The Nazca lines are an unsolved piece of mystery. These ‘lines’ are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are said to have been drawn over land in 500 BC! They are located in Nazca desert in southern Peru.
These aren’t just random lines created by the ‘Nazca’ people centuries ago. These lines have meaning and have been the subject of study for many researchers and scientists since they were first discovered in 1927 when Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejía Xesspe spotted them while hiking the foothills near the lines.
Although the mention of Nazca lines exists in a book by Spanish historian and chronicler of Peru, Pedro Cieza de León written in 1553 Pedro Cieza de León where he thought these lines were markings of trails.
At the ground level, the shapes and symbols these lines make are undecipherable. You need to have an aerial view to see the amazing shapes these well-calculated lines make. Some are in the shape of a bird, some a tree – even a spider! – these lines are just spell-binding. Paul Kosok, a historian is credited as the first scholar to seriously study the Nazca Lines.
Making such lines that exist even today seems to be an impossible task by such an ancient tribe of Nazca – imagine how life would be 2500 years ago and now imagine them making lines spread over an area of 450 sqkms with wooden tools – each line with a depth of 10-15 cm. Some of the largest Nazca lines are up to 1200ft tall!
So why were these lines drawn?
Many people have worked on the purpose of the Nazca lines and various theories have emerged. Some say that the Nazca people created it to be seen by the Gods in the sky. While scientists Paul Kosok and Maria Reiche said it was about astronomy – the lines were intended to act as a kind of observatory, to point to the places on the horizon where the sun and other celestial bodies rose or set! But there wasn’t enough evidence to support this theory. She also once said, according to The New York Times, “She contends they are not shapes of constellations, but of what might be called counter constellations, the irregularly-shaped dark patches within the twinkling expanse of the Milky Way.”
An archaeologist, Johan Reinhard said these lines were a part of the worship that the Nazca people did. They worshipped the land and the water. He said, “The figures were symbols representing animals and objects meant to invoke the gods’ aid in supplying water.”
The relation of Nazca lines to water has often emerged.
There is another not so widely accepted theory that was put forward by Henri Stierlin, a Swiss art historian published a book on the lines stating that these geoglyphs were sites of producing ancient textiles (like the one that are found wrapping mummies). The lines would have been used as a giant, primitive looms to fabricate the extremely long strings and wide pieces of textiles typical of the area centuries ago.
Today, these lines are visible even from a satellite revolving around the globe. Some people theorise that these lines were made by aliens!
Whatever be the real reason – one must think about how advanced these civilisations were. Imagine, that how did the Nazca people, view these lines in a time when aeroplanes were not invented? Hot air balloons? Or something else that we haven’t discovered yet?