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Nasca Lines Buried Secrets Facts

A victorious skirmish where a head is removed and probably turned into a trophy head.

A victorious skirmish where a head is removed and probably turned into a trophy head. (View larger version)

Photograph by Edge West, Inc.


    The Nasca-Palpa Project

  • The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research has sponsored the project since July 2002.

  • The official name of the Nasca-Palpa Project is "Nasca: Development and Adaptation of Archaeometrical Techniques for the Investigation of Cultural History."

  • The project aims to develop new scientific methods that will contribute to a solution for research problems as well as the development of palaeoenvironmental history.

  • Subprojects of this include: "Subproject Archaeology" managed by Dr. Markus Reindel and co-directed by Johny Isla Cuadrado, and "Subproject Chronometries" which is managed by professor Dr. Bernhard Eitel.

  • The investigation area is located on the Southern coast of Peru, 400 km south of the capital Lima, and about 40 km north of the town of Nasca.

  • The Nasca Lines

  • The Lines were drawn on the desert from around 100 B.C. and A.D. 700.

  • UNESCO declared the lines a World Heritage Site in 1994.

  • The geoglyphs depict living creatures, stylized plants, geometric figures and imaginary beings. They can be up to several kilometers long.

  • The geoglyph images include among other flowers, animals and geometric shapes:
    • Monkey, which is 360 feet (110 meters) long
    • Killer whale, which is 210 feet (65 meters) long
    • Condor, which is 443 feet (135 meters) long
    • Hummingbird, which is 165 feet (50 meters) long
    • Pelican, which is 935 feet (285 meters) long
    • Spider, which is 150 feet (46 meter) long

  • The discoveries of the lines dates back to the 1920s and there have been many theories since relating to why they were there. In 1941 Paul Kosok hypothesized that they were there for an astronomical purpose. Maria Reiche also hypothesized that the lines were a huge astronomical calendar and that the animal shapes mirrored formations in the stars. In 1967, American astrophysicist Geral Hawkins found there was no such correlation. Since then there have been hypothesizes about alien contact.

  • The Nasca lines are protected from weather due to the regions dry climate and winds that sweep the sand away from the stones and groves. However, there is the Pan American highway that cuts through a major line.

  • Peru

  • Peru has a total land mass of 1,279,996 sq km and water mass of 5,220 sq km. It's coastline is 2,414 km long. It is the 27th largest country in comparison to the world.

  • It's vast climate ranges from tropical in the East to a dry desert climate in the West, it also caters to frigid climate in the Andes. The terrain ranges from coastal plains, mountains in the center, and desert in the south and lowland jungles in the Amazon Basin.

  • The peak elevation is 6,768 meters, Nevado Huascaran.

  • Peru has a population of 29,546,963 (July 2009 etst.)

  • Palpa

  • "The Nasca-Palpa Project: a cooperative approach of photogrammetry, archaeometry and archaeology"

  • Nasca Culture History

  • The Nasca Culture flourished in the Nasca region during the Early Intermediate Period, 200 BC-600 AD.

  • An extreme desertification led to the cultural decline at the end of the Nasca Period.

  • Population increased again in 1000-1450 AD. The Inca Empire had stretched far south when in 1532 the Spanish conquista brought the rule to an end and formed part of the Spanish colonial empire.

  • Maria Reiche

  • Maria Reiche was a German-born scientist (1903-1998) who is considered to be one of the foremost figures dedicated to the conservation, exploration and mapping of the Nasca Lines.

  • Maria Reiche created a viewing tower in 1976, sensing to imminent ruin of the lines do to tourists.

  • Maria Reiche measured almost 1,000 lines in the desert, working alone. She lived in Nasca for over 40 years

  • Interesting Terms

    As seen and heard in our show, the expert's titles and what they do:

  • Photogrammetry is a means of developing measurements from photographs. For the research conducted on Nasca, photographs are taken of a specific landscape or geographical area. A 3D animated model is then generated from the photographs and measurements. "Photogrammetry"

  • Archaeometry is the group name for a collection of seven sub-fields in Archaeology. The measurements that are applied to archaeology. These include: Identification- of materials, Prospection- where and what to excavate, Chronometry- sciences dating finds, Provenience- search for the origin site of artifact, Environmentology- study of geological and weather changes in an area and time span, Biosphere- research into botany and archaeology, and Restoration-Conservation- restoration and conservation of artifacts. "Archaeometry-Gunneweg-Hebrew University"

  • Archaeology is a field of Anthropology, which studies human culture. Archaeology studies human culture, through material remains, such as human skeletons, pottery, and temples. "What is Archaeology?"

  • Bioarchaeology is the study of archaeological material in order to learn more about past civilizations, including the study of bones which would be revelant in the excavation of the Nasca-Palpa project.

  • Geology • Geology is the study of the Earth. It is the study of the materials that make the Earth and the structure of those materials. It includes the study of organisms on Earth and the study of these materials, structures and organisms over time. "What is Geology? - What does a Geologist do? –

  • Geoglyphs are works of art or shapes that are made from arranging stones or other Earth matter.