The 2,000-year old geoglyphs may shed new light on the Nazca people during ancient times. The new geoglyphs were discovered by a pilot flying over Peru’s Nazca desert.
The apparent reason for the sudden appearance of the Nazca lines was the recent sandstorms taking place in the area. The lines show around 200-feet long snakelike figure, a large zigzag line, and a large bird.
Pilot Eduardo Herran Gomez de la Torre, who is also a researcher, found the designs in late July, according to a report by Peruvian newspaper El Comercio. Eduardo believes they were created by prehistoric culture that controlled southern Peru from 800 B.C. to 100 B.C., which could have been the Paracas. This prehistoric culture predates the Nazca culture that controlled the region starting 100 B.C. until 800 A.D. Paracas were known for their beautiful art and textiles.
Scholars suspected the geoglyphs were made between the transition period of Paracas and Nazca cultures. However, archaeologists still want to confirm the designs’ origin.
According to the UNESCO website, Nazca lines stretch around 280 square miles in Peru’s coastal plain region and were made between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. These lines often show plants, animals and geometrical designs and thought to have had ritual astronomical functions. However, professional photographer Edward Ranney, whose book “The Lines” focuses on the geoglyphs, suggests the designs may have another purpose other than what they have depicted.
Ranney said in a recent interview the designs were likely for ceremonial purpose that were recreated continually over many centuries, perhaps to honor sources of water and sacred mountains. He added that the designs were formerly believed astronomically aligned and calendrical aligned, which could be true in few cases, but this idea is no longer widely accepted.
The lines are continually capturing the imagination of archaeologists even though their function was never really established. UNESCO website describes the Nazca lines and geoglyphs as unique and magnificent artistic achievement that is unrivaled in its diversity and dimensions in the prehistoric world.