A flight over Peru will reveal gorgeous landscapes, incredible mountain scenery, and sparkling blue waters. Most people visiting Peru make a stop in Lima, the bustling capital, but only a few of those will dare to leave Lima for a trip into the unknown.
Depending on which direction you are coming from when you leave for Peru, you may or may not look down at the ground and notice astoundingly clear drawings in the earth. These drawings, also known as geoglyphs, are found in a stretch of desert over 300 miles outside of the city in a place where it is believed the Nasca civilization once lived. The geoglyphs are fondly referred to now as the Nasca Lines.
The entire display covers over 150 square miles of land. The lines, shapes, and animal depictions range in size from under a hundred feet to the largest, which is almost 1,000 feet in length.
It’s difficult to see the lines, or even grasp their magnificence, from the ground. Visitors to the area often witness the Nasca Lines as they fly overhead on their way to another destination, if they pay to take a short plane tour, or if they charter their own aircraft for an adventure in exploration.
One thing is for sure. Scientists have never been able to explain how the Nasca Lines came into existence. There are, of course, several myths that have been created – some based on pure theory, and others hinted at by scientific research.
Did the Nasca have an Alien Encounter?
One group of people interviewed believed strongly that the Nasca were victims of an alien encounter. It has been said that an alien space craft once landed in the area, crushing everything in its path. Some researchers believe that one set of Nasca Lines was developed to describe the gods that came to visit.
These gods supposedly had long, narrow heads. The Nascans were so enamored by these gods that they attempted to shape their own heads in a similar manner. Newborn babies often had wooden boards wrapped around their heads so that the skull would grow into a molded, elongated shape.
Scientists have found proof of this head-wrapping ritual. Many entombed bodies have been found with elongated skulls. We can not, however, find documentation proving that their actions were influenced by sort of alien god.
Were the Lines Left as a Map?
The desert is a dry and desolate place. Perhaps the Nasca created some of the lines as maps to help them find water. To the naked eye looking down from above, this sounds relatively unreasonable, as there is no water in sight in this area.
The Nasca knew better. After exploring anywhere from 50-100 feet beneath the surface they had found the earth’s natural watering system. The ground beneath the desert was the perfect consistency for a series of aquifers to form, leading the people to a continuous fresh water supply.
Along the Ceque Lines, the forty two lines running from Qoricancha Temple, you’ll notice holes in the ground that resemble cave entrances. These were placed along the lines, or the lines were meant to encompass these entrances, in an attempt to help the people keep track of the points where they could access the clean water trapped beneath the surface of the desert.
The True Purpose of the Nasca Lines
Truth be told, we’ll never know exactly why the Nasca Lines were created. Scientists and archaeologists have spent decades studying the lines in an attempt to determine whether or not they had a true purpose.
Some have found a correlation between the lines and the constellations. The geoglyph shaped like a monkey, for example, follows the pattern of stars forming the big dipper. It is believed that the Nasca may have created the lines to act as a map for their astrological finds. Perhaps they even represent some sort of complex solar or astrological calendar.
There is some evidence that suggests that the Nasca Lines were not an original creation. Another set of ancient geoglyphs, created by the Paracas, closely resembles those left by the Nasca. The Paracas existed before the Nasca, meaning they either left their lines as lessons or were around to teach the Nasca how to create their own.
The Nasca Lines have been in existence for over 2,000 years. Sadly, while the lines can withstand the harshest weather Peru can muster, they can not defend themselves against destruction caused by humans. Hikers, bikers, and trailblazers in many types of motorized vehicles attempt to explore and cross over the lines on a daily basis, causing irreparable damage.
The Nasca Lines have been recognized as a Worldwide Heritage Site and are monitored and protected on a regular basis. Despite their fame, the true history behind the creation of the Nasca Lines will likely remain a mystery forever.
More Information about the Nasca Lines…
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