High winds expose previously unknown Nazca geoglyphs
Strong winds and sandstorms reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, which occurred in the region of Ica last week, have revealed previously undiscovered Nazca lines in the Valley of El Ingenio in the Nazca plains of Peru, according to a news release in El Comercio. The geoglyphs include a zigzag line, camelids, a bird, and a snake measuring 60 metres in length. The newly-discovered lines correspond to the transition period from the Paracas to the Nazca culture, which occurred around 2,000 years ago.
The figures were discovered by pilot Eduardo Herran and researcher Gómez de la Torre, during a flight inspection made this week in the Nasca desert. The geoglyphs were found on two hillsides situated to the left and right of El Ingenio Valley, near San Jose and Pampas of Jumana, where the world famous Nazca lines are concentrated.
Located in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, some 400 km south of Lima, the geoglyphs of Nazca cover an incredible 450 km2. They are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. The geoglyphs depict living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures several kilometres long. The startling feature of the Nazca geoglyphs is that they can only really be appreciated from the air, raising questions about how and why they were created. The Nazca lines number in their thousands and the vast majority of them date from 200 BC to 500 AD, to a time when a people referred to as the Nazca inhabited the region.
The world-renowned Nazca lines
Researcher Eduardo Herran Gómez de la Torre said the new geoglyphs have already been georeferenced in order to register them with the National Registry of Cultural Property. This is important to prevent their destruction.
The director of the Department of Archaeology and Property Management of Decentralized Heritage Culture of Ica, Ruben Garcia Soto, called the discovery of the geoglyphs "a valuable contribution to the knowledge of the ancient Nasca".
Featured image: Newly-discovered Nazca lines. Photo source: El Comercio.