Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The Nazca Lines
The high desert of Peru holds one of the most mystifying monuments of the known world—the massive-scale geoglyphs known as the Nasca Lines. Ranging from geometric patterns to “drawings” of different animals and stylized human-like forms. The ancient lines are made from thousands and thousands of stones lined precisely along the dessert surface, being distinguished fromt the rest of the land by their light color, rocks that while not unfathomly far, would have required effort to bring to the area. The Nasca Lines can only be truly taken in, their forms discerned, from high in the air, leaving generations mystified as to how these precise works could’ve been completed long before the documented invention of human flight. Are the lines signs left by an alien race? Landing strips for UFOs? Relics of a ancient people far more advanced—capable of human flight—then previously imagined?
Etched, as if by giants, onto the arid moonscape of Peru’s southern desert lies one of man’s greatest mysteries; the Nasca Lines. More than 15,000 geometric and animal-like patterns have been discovered criss-crossing the pampas like a vast puzzle. Who built them and what was their purpose? Ancient racetracks, landing strips for aliens, or perhaps a giant astronomical calendar? And are the Lines connected to the gruesome discovery of large cache’s of severed human heads. Now, after decades of misunderstanding, modern archaeology may finally have the answer.
Excavations in the surrounding mountains are uncovering extraordinary clues about the people who made them and why. A long since vanished people, called the Nasca, flourished here between 200BC and 700AD. But the harsh environment led them to extreme measures in order to survive.
One discovery of interest that has been made is that hundred’s of skulls have been found with elongated skulls, caused by Tying a large stone or board to the forehead tightly just after birth, forcing the permeable skull tissue to grow upwards. Some believe this to be the people’s way of trying to create themselves in the image of their “gods” or “saviors”.
Archaeologist Christina Conlee recently made an extraordinary find: the skeleton of a young male, ceremonially buried but showing gruesome evidence of decapitation. In place of the missing human head, a ceramic “head jar” decorated with a striking image of a decapitated head with a tree sprouting from its skull.
Conlee wonders who this person was? Why was he beheaded and yet buried with honor. Was he a captive taken in battle, or could he have been a willing sacrifice? And did his decapitation have anything to do with the lines? The discovery of large caches of human heads adds grisly weight to Conlee’s theories and helps unravel on of man’s great mysteries.
Amid the lines, there is a man-made cleared section, one that in today's outlook can be viewed as a clearly being a possible runway, but, a runway for what? and for whom?
There are multiple theories yet as to what the Nazca Lines are really intended for, and while there are possibilities, no one is certain as to how such massive geoglyphs could have been produced so precisely from people of that age.