The geoglyphs of Nazca: the greatest mystery of history that scientists have not yet been able to solve
The mankind masters the space and spends billions for studying the distant galaxies. But in the meantime, there are many mysteries on our planet, over which scientists have puzzled for decades. Among them is the rocky plateau of Nazca in South America and its mysterious geoglyphs. Despite the modern level of science and technology, historians are still unable to say exactly who and why drew the giant figures in the desert.
The Nazca Plateau is located in the southern part of Peru, on the territory of South America. It is world famous for its geoglyphs – geometric or figure patterns made on the ground and having large dimensions. Geoglyphs are well visible from the plane or on satellite pictures while standing on the ground, directly before the image itself, it is difficult to estimate the scale and sense of the drawn object.
The first of Europeans described geoglyphs of Naska plateau the Spanish explorer of South America Cieza de Leon. Then in 1553 he informed that he has found Inca roads in stony desert and signs to them. Well and the real discovery of geoglyphs Nazca happened in 1939, when the American archaeologist Paul Kosok, flying over Peru, noticed a giant drawings of animals and many lines.
Total found on the Nazca Plateau about 30 large drawings, mostly animals, more than 700 different geometric shapes (spirals, triangles, trapezoids) and more than 10,000 lines and stripes. It is the most scale assemblage of geoglyphs on our planet from all found at present archeologists.
Lines of geoglyphs Naska are executed by a principle of trenches. Drawings are made by way of excavation of the ground on depth about 25-50 centimeters. Thus bands have width to 130 centimeters.
Many archaeologists and historians have studied this mysterious place, but scientists still can’t answer the main questions.
One of the main mysteries of the Nazca Plateau is the time of creation of unusual objects and its direct builders. Most researchers agree that the mysterious figures were drawn before the arrival of the Incas to the region, that is, before the XII century. Many people connect the geoliths with the Nazca civilization, which existed in this region from the II century BC to the VI century AD. An interesting feature is also the fact that the drawings were made at different times. New objects were laid over the old ones, so often you can observe that the images of animals, which are likely to be more ancient, are crossed with lines and geometric shapes. It is possible that the figures and lines, could have been drawn by different civilizations and for different purposes. Executed with striking mathematical precision lines in their parameters exceed the capabilities of modern geodetic instruments. It is difficult to imagine how the Nazca civilization, though skilled in ceramics and architecture, could have performed such complex constructions.
The second question, which also has no reliable answer, is the purpose of drawings and lines of the Nazca plateau. Maria Reiche, who devoted almost her entire conscious life to studying the Nazca geoglyphs, believes that the people who built them were literate astronomers and the complex was intended to solve problems related to celestial bodies. Although a number of researchers refute this view. Judging by the fact that the lines and drawings themselves form a picture, if you look at them from height, they could be landmarks for aircraft. In this connection repeatedly was put forward the assumption that geoglyphs Nazca served for their landings. One thing is certain: about their destination still more mysteries than answers and none of the versions is conclusive.
Today geoglyphs of Naska are under protection of Peru authorities and are a part of protected territory. It is forbidden to drive vehicles here, as any imprints cut into the surface, leaving traces and violating the integrity of the Nazca complex.
Geoglyphs are located in a very arid, rocky area, so it rains once every few decades and there is no vegetation. Due to this, the mysterious images have been preserved almost in pristine condition. It is noteworthy that similar structures have been found in North America (Blythe figures). In terms of technique they have much in common with the Nazca images. But neither of them is in a hurry to part with their secrets, remaining one of the most mysterious objects on our planet.
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The Nazca Plateau in Peru – photos of geoglyphs
In the territory of modern Peru, where in ancient times developed a powerful empire of “sons of the sun” – the Incas, 500 kilometers from the Pacific coast on the high plateau Nazca lies the mysterious Pampa Colorada (Red Desert). On this plateau, smooth as a table, cut through the Ingenio River, even in the 1930s pilots discovered dozens of smooth, like a concrete highway, areas of rock surface lengths from hundreds of meters to several kilometers, resembling the runways of modern airfields.
But as soon as these drawings simply cannot be seen from the ground, a natural question arises: “Could the ancient inhabitants of the Cordilleras, the Incas, really know how to fly?”
Here it is appropriate to recall the ancient Inca legend, which tells of a “golden ship” coming from the distant stars: “It was commanded by a woman named Orjana. She was destined to become the foremother of the earthly race. Orjana gave birth to seventy earthly children and then returned to the stars”. The same legend also tells of the ability of the “sons of the sun,” the Incas, “to fly over the earth in golden ships”…
Is there any connection between this legend and the report of the English anthropological journal “Maine” which, in particular, says: “Analysis of the muscle tissues of the preserved Inca mummies showed that the blood composition of the Incas differed sharply from the local population. They were found to have a blood group of the rarest combination. Nowadays only two or three people in the whole world are known to have such blood composition”.
The first researcher of drawings and “landing stripes” of the Nazca Plateau was Paul Kozok, who engaged in their systematization and study back in 1939. It was he who first noticed that some of the lines indicate individual stars and constellations, fix different phases of the moon, as well as the points of sunrise and sunset. Together with Professor Masotti from the Peruvian Military Geographic Institute, P. Kozok hypothesized that the Nazca drawings and lines are a giant astronomical calendar.
Further researchers of the mysteries of Pampa Colorada, such as Maria Reiche, Lawrence Dawson, Hans Winkel, Zoltan Zelke and others, adhered to the version according to which the Nazca drawings have a ritual character and were used in ancient times for occult ceremonies, torchlight processions in procession along the contour of an animal ancestor. (The fact is that the giant drawings themselves are grooves twenty-five centimeters deep and sixty-five centimeters wide, exposing lighter (not oxidized) scatterings of pebbles that cover the entire plateau, except for the “landing strips.”)
However, who could observe these ceremonies on a deserted plateau? And how could they have created all these 12 thousand stripes and lines, 100 spirals, 788 drawings, including a 4-5 meter spider, an 80-meter monkey, a 50-meter parrot, and finally a 250-meter bird?
A team of Peruvian and German archaeologists discovered the ancient settlement, the age of which is about 5.5 thousand years, on the mysterious plateau of Nazca in Peru. To date, it is the oldest settlement in the region.
The excavation, which began as early as last October, uncovered eight houses and 19 burials. “In total, we found eight houses and 19 graves. One child’s burial is worth noting among them. Probably the child in this case was mummified,” reported the expedition, writes El Commercial.
Some of the graves were located inside the huts. Scientists are still unable to give an explanation for such an unusual burial ritual, although they suggest that the graves could have been made after the inhabitants had left their homes.
Archaeologists also found a number of artifacts, including bracelets and necklaces made from shells, bones of various animals and even deer antlers, which confirms the earlier conclusions that before Christ, the climate of the region was very different from today: today Nasca is a deserted lifeless plateau.
Although some artifacts were found with buried bodies, scientists have not been able to obtain direct evidence that they were posthumous offerings to the deceased or to deities.
The finds were made as part of the Nasca-Palpa project in the Pernil Alto sector, 15 km south of Palpa. The aim of the project is to study the history of the plateau, famous for its mysterious mysterious cave paintings. Later it was one of the centers of the Inca civilization. For these reasons, this region is of particular interest to scientists. Finding an ancient settlement in the area may also shed light on the history of human settlement in South America, researchers believe.
The flowering of distinctive archaeological culture in the region occurred between 300 BC and 800 AD. They created the famous Nazca lines, the ceremonial city of Cahuachi, and an impressive system of underground aqueducts, which function to this day.
Nazca lines are strips of furrows 20 cm deep, which form figures of animals, plants and underwater world, sometimes reaching the size of almost 500 m in length (hummingbird, monkey, fish, etc.).