One-of-a-kind works of art can be found near the Peruvian city of Nazca: images that people carved into the desert floor thousands of years ago. These so-called Nazca Lines can usually only be recognized in their forms from the air, they often show birds or other animal figures. Sometimes they extend over 20 kilometers. In 1994 the Nazca Lines were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Researchers at Yamagata University in Japan have now discovered 168 more works of art. The so-called geoglyphs show people, cats, birds, snakes, killer whales and animals resembling llamas, reports the Reuters news agency. They are between two and six meters long. The special thing about the new finds: the figures can also be identified on the ground, as the scientist Masato Sakai told Reuters.
The age of the works of art is estimated at more than 2000 years. For a long time, researchers assumed that the Nazca lines came from the time of the Nazca culture (between 200 BC and 600 AD). It is now considered more likely that the first figures were created during the Paracas period between 800 and 200 BC. What purpose the images served remains a mystery.
The research project at the University of Yamagata has been dealing with the Nazca Lines since 2012. Most recently, in 2019, the researchers discovered more than 140 new geoglyphs in the area. With the help of artificial intelligence, aerial and drone photos were evaluated and markings in the sand were identified that cannot be seen with the human eye. But there is still a lot of work to be done: there are said to have been 1,500 of the scratching images, but only a little more than 350 have been discovered so far.
Sources: Reuters / Yamagata University
Watch the video: It's a chilling Nazca ritual: a child is decapitated - his skull transformed into a trophy head. Researchers have now found that the child had been administered drugs.