Nazca Lines May Be a Labyrinth
2012 12 12

By Nick Collins | Telegraph.co.uk




Hundreds of vast patterns traced across 80km of plateau in Peru’s Nazca desert have perplexed archaeologists since the markings were rediscovered almost a century ago.

The designs, which were drawn between 100 BC and 700AD by scraping away red dust and rock to reveal white ground beneath, clearly resemble geometric shapes or animals including monkeys, humans, birds and fish.

But their enormous size, with some measuring more than 200m (660ft) across, means they are only visible from the air, raising questions about how and why they were created.

Some experts have suggested the patterns were painstakingly traced out as a message to the gods, while other commentators have even suggested the lines were drawn by aliens.

Now British researchers have claimed that a "labyrinth" of geometric shapes and lines was not created to be seen at all, and was instead a walking path which played a role in ancient rituals.



Photo of the labyrinth, with spiral passageway visible at bottom left:

Prof Clive Ruggles of Leicester University said: "Unlike some of the famous zoomorphic (animal) figures, its irregular form provides no reason to speculate that it might have been intended to be viewed from the air.

"It was not meant to be ’seen’ from outside at all, but rather to be experienced from within. It was meant to be walked."

Prof Ruggles and Dr Nicholas Saunders of Bristol University traced 4.4km of paths during a five-year project, becoming the first known people to do so in more than 1,000 years.

Writing in the Antiquity journal, they suggested the network of patterns was laid out around 500AD.

The well-preserved state of the labyrinth suggests it was only ever walked by small groups of people in single file and indicates a possible spiritual purpose, they said.

Although parts of the lines have been washed away by flash floods, the remainder is well preserved and the edges are still sharply defined.

Prof Ruggles claims to have been the first person to discover the labyrinth among the patterns while studying the lines in 1984.

He said: "I didn’t have the slightest idea of its true nature. Only gradually did I realise that here was a figure set out on a huge scale and still traceable, that it was clearly intended for walking, and that I was almost certainly the first person to have recognised it for what it was, and walked it from end to end, for some 1500 years.

"Sharing some of those experiences by walking the lines ourselves is an important source of information that complements the ’hard’ scientific and archaeological evidence and can really aid our attempts to make anthropological sense of it."

The World Monuments Fund last year warned that the lines could be jeopardised by tourism, with poorly regulated private flights, rising levels of litter and intrusive viewing platforms damaging the experience of visitors.

The lines were drawn by the Nazca people, a civilisation living in modern Peru which disappeared almost 1,500 years ago, and were designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994.

A report by British academics in 2009 found that the society may have brought catastrophe upon itself by clearing vast numbers of local huarango trees for timber and fuel.

The trees have exceptionally deep roots and would have played a key role in keeping the soil fertile and moist, scientists said.

Mass deforestation may have irreparably damaged the ecosystem, with the lack of trees making the climate too dry for local people to grow food, it was claimed.


Article from: telegraph.co.uk











Related Articles
Nazca Lines In Peru May Have Formed A Labyrinth For Spiritual Journeys
Visible Only From Above, Mystifying ’Nazca Line’ Wheels Discovered in Mideast (2011)
Pigs and squatters threaten Peru’s Nazca lines
Thousands of strange ’Nazca Lines’ discovered in the Middle East
UFO mysteries: ‘Nazca Lines’ discovered in Kazakhstan
Mysterious elk-shaped geoglyph discovered in Russia
Scientists claim new geoglyph find in Nazca, Peru
The Labyrinthine Search


Latest News from our Front Page

6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered
2014 10 21
A 6,000-year-old temple holding humanlike figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered within a massive prehistoric settlement in Ukraine. Built before writing was invented, the temple is about 60 by 20 meters (197 by 66 feet) in size. It was a "two-story building made of wood and clay surrounded by a galleried courtyard," the upper floor divided into five ...
What happened to Journalist Serena Shim? Assassinated? Find out what happened to Serena, Press TV director calls on Turkey
2014 10 21
Press TV news director Hamid Reza Emadi says the “suspicious death,” of the news channel’s correspondent in Turkey is a tragedy for “anyone who wants to get the truth.” Emadi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday following Serena Shim’s death across the border from Syria’s Kurdish city of Kobani, where the ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters ...
Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for Information Storage
2014 10 21
The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice that changes colour depending on the direction of the light upon it. It baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s, as they could not work ...
Rapid Geomagnetic Reversal Possibility: Confirmed
2014 10 21
From the video: "The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is the Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia." Tune into Red Ice Radio: Ben Davidson - Suspicious0bservers: Space Weather ...
Georgia Guide Stone 2014 cube stone removal
2014 10 21
From: Youtube: Was it all just a gag? it seems the cube stone just happens to be made out of the same Elberton granite that the rest of this morbid monument is made from.
More News »