The Nazca lines, a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru, are one of Earth’s greatest mysteries that hold clues to our past. There are multiple theories that try to explain their existence.
The recent appearance of the new lines after a sandstorm in Peru captivated me, would it mean that some of the older theories that were put forth are now true? Well we just have to wait and find out, but until then lets take a look into what the Nazca lines are and some of the common theories explaining their purpose.
What are the Nazca Lines?
Its said that the Nazca lines were created anywhere between the 4th and 9th century by the people who lived there, although there are no traces of any cities, a lot of mummified and skeletal remains of people have been found throughout this area.
The lines are massive, with some of them stretching over 10 miles and some patterns cover areas larger than football fields. Though the Nazca lines span great areas, they were very easy to create. A simple construction method was used to make the lines, the pebbles and stones were pushed to each side leaving the middle free of stones. With this simple yet effective method, archaeologists say its possible to come up with one of the designs in lesser than 48 hours.
With such a simple construction method its pretty amazing that the lines have survived all these years. The video below explains some interesting factors and meaning of these lines.
Theories on the Purpose of the Nazca Lines
There have been quite a few theories trying to explain why the Nazcans would create these humongous patterns. The most well known theory is put forth by Maria Reichs, who studied the lines for over 60 years. She claims that the lines form an astronomical chart, but the lines seem to have only 30 percent accuracy when compared to astro bodies which make this theory defunct.
Now will the appearance of the new lines change that 30% figure we are yet to find out. But its interesting to know that the longest Nazca line aligns with the setting sun on winter solstice which definitely adds some weightage to this theory.
What most of us are unaware of are the aquaducts that were used to get water from the rivers miles away to the arid region for farming are close and some even under the Nazca lines. So obviously a few researchers pondered on the Nazca lines being a map for the aquaducts. The funny thing is, this too seems to have only a 30 percent correlation with the lines.
So what could the purpose of the lines actually be, another widespread theory on the Nazca Lines comes from, Erich von Däniken who in his 1968 book ‘Chariots of the Gods,’ suggests that the lines were built by ancient astronauts as a landing field. I never really pictured a UFO with wheels and the requirement of long landing strips personally, but whatever floats your boat.
Finally we come to the most accepted theory on the Nazca lines which has the most weightage as well. Along the Colorado river in America there are a series of geoglyphs carved out on the desert floor. The similarities between these and the ones in Peru are undeniable, and unlike the Nazca lines, the generations whose forefathers created it were still alive and had their stories to tell.
But apart from that its interesting that some of the designs like the monkey with a tail that winds round and round and actually forms a labyrinth. Walking through labyrinths actually have benefits and have been adopted in many cultures as a form of sacred geometry.
Whatever the mystery is behind the Nazca lines, it still is one of the most fascinating prehistoric creations of man that beckons the traveler in me.