These archaeologists have documented and excavated more than 650 deposits and have been able to draw up the history of the culture that generated these drawings, besides to give a sense them.
The water supplying played an important role in the region. The excavations have brought to light small cavities in the geoglifos in which have been offerings religious of agricultural products and animals, mainly sailors. The drawings formed a ritual landscape whose aim had to be to cause the invocation of the water. In addition have been stakes, cords and tests of figures. As these so simple elements the old settlers used of Is born to draw up the drawings. In addition it is necessary to remember that she is one of the driest zones of the world which favors the conservation of the drawings.
Views of fence, these lines become simple furrows in the ground. The geologic characteristics of Pampas cause that it is not necessary much more to obtain a visible result. The surface is composed by a pebble layer of a dark reddish color caused by the oxidation, that covers another one with clear a yellowish color. You are born them were limited to retire the superior stones being followed a layout that previously had indicated with stakes, united by cords, from a model on smaller scale and a dose of geometry. The eliminated stones were accumulated in small tumulos that still are conserved. The work method completely has been reconstructed from the tests gathered by the archaeological expeditions.
The amazing thing is that these lines only can be observed in all their immensity from the air, when flying over the desert. These lines also are old testimony of a great geometric knowledge of the Peruvians.
Between It feels and It is born, in Pampas of Socos, are located lines drawn up in the ground, whose width oscillates between the 40 centimeters and 1.10 meters. It is a blackish and reddish earth between that becomes at dusk violacea. A hill semicircle in the distance conforms a gigantic open natural amphitheatre towards the west.
In this region, thousands of lines extend by 520 km ², and some even extend until an area of 800 km ².
The line lenghts are variable, getting to measure some up to 275 ms of length.
The figures that are in Is born, particularly in Pampas of San jOse are numerous: geometric figures, meanders, human representations animals, vegetables and, geometric labyrinths, and other drawings.
Most representative they are the animal drawings: birds of between 25 and 275 meters in length (colibries giants, condores, the heron, grulla, the pelican, the gull, the parrot and others), a monkey, a spider, a snail, a small lizard, a killer whale of 27 meters, a dog with long legs and tail, two flames, etc. In the category of reptiles, a lizard, that were cut when being constructed the South Pan-American highway, a iguana and a serpent. Many of the drawings are mixed with lines and spirals.
Almost all the drawings were done in the level surface; only there are few in slopes of hills. Almost all the figures that are located in slopes represent men. Some are crowned by three or four vertical lines that perhaps represent the pens of a ceremonial hairdo (some momias Peruvian took to hairdos of gold and pens).
The figures of slopes appear defined less than those of the desert perhaps because the stones that have rolled by the slope have erased the details.
Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity
This interesting zone of Peru receives its name of the part of the oceanic crust of the Pacific Ocean that is as opposed to located the coast that subduce under the $andes. Its population is near the 37 thousand inhabitants.
The Lines of Are born, attractive main official name of the tourist one of the zone, it is in Pampas of Jumana, and is a set of zoomorfas, fitomorfas and geometric figures (air lines, triangles, spirals, a bird, a spider, a monkey, flowers) that appear recorded in the surface of the desert plateaus.
Its exact origin is not known, although it seems to be that they were elaborated between years 100 and 800 of ours were. These figures, declared Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity by UNESCO, extend by about 500 km2 of Pampas.
According to the archaeologist Maria Reich (1903-1998), that dedicated to its life to the study and the safekeeping of the millenarian lines, basically, they are figures that represent the movement of the stars and that would allow to register the stations, something very necessary for the development of agriculture.
In the zone it is possible to know vestiges the culture of Paracas (600-100 a.C.), characterized by his great necropolis semiunderground undertakers, houses, pyramids of ceremonial use and their matchless weaves. For its constructions they used walls of marinates, of conical form, with which they made houses of rectangular plant which they were grouped forming populated. Public constructions with piramidales temples surrounded by seats also exist and rooms, of between which they emphasize by his attractive historical rest of Cahuachi.
The power of the time
One of the greater doubts than the tourists has when visiting the place, is to manage to explain itself how the “lines of Nasca” last until today intact, subsisting to the attacks of the time and the nature: climate earthquakes, changes, winds and rains.
Maria Reiche comments east miracle to us, because the lines are light cracks in the ground. A possible explanation can be in the climate of the place “can be said that by every two years it rains half an hour”, explains the scientist.
This amazing phenomenon is in which the movement of the air diminishes to few centimeters of the ground, due to the dark color of the stones of the surface, which they are resembled a hot air bag that it protects to the geoglifos of strong winds and with it, prevents the progressive deterioration of the reliefs.
Another element that prevents the change of the surface is the plaster that contains the ground, that to the contact with the dew causes that the stones are beaten slightly to their base.
The creativity for the Gods
More than thirty they are the geoglifos until today found in Pampas of Is born. One is marine and terrestrial animals, geometric and human figures.
The drawings are smaller in amount compared with the geometric designs that consist of hundreds and hundreds of lines, triangles and quadrangles that occupy great land extensions. Its technique of construction was careful by means of which the topographers of the past took to the lines to hills and precipices without turning aside itself of their original direction.
“The depth of the lines never exceeds 30 cm and some are simple scratches in the surface, but even so they can be recognized when the sun is low and the relief is accentuated”, the Dra. Reiche in one of the many testimonies explains that left the world.
Between the geoglifos of greater size they are a bird of almost 300 ms, a lizard of 180 ms, a pelican of 135 ms, a condor of 135 ms, a monkey of 135 ms and one spider of 42 meters. These dimensions are reason for constant admiration on the part of the visitors of the zone.
Reiche comments that “there is a so great bird that one can be placed in the end of one of its wings and the head cannot be seen nor, nor the other wing, is only possible to perceive few lines on the ground, would have to fly over the area to be able to appreciate it as a whole”. On the contrary, the found smallest figure until the moment is a spiral that has a diameter of 3 meters. Half of the figures is almost constituted by spirals and concentric designs of several sizes.
Between the designs of the animals that perceive themselves in It is born appear: a whale, a dog with long legs and tail, two flames, diverse birds like the heron, grulla, the pelican, the gull, the famous colibri and the parrot. In the category of reptiles, a lizard, that was cut when being constructed the Pan-American South, a iguana and a serpent. On the other hand are the imposing figures of the monkey, the spider and the snail, among others.
Technically the lines of Are born are perfect. The straight lines lock up a perfection with small deviations throughout kilometers, the curves seem to be drawn up with the perfection of a compass. The drawings are well proportionate, mainly if we thought about the dimensions of these and the impossibility of the Incas to rise by airs to observe the result of its work, is for that reason that most of the times is mentioned to It is born like a mystical zone.
Some are ventured to say that the lines of Are born are a message recorded by extraterrestrial beings so that when the moment arrives from maturation as inhabitants of this one planet we decipher it, others think that it is a stellar map, a calendar for the times to seed and to harvest, other sacred furrows where the Indians walked on the drawings and lines like a ritual secret that still lasts.
The Nazca Lines are geoglyphs and geometric
The Nasca lines are geoglyphs and geometric line clearings in the Peruvian desert. They were made by the Nasca people, who flourished between 200 BCE and 600 CE along rivers and streams that flow from the Andes. The desert itself runs for over 1,400 miles along the Pacific Ocean. The area of the Nasca art is called the Pampa Colorada (Red Plain). It is 15 miles wide and runs some 37 miles parallel to the Andes and the sea. Dark red surface stones and soil have been cleared away, exposing the lighter colored subsoil, creating the "lines". There is no sand in this desert. From the air, the "lines" include not only lines and geometric shapes, but also depictions of animals and plants in stylized forms. Some of the forms, including images of humans, grace the steep hillsides at the edge of the desert.
The Nasca lines are communal. Their creation took hundreds of years and required a large number of people working on the project. Their size and their purpose have led some to speculate that visitors from another planet either created or directed the project. Erich von Däniken thinks that the Nasca lines formed an airfield for alien spacecraft*, an idea first proposed by James W. Moseley in the October 1955 issue of Fate and made popular in the early sixties by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier in The Morning of the Magicians. If Nasca was an alien airfield, it must have been a very confusing airfield, consisting as it does of giant lizards, spiders, monkeys, llamas, dogs, hummingbirds, etc., not to mention the zigzagging and crisscrossing lines and geometric designs. It was very considerate of the aliens to depict plants and animals of interest to the locals, even though it must have meant that navigation would be more difficult than a straight runway or a large clearing. Also, the airport must have been a very busy place, needing 37 miles of runway to handle all the traffic. However, it is unlikely spacecraft could have landed in the area without disturbing some of the artwork or the soil. There is no evidence of such disturbance.
The alien theory is proposed mainly because some people find it difficult to believe that a race of primitive "Indians" could have had the intelligence to conceive of such a project, much less the technology to bring the concept to fruition. The evidence points elsewhere, however. The Aztecs, the Toltecs, the Inca, the Maya, etc., are proof enough that the Nasca did not need extraterrestrial help to create their art gallery in the desert.
In any case, one does not need a very sophisticated technology to create large figures, geometrical shapes, and straight lines, as has been shown by the creators of so-called crop circles. The Nasca probably used grids for their giant geoglyphs, as their weavers did for their elaborate designs and patterns. The most difficult part of the project would have been moving all the stones and earth to reveal the lighter subsoil. There really is nothing mysterious about how the Nasca created their lines and figures.
Some think it is mysterious that the figures have remained intact for so many hundreds of years. However, the geology of the area solves that mystery.
Stones (not sand) comprise the desert surface. Rusted by humidity, their darkened color increases heat absorption. The resulting cushion of warm surface air acts as a buffer against the wind; while minerals in the soil help to solidify the stones. On the "desert pavement" thus created in this dry, rainless environment, erosion is practically nil - making for remarkable preservation of the markings.
Modern anthropology and the lines
The Nasca lines became of interest to anthropologists after they were seen from the air in the 1930s. It is unlikely that a project of this magnitude was not religious in purpose. To involve the entire community for many centuries indicates the supreme significance of the site. Like pyramids, giant statues, and other monumental art, the Nasca art speaks of permanence. It says: we are here and we are not moving. These are not nomads, nor are they hunters and gatherers. This is an agricultural society. It is, of course, a pre-scientific agricultural society, who turned to magic and superstition (i.e., religion) to assist them with their crops. The Nacza had the knowledge to irrigate, plant, harvest, collect, distribute, etc. But the weather is fickle. Things might go smoothly for years, or even centuries, and then, in a single generation entire communities are forced to leave because of extended drought or because of floods or tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, fires, or whatever else Mother Nature might hurl their way.
The mystery is why. Why did the Nasca engage in such a project involving so many people for so many years?
G. von Breunig thinks the lines were used for running footraces. He examined the curved pathways and determined that they were partially shaped by continuous running. Anthropologist Paul Kosok briefly maintained that the lines were part of an irrigation system, but soon rejected the notion as impossible. He then speculated that the lines formed a gigantic calendar. Maria Reiche, a German immigrant and apprentice archaeologist to Julio Tello of the University of San Marcos, developed Kosok's theory and spent most of her life collecting data to show that the lines represent the Nasca's astronomical knowledge. Reiche identified many interesting astronomical alignments, which had they been known to the Nasca might have been useful in planning their planting and harvesting. However, there are so many lines going in so many different directions that not finding many with interesting astronomical alignments would have been miraculous.
Was this a site for worship? Was this the Mecca of the Nasca? a place of pilgrimage? Were the images part of rituals aimed at appeasing the gods or asking for help with the fertility of the people and the crops, or with the weather or with a good supply of water?
That the figures could not be seen as those in the heavens might see them would not be that important for religious or magical purposes. In any case, similar figures to the giants at Nasca decorate the pottery found in nearby burial sites and it is apparent from their cemeteries that the Nasca were preoccupied with death. Mummified remains litter the desert, discarded by grave robbers.
Was this a place for rituals aimed at bringing immortality to the dead?
We don't know, but if this mystery is ever to be cleared up it will be by serious scientists, not by alienated pseudoscientific speculators molding the data to fit their extraterrestrial musings.
Stretching across the Nasca plains - like a giant map or blueprint left by ancient astronauts, lie the famous Nasca Lines of Peru.
The Nasca Lines are an enigma. No one know who had built them or indeed why. Since their discovery, the Nasca Lines have inspired fantastic explanations from ancient gods, a landing strip for returning aliens, a celestial calendar, used for rituals probably related to astronomy, to confirm the ayllus or clans who made up the population and to determine through ritual their economic functions held up by reciprocity and redistribution or, a map of underground water supplies.
There are also huge geoglyphs in Egypt, Malta, United States (Mississippi and California), Chile, Bolivia and in other countries. But the Nasca geoglyphs, because of their numbers, characteristics, dimensions and cultural continuity as they were made and remade through out the whole prehispanic period, form the most impressive as well as enigmatic archeological group.
The Nasca Lines are located in the Pampa region of Peru, the desolate plain of the Peruvian coast which comprises the Pampas of San Jose (Jumana), Socos, El Ingenio and others in the province of Nasca, which is 400 Km. South of Lima, covers an area of approximately 450 km2, of sandy desert as well as the slopes of the contours of the Andes. They cover nearly 400 square miles of desert. Etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand about 300 hundred figures made of straight lines, geometric shapes most clearly visible from the air. They were supposedly built by an ancient civilization called the Nasca.
The Nasca plain is virtually unique for its ability to preserve the markings upon it, due to the combination of the climate (one of the driest on Earth, with only twenty minutes of rainfall per year) and the flat, stony ground which minimises the effect of the wind at ground level. With no dust or sand to cover the plain, and little rain or wind to erode it, lines drawn here tend to stay drawn. These factors, combined with the existence of a lighter-coloured subsoil beneath the desert crust, provide a vast writing pad that is ideally suited to the artist who wants to leave his mark for eternity.
The pebbles which cover the surface of the desert contain ferrous oxide. The exposure of centuries has given them a dark patina. When the gravel is removed, they contrast with the color underneath. In this way the lines were drawn as furrows of a lighter color, even though in some cases they became prints. In other cases, the stones defining the lines and drawings form small lateral humps of different sizes. Some drawings, especially the early ones, were made by removing the stones and gravel from their contours and in this way the figures stood out in high relief.
The concentration and juxtaposition of the lines and drawings leave no doubt that they required intensive long-term labor as is demonstrated by the stylistic continuity of the designs, which clearly correspond to the different stages of cultural changes.
There appear to be two kinds of designs: the first are figures of various beings and things and the others form geometric lines.
Theories about the Nazca Lines
Maria Reiche - Astronomical Calendar - She was the most famous Nasca Researcher. Lines should show in direction of the rising of important stars and planetary events like sun solstices. Formations like the spider and the monkey could show star constellations like Orion and Ursa Mayor.
The big problem of all astronomical theories is the unknowing of the age. The direction of stars is changing within centuries because the phenomena of precession of the equinoxes.
Reiche led a determined effort to discredit theories of extraterrestrial visitors. The strategy of this attack has been to argue that the Nasca Indians constructed the Lines relatively recently - some time between 300 BC and AD 800.
In support of this possibility, some scientists have put forward ingenious ideas on how the geoglyphs could theoretically have been designed from the ground. The more important evidence, however, is that which attempts to link the Lines definitively to the Nascan culture. Here, neither of the two key pieces of evidence survive close scrutiny.
The first piece of evidence is a series of radiocarbon dates, based on ceramic and wood remains which were left at the Lines by the Nascan people. It is claimed that this proves that the Nascans constructed the Lines. On the contrary, the dating of these materials tells us only that the Nascans lived in the area of the Nasca Lines. Since the Lines themselves cannot be radiocarbon dated, the possibility remains that they already existed when the Nascan culture emerged.
The second piece of evidence is the alleged resemblance of the Nasca geoglyphs to certain features found on Nascan pottery. This is an important issue because it potentially offers proof that the Nascans had either designed the images or at least viewed them from the air.
Maria Reiche, the German mathematician and archaeologist most famous for her research into the enigmatic figures of Nasca, died in 1998 at the age of 95. She is buried in the arid valley she loved so well.
Professor Gerald Hawkins and his group went to Nasca to prove the astronomical Theory of Maria Reiche but was unsuccessful. In 1968, a study by the National Geographic Society determined that, while some of the Nasca lines did point to the positions of the Sun, Moon and certain stars two thousand years ago, it was no more than could be expected by mere chance. In 1973, Dr Gerald Hawkins studied 186 lines with a computer programme and found that only 20 per cent had any astronomical orientation - again no more than by pure chance.
In 1982, Anthony Aveni obtained similar results.
Georg Petersen - 1980 - pointed out that Reiche's theory did not explain the different lengths and widths of the lines. More recently, Johan Reinhard has noted that the surrounding mountains provided a ready-made and much more effective mechanism for the Nascans to use as a solar calendar; the lines would thus have been quite superfluous to them. In addition to this avalanche of scientific opinion, we should also note that Reiche, like von Daniken, has failed to explain the significance of the animal geoglyphs.
Simone Waisbard - Astronomical Calendar - The drawing of Nasca are a giant astronomical calendar. Further the Nasca-line-system was used to measure the precipitation value. Figures, especially seabirds, have a connection to the meteorological prophecy system of the Nasca-Culture. Her ideas for the trapezoid formations: places for holy animals before sacrifice them, or field claims connected with filter galleries, observatories or places for ritual ceremonies of the different clans.
Erich von Däniken - Long time ago visitors from other stars visited the Earth. They landed at Nasca. During the landing stones was blown away by the power of rocket propulsion. By approaching more the power was increasing and the cleaned band broader. In this way the first trapezes emerged. Later the Aliens disappeared and left confused people. Like in the modern cargo cults they tried to call the Gods back by drawing lines, figures and trapezes. He discovered the GGF/Mandala/Zodiac and the mirror - Formation and compares them with modern VASIS or PAPI-Signs.
Alan F. Alford - Negroid Slaves - the Nasca-Lines was made by Negroid Slaves of the Tihuanaco Culture. After a revolution the Negroid population destroyed some figure, this is the explanation for overdrawn zigzag-formations. Later this people went in northern direction and founded Chavin and the Olmec culture.
Robert Bast - A memory of the Deluge - The animal, plant and human-shaped figures are lying together on the ground. So it could be a memorial place of the big flood. Many cultures of our world know deluge-myths, you can find a couple of them at his Side.
Gilbert de Jong - A Nascan Zodiac was himself in Nasca and measured the GGF by GPS. He obtained a length of the square side of about 54,7 Meter. In the formation he recognized a Zodiac.
Robin Edgar -the Nasca-Figures were inspired by, and intended to be seen by, the (so-called) Eye of God that is manifested during total solar eclipses. An extraordinary series of solar eclipses coincided with the construction of the Nasca lines. Some Lines are aligned with the winter solstice, a less spectacular but more regular, death and rebirth of the Sun God.
Michael Coe - Ceremonial Places - believes the Nasca Lines are sacred paths to walk by specific rites. But primary the lines was a offering for elders,heaven- and mountain-deities who spent water for fields.
Siegfried Waxmann recognized a culture atlas of the human history in the Nasca-line-system.
Archaeologist Frederico Kauffmann-Doig - the Nasca Lines are magic lines which origin from the cat cult in Chavin de Huantar.
Georg A. von Breunig believes the Nasca Lines were used for sprinting to honor especial gods or ritual competitions. This theory was supported by the professor Hoimar von Ditfurth.
Markus Reindel - Dowsing - The Nasca-Figures are markers for subterranean waterflow. Trapezoides show the broadness of the waterstream, zigzaglines show where they end, lines show into direction of the puquitos. Reindel sympatizes with Johnsons Theory, additionally he explain the nature of the figures by rod-dowsing (to find the subterranean water) and shamanstic flights (to overview the figures).
Hermann E. Bossi - The Nasca-Code - based on a formation called the GGF, Mandala or Zodiac that was discovered by Erich von Däniken 1995. This formation include a plenty of different combination possibilities and include information about the Star HD 42807 at different times and it's planet. Other formations like the monkey seems to be of this code too. The same code is to find in other places like Stonehenge, Avebury and Borobudur, but also by Crop Circles.
The Code of Carl Munck: The Ancient Geomatria of Numbers - - The Nasca Line ground markings locate themselves on The Code Matrix system. - Nasca Lines and Archaeocryptography
The ancient sites around the world are very precisely positioned on a global coordinate system in relation to the position of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The positions of the sites are given in the geometry of their construction. A very ancient system of numbers was used in the system, which we will call Gematria.
Gematrian numbers are found in ancient myths and religions, including the Bible. Gematrian numbers were used in systems of weights and measures by ancient peoples, including the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Babylonians and the Romans.
The Code system uses mathematical constants, such as pi and the radian. The system also uses conventions that are still in use, such as the 360 degree circle, 60 minute degree, 60 second minute, the base-ten numbering system, the 12-inch foot, and the 5280-foot mile.
The ancient Mayans used Gematrian numbers in their very accurate timekeeping.
The Nasca Line ground markings "locate themselves" on The Code Matrix System.
Professor Helmut Tributsch - Fata Morgana -important cult places like Stonehenge, the Pyramids and naturally Nasca were built on places where often the Fata Morgana - Phenomena occurs. In this way People could see the Fata Morgana of the Nasca-Lines.
Jiri Mruzek - The Seal of Atlantis Complete complex solution of the monkey's figure. It involves geometrical code, which speaks of specific aspects of analytical geometry. This code coincides with the code of prehistorical La Marche, France.
John D. Miller - 177 Feet - analyzes different buildings worldwide. So he found in ancient buildings and old cathedrals often the value of 177 feet. His theories are based on several holy numbers and units, so he believes that there is a deeper importance within.
Thomas Wick - A plan of a Cathedral - private researcher of ancient mysteries. When he saw the figure of the GGF, he recognized the ground principals of a cathedral.
Professor Henri Stierlin - loom - the Nasca-Indians used the line-system as loom. In the paracas-culture was made textiles witch was made of one string. But the Indians hadn't wheels and looms, so they organized hundreds of men who held the string. Their position was defined by the lines.
Dr. Zoltan Zelko - Map - Hungarian mathematician who analyzed the Nasca-line-system and compared with other ancient places in Peru. Nasca could be a map of a 100 x 800 kilometer including region around the Titicaca-Lake.
Prof. Helaine Siverman - Clan Signs - the figures are clan signs of different Indian clans in the region of Nasca.
Prof. Dr. Aldon Mason - Signs for Gods - The main interest of Mason are the tombs and the deformation of skulls of the Nasca-Culture. Nasca Lines are Signs for Gods in the Sky.
William H. Isbell - Provision of Work - the kings of Nasca ordered the drawing of the Nasca-lines to control the population. When they did work they couldn't make children at the same time. Why this? Isbell has the idea the Nasca-Indians wasn't able to store field fruits, so in good years the population were increasing to strong.
Albrecht Kottmann divided the figures into different parts and analyzed them in a geometrical way. So he divided a bird of 286 Meter length into 22 Parts. He found that the head takes two parts, the neck five parts, the body three parts and the other twelve parts for the beak.The proportion between the beak and the rest is 6:5. He believes the geometric signs are a picture writing system with giant and small letters.
Ley Lines - Paul Devereux
From Ellie - The Nasca Lines are another stone marker in the geological blueprint of our reality. As one quests for answers to the hidden mysteries of our creation - one must look above and below to determine the past, present and future.
There is something to said be said for each of the theoires above, for in truth each has a certain degree of validity. Finding answers once again becomes a game in which all roads lead back to the 'Eye' - the creational source of all things. In Egypt it was the Eye of Ra - The Eye of God.
I have always believed that all of creation is part of a geometric blueprint that repeats in cycles of time created by the same consciousness. Stone markers are placed in power points around the planet - as they are places humans are drawn to explore. The markers link together - and to the universal game board - based on creational geometry.
The clues are all universal - the flower of life - gods from the skies - spirals of consciousness - humans - animals - candles=sacred flame - birds=ascension back to the heavens. The archetypes - metaphors and symbols are all the same as those found in the myths and legends of our little experience called 3D.
The more one studies the more one realizes that one soul played the roles of all of the gods - left all of the markers - all of which speak of time when the eye - eclipse - light will appear in the heavens once again. It will appear 'out of the blue' - midnight blue.
At this time - humanity will remove its consciousness from the 3D grid of and spiral through the 'stargate' of higher light. That time is almost here. we sense it, feel it, know it to be true or else we would not be here questing for answers.
On the pampa, south of the Nasca Lines, archaeologists have now uncovered the lost city of the line-builders, Cahuachi. It was built nearly two thousand years ago and was mysteriously abandoned 500 years later. New discoveries at Cahuachi are at last beginning to give us insight into the Nasca people and to unravel the mystery of the Nasca Lines.
Cahuachi is emerging as a treasure trove of the Nascan culture. As Orefici and his team excavate, discoveries of paintings on preserved pottery, and the ancient technique of weaving that the Nasca people developed, have given an insight into how the lines may have been made, and what they might have been used for, more than 1500 years ago.
Most exciting is the discovery of human remains. Stunningly preserved in the dry soil of the Peruvian desert are the mummified bodies of the Nascan people themselves.
Originally believed to have been a military stronghold, Cahuachi is now reckoned to be a place of ritual and ceremony, and Orefici's stunning new evidence confirms this idea. Cahuachi is now revealed to have been abandoned after a series of natural disasters destroyed the city. But before they left it, the Nascan people covered the city in the arid pampa sand where, until recently, it has remained a barely visible mound in the desert.
Preserving the Nazca Lines
It is difficult to keep the Nasca Lines free from outside intervention. As with all ancient ruins, such as Machu Piccu, weather by wind and rain, and human tampering will take their toll on these ancient Lines.
In recent years the Nasca Lines have suffered gradual destruction, as tomb raiders seeking pre-Inca artifacts scar the terrain with hundreds of burrows, garbage, among other waste material. A boom in copper and gold mining - including a mine built in 1997 a few feet from a 2,000-year-old, two-mile-long trapezoid -- is defacing parts of the Nasca Lines with tracks from truck traffic.
Over the past decade, advertisers and political campaigns have carved huge messages in the rock and sand between the ancient designs in this region 250 miles south of Lima.
In 1998, floods and mudslides from the El Nino weather pattern seriously eroded several figures.
As electricity reaches the growing local population, utility companies are running power cables over and around the site.
The damage to the Lines underscores Peru's desperate struggle to preserve its national patrimony. Archaeologists say they are watching helplessly as the quest for scholarship and conservation in a country viewed as the cradle of New World civilization is losing out to commercial interests, bleak poverty and the growing popularity of heritage sites as tourist attractions.