All You Need to Know About Nazca Lines – Part 1

Nazca Lines Hummingbird

Have you probably heard about Nazca lines before, but didn’t quite get what they are? Well, you are in luck as you’ve come to the right place. Nazca lines are basically geoglyphs located in the arid coastal area of Peru. It covers an estimated 450 square kilometers (170 square miles).

These Nazca lines appear as scratches on the ground and number in thousands, if not hundreds. Mostly they illustrate and depict creatures from the natural world as well as the human imagination. Besides that, Nazca lines also feature a wide range of oddly shaped figures that look quite incredible.

And due to their massive size, these Nazca lines are best visible from the air. From that angle, you will be in a better position to appreciate their unique and outstanding beauty. However, despite these geoglyphs being studied for more than 80 years, they still are a big mystery to researchers.

What Exactly do these Nazca Lines Depict?

Nazca lines depict a wide range of animals and plants. Talk of hummingbird, lizard, monkey, dog, pelican, spider, killer whale, among others. On top of that, the lines feature various flowers and trees, not forgetting the fantastic geometric shapes of all kinds.

Nazca lines include more than 800 straight lines along the coastal plain. Some of these lines extend up to 48 kilometers long (30 miles). As for the geometric designs, there are more than 300 of them with the inclusion of wavy lines, zigzags, arrows, triangles, trapezoids, spirals, rectangles, and triangles. Some these geometric designs are more than 370 meters long (1200 feet).

Where Can You Find The Nazca Lines?

Nazca lines are found in southern Peru. Somewhere just over 200 miles to the Southeast of Lima. And not so far from the Pacific Ocean shores near the small town of Nasca.

The plateau is about 80 km (50 mi) long between Nasca and Palpa but the most notable geoglyphs are in a small rectangle area that covers 10km by 4km (6 miles by 2 miles) just over the south of San Miguel de la Pascana.

Who Built the Nazca Lines?

The majority of the Nazca lines were built by the Nazca people of the ancient prehistoric Nazca culture. These people were highly skilled in bringing underground water to the surface for irrigation purposes. And all that was through a wide range of engineering techniques. Over the years, these lines have been somehow connected to the need for water among the Nazca people.

Weather was vital to the success of agriculture in the Peru arid plains. Therefore, probably the Nazca lines were a way for the people to portray their appreciation for the natural world and, at the same time, pay their respects to their gods, especially the gods of weather.

Actually, even one of the largest settlements of the Nazca people was in Cahuachi. That is a vital place of ceremony that overlooks the Nazca lines. The area features more than 40 mounds, among them some pyramids made of adobe.

To continue reading more about the Nazca lines, click here for part two.