Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Nazca Lines Uncovered

The Nazca Lines of Peru are likely the world's most famous geoglyphs, gigantic figures carved into the ground that are only visible in their entirety from the air. The figures are often brought up as evidence of ancient UFO activity, since they could not be viewed properly from the ground and the Nazca possessed no flying machines. It seems to me, though, that suggesting they were drawn as messages to deities that the Nazca believed resides in the sky is a far more parsimonious explanation.

Many of the Nazca geoglyphs are quite famous, having been photographed over and over again and filmed for documentaries about Meso-American cultures. Strong windstorms in Peru recently uncovered several previously unknown geoglyphs, one of which appears in the picture above. The hummingbird in the lower right is well-known, but the figure in the upper left that may depict a snake or part of a larger outline had been hidden for centuries.

Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre, a pilot and researcher, found the new shapes while flying over the desert last week, El Comercio reported. He believes one of the geoglyphs depicts a snake 60 metres long and 4 metres wide, near the famous “hummingbird”. A bird, camelids (possibly llamas) and a zig zag line are among the lines found etched into the ground on hills in the El Ingenio Valley and Pampas de Jumana.

Archaeologists are already trying to confirm whether they match the Paracas culture in the Ica region of Peru, which flourished from 800BC to 100BC and influenced complex textiles and ceramics at Nazca as well as the lines. Ruben Garcia Sota, head of Ica’s archaeological authority, told El Comercio the latest discovery was “a valuable contribution to our knowledge of ancient Nazca”.

Now I suppose the UFOlogists are going to start claiming that the aliens drew these too. For the rest of us, though, study of these new figures will hopefully provide further insight into the human artists who created them and the culture from which they arose. Of course, if something unexpected like an alien starship turns up buried under one of the new sites I'll be forced to admit that Erich von Däniken might have been right. But I'm not holding my breath.

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