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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are a series of geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in Peru. Clearly visible from the sky are some 300 figures carved into the desert sand (See Map). The carvings of straight lines, geometric shapes, animals and birds have resulted in a number of theories as to their meaning.

Swiss writer Erich von Däniken suggested in his book Chariots of the Gods that the lines were built by ancient astronauts as a landing field. Maria Reiche, archeologist and long time Nazca Line researcher, theorized that the builders of the lines used them as a sun calendar and an observatory for astronomical cycles. Skeptic Joe Nickell debunks von Däniken's and Reiche's theories with his own: that the lines were created by the Nazcas with simple tools- agreeing with those who believe their purpose was to appease Indian gods.

While people debate over the origin and meaning, the Nazca Lines are an enigma which will continue to remain a mystery.

5 comments:

Gee said...

The Nazca lines are fascinating, not simply because they were made approximately 2000 years ago, but that they are so precise that it would have taken a monumental effort to create them in the first place.

In short if they were made for the Indian Gods then those guys better have had appreciated it ;)

Aura said...

I agree!

Stephen Cochrane said...

Joe Nickell is right. The lines could have been made with simple tools. However, there is one thing Joe doesn't account for.

The lines themselves are fairly straightforward. They weren't painted on the floor of the plain; they were etched. The underlying rocks are a different color than the surface rocks. When the surface rocks are removed, a mark is left behind showing the color of the lines. The lines are, therefore, slightly lower than the surrounding plain and of a different color. They're easy to see and, except that nobody can figure out how they were made so perfect and so large from the ground level, the construction is simple.

So, what's the problem? The problem is that nobody has ever found any debris. We have here over 700 hundred huge (really huge) pictures carved out of the rocky plain and nobody has ever found one single pile of the stones that were removed from the lines. In truth, there should be piles of rocks everywhere; really large piles. The "missing" rocks would likely weigh in the hundreds or thousands of tons but they just do not exist.

So, what happened to them? Did the ancient Indians carry them away to . . . well, to where? There really isn't anyplace they could have carried them to. The fact is, though, the rocks are just not there. I have no idea what this means or what the implications of this is. What I do know is that there should be all these piles of rocks and there aren't.

In all the articles I have read about Nazca I have never seen any explanation for this.

BTW, I'm glad you're back!

Aura said...

Excellent point Stephen. Thanks for your input-much appreciated and of value to my post.

It is good to be back ;)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Aura and Stephen, very interesting indeed.