Nazca Lines; New World Encyclopedia

Peru – Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Palpa

The Nazca lines are a series of geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau that stretches more than 80 km (50 miles) between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana in Peru. They are believed to have been created by the Nasca culture between 200 B.C.E. and 700 C.E. The region’s dry and windy climate has kept the lines clear. Visible from the air, the designs are less noticeable from ground level. Thus, in the twentieth century when airplanes began flying over this area the markings stirred up great interest. In 1994, the Nazca plain was deemed a UNESCO Heritage Site, in order to protect the ancient creations from modern human encroachment.

The lines form numerous individual figures, ranging in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks, llamas, and lizards. The Nazca Lines remain one of the many mysteries of the ancient world, with suggested explanations ranging from astronomical calendar, sacred paths, to UFO markings made by extraterrestrials.

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