Association "Dr. Maria Reiche - Lines and Figures of the Nasca Culture/Peru"

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The mystery


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The mystery of the lines and geoglyphs of Nasca
One of the unsolved mysteries on our earth hides in the “Pampa of Nasca”. Huge soil drawings (geoglyphs), lines stretching for miles and numerous expanses in form of triangles and trapeziums show a former culture. The desert plateau is covered with numerous geoglyphs, which are illustrations of animals, plants and geometric figures, especially spirals in different forms.

The more than 1000 lines are not fewer impressive. The longest line is over 12 kilometres long. The lines jump over dry water furrows without a difference in their orientation, climb up hills and at the other side they go straight in the same direction. The order seems to be chaos but still the lines obviously form an arranged network with junctions, named line centres.

The huge expanses without any stone are the third strangeness. From an airplane they look like enormous runaways. Many expanses have the form of triangles, others appear like rectangles or trapeziums.

The creation of this object is easy and could be explained with the kind of soil. The surface of the Pampa is made of brown rubble with some ore in it. Some centimetres lower you can find light-coloured sediments of an old ocean soil (with clay, sand and gypsum). If you take away the dark rubble from the top you see clearly the light-coloured subsoil. In this way a trace is created. Increased by the shade of restriction stones you can still see this trace from 100 meters above and over a period of more than 1500 years.

The drawings were created during the cultural period of the Nasca-time, which began approx. 200 BC and ended approx. 800 AC. The meaning and importance is only partly decoded. Some of the lines were probably created as astronomical observation lines. The drawings could portray symbols of the starry sky, for example the monkey as the Great Bear, the spider as the symbol for the Orion and the drawing of the dog could be the constellation of the Great Major. Other lines and drawings like spirals, demons, animals with four and five fingers and so on probably had ritual meaning.


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