The Nazca Lines, a group of hundreds of mysterious geoglyphs etched into the desert in Peru, have mystified scientists for nearly a century. People from ancient civilizations made the drawings over a period of hundreds of years, beginning around 200 B.C. By analyzing the style and subject matter of the drawings and the methods used to make them, researchers at Yamagata University in Japan have proposed that the lines were made by two different cultures — the Nazca and their predecessors, the Paracas — and were intended to be seen on their respective pilgrimages to an ancient temple, not from the sky as they’re more often seen today.
Even today, archaeologists are continuing to discover new Nazca Lines across Peru.
The Nazca Lines were first brought to the world’s attention in the 1920s, when airlines brought their passengers over the Nazca Pampa, an arid region of Peru locked between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. They are best viewed from above.
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