery of the Nasca Lines.

Cahuachi is emerging as a treasure trove of the Nasca culture. As Orefici and his team excavate, discoveries of paintings on preserved pottery, and the ancient technique of weaving that the Nasca people developed, have given an insight into how the lines may have been made, and what they might have been used for, more than 1500 years ago.

Most exciting is the discovery of human remains. Stunningly preserved in the dry soil of the Peruvian desert are the mummified bodies of the Nasca themselves.

Originally believed to have been a military stronghold, Cahuachi is now reckoned to be a place of ritual and ceremony, and Orefici's stunning new evidence confirms this idea. Cahuachi is now revealed to have been abandoned after a series of natural disasters destroyed the city. But before they left it, the Nasca people covered the city in the arid pampa sand where, until recently, it has remained a barely visible mound in the desert.

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