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The incredible Sajama Lines of Bolivia

The unknown origins of the incredible Sajama Lines of Bolivia

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In Western Bolivia, thousands and thousands of perfectly straight paths are etched into the ground, creating an amazing sight. These lines, otherwise known as geoglyphs, were etched into the ground over a period of 3,000 years by indigenous people living near the volcano Sajama. It is unknown exactly when or why they were constructed, but they remain a mystery, as it is hard to imagine how the construction of something of such magnitude could pre-date modern technology.

The Sajama lines cover an area of approximately 22,525 square kilometers, or 8,700 square miles. They are perfectly straight lines, formed into a web or network. Each individual line is 1-3 meters, or 3-10 feet wide. The longest lines measure 20 kilometers, or 12 miles in length.  The creation of these lines without the aid of modern technology is a marvel. They were etched into the ground by scraping vegetation to the side, and scouring away dark surface material consisting of soil and oxidized rock, to reveal a light subsurface. The precision of the Sajama lines is remarkable. According to scholars at the University of Pennsylvania:

While many of these sacred lines extend as far as ten or twenty kilometers (and perhaps further), they all seem to maintain a remarkable straightness despite rugged topography and natural obstacles. The sheer number and length of these lines is often difficult to perceive from ground level, but from the air or hilltop vantage points, they are stunning.

The Sajama Lines were created by scraping away surface material

Like the Nazca Lines of Peru, the Sajama Lines were created by scraping away surface material. ( Source)

Some believe that the indigenous people used the lines as a navigational tool during sacred pilgrimages. Wak'as (shrines), chullpas (burial towers) and hamlets are interspersed among the lines, creating a cultural landscape.

The striking radial arrangement of the Sajama Lines

The striking radial arrangement of the Sajama Lines ( Source)

The Sajama lines were first accounted for in 1932 by traveler Aimé Felix Tschiffely. A few years later, anthropologist Alfred Metraux published ethnographic fieldwork about the Aymara and Chipaya people of the Carangas region, bringing the lines and cultural landscape to the attention of scholars. More recently, the Landmarks Foundation has worked to protect the lines from threats of erosion, unchecked development and tourism in the area, and other dangers that come from the absence of a management plan. They have studied the lines and created a database to help protect them. Working closely with the University of Pennsylvania, the Landmarks Foundation has created the “Tierra Sajama Project,” utilizing analytic digital media tools such as geographic information systems (GIS) to map, describe, and analyze the lines. The Tierra Sajama Project achieved the objectives of:

  • Creating a computer-database of maps and pertinent information about the lines, local vegetation, and relevant topography
  • Analyzing and interpreting the patterns and meanings of various land features such as mountaintop shrines and religious structures to determine possible alignments to the sacred lines
  • Developing proposals that provided for long-term protection of the lines and enhanced appreciation of the sacred landscape

Unfortunately, the analytical mapping of the size, shape, and location of the Sajama lines doesn’t answer the many questions which remain, such as who created them, what was their purpose, and what tools did they use? Answering these questions may help us to understand another piece of human history. For now, we will have to continue to marvel at the vast area covered by the lines, and the amount of effort it must have taken to create them, without fully understanding their purpose or function.

Featured image: The Sajama Lines, Bolivia ( Source )

Sources

Sajama Lines – Wikipedia

Nevado Sajama – Desert Mountaineer

Geoglyphs of the Andes – Basement Geographer

Sajama Lines, Sajama, Bolivia – Archive.today

By M R Reese

Comments

It might "sound" simple to draw and near perfect line kilometers in length but is anything but, try drawing anything longer than a few meters in your back yard and you'll see.

Most likely, the lines represented paths to or taken by desirable people,places or objects. All that is needed is a hand full of people to stand up line of sight to determine the pathway and then modify the ground surface. The method is not so much the mystery to me here but rather the purpose. Are these lines put there for their own recognition or for others? If for others, then who?
Sometimes, when looking at these stories from a broad perspective, I cant help but speculate that we are looking at an attempt by non technical hominids to attract, invite or otherwise seek the attention from a different group of beings, perhaps beings who took to the air.
The lines seem far less advanced than the masonry found elsewhere in South America so I am thinking we have three camps; indigenous, indigenous who have been contacted and educated and Some outside group who naturally take the lead due to their advanced state. The Outsiders commission the educated locals and provide each other support while the Uninitiated locals are reacting to being witness to the interaction between the other two groups. I may by all wrong but to me it is one possibility.

For an explaination of why these lines were used visit http://www.thefaramfoundation.com .

Yes they are, anything that does not originate in the Middle East and is older then 10,000 years is deliberately suppressed, not to mention anything that is older then say 100,000 years and does not come from the "Stone Age". The Inquisition is alive and well even today.

Roberto Peron's picture

Of course they are hiding our real history because if humanity knew the truth it would change everything.  For one thing we'd come to know what fantastic creatures we are and for another we would not only realize our potential but act upon it to become much more than we are today.  And therein is the problem.  The powers that be would no longer hold power.  So they keep forcing the myth down our throats telling us that we are all just "only human" and bascially ape men and women who really don't mean anymore than any other species of primate.  So the focus is on keeping humanity beaten down and on keeping us divided and at each others throats and just for good measure they condition us to become mere "consumer machines" with no other life purpose but to pad the bank accounts of the power people.  The result is we never realize our potential as individuals or as a species and we NEVER realize that we are much, much MORE than "only human."  So the power people keep their power and the masses of humanity live out mundane lives feeling weak, victimized, and vulnerable.  What a FARCE!  

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