The Nasca Lines are one of humanity's mysteries. They are the most outstanding group of geoglyphs in the world.

Etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand about 300 hundred figures made of straight lines, geometric shapes and pictures of animals and birds - and their patterns are only clearly visible from the air. They were built by a people called the Nasca- but why and how they created these wonders of the world has defied explanation.

1. Killer Whale
2. Wing
3. Baby Condor
4. Bird
5. Animal
6. Spiral
7. Lizard
8. Tree
9. Hands
10. Spiral
11. Spider
12. Flower
13. Dog
14. Astronaut
15. Triangle
16. Whale
17. Trapazoids
18. Star
19. Pelican
20. Bird
21. Trapazoid
22. Hummingbird
23. Trapezoid
24. Monkey
25. Llama
26. Trapezoids

They are located in the Pampa region of Peru. The desolate plain of the Peruvian coast which comprises the Pampas of San Jose (Jumana), Socos, El Ingenio and others in the province of Nasca, which is 400 Km. South of Lima, covers an area of approximately 450 km2, of sandy desert as well as the slopes of the contours of the Andes.

The Lines were first spotted when commercial airlines began flying across the Peruvian desert in the 1920's. Passengers reported seeing 'primitive landing strips' on the ground below. No one knew who had built them or indeed why. Since their discovery, the Nasca Lines have inspired fantastic explanations.

On the pampa, south of the Nasca Lines, archaeologists have now uncovered the lost city of the line-builders, Cahuachi. It was built nearly two thousand years ago and was mysteriously abandoned 500 years later. New discoveries at Cahuachi are at last beginning to give us insight into the Nasca people and to unravel the mystery of the Nasca Lines.

Cahuachi is emerging as a treasure trove of the Nasca culture. As Orefici and his team excavate, discoveries of paintings on preserved pottery, and the ancient technique of weaving that the Nasca people developed, have given an insight into how the lines may have been made, and what they might have been used for, more than 1500 years ago.

Most exciting is the discovery of human remains. Stunningly preserved in the dry soil of the Peruvian desert are the mummified bodies of the Nasca themselves.

Skulls from Ica, Peru

Originally believed to have been a military stronghold, Cahuachi is now reckoned to be a place of ritual and ceremony, and Orefici's stunning new evidence confirms this idea. Cahuachi is now revealed to have been abandoned after a series of natural disasters destroyed the city. But before they left it, the Nasca people covered the city in the arid pampa sand where, until recently, it has remained a barely visible mound in the desert.

Composition of the Lines

The pebbles which cover the surface of the desert contain ferrous oxide. The exposure of centuries has given them a dark patina. When the gravel is removed, they contrast with the color underneath. In this way the lines were drawn as furrows of a lighter color, even though in some cases they became prints. In other cases, the stones defining the lines and drawings form small lateral humps of different sizes. Some drawings, especially the early ones, were made by removing the stones and gravel from their contours and in this way the figures stood out in high relief.

Other Geoglyphs

The Nasca Lines are the most outstanding group of geoglyphs in the world. There are also huge geoglyphs in Egypt, Malta, United States (Mississippi and California), Chile, Bolivia and in other countries. But the Nasca geoglyphs, because of their numbers, characteristics, dimensions and cultural continuity as they were made and remade through out the whole prehispanic period, form the most impressive as well as enigmatic archeological group.


Huge trapezoidal (wedge-like) designs

The Nazca plain is virtually unique for its ability to preserve the markings upon it, due to the combination of the climate (one of the driest on Earth, with only twenty minutes of rainfall per year) and the flat, stony ground which minimises the effect of the wind at ground level. With no dust or sand to cover the plain, and little rain or wind to erode it, lines drawn here tend to stay drawn. These factors, combined with the existence of a lighter-coloured subsoil beneath the desert crust, provide a vast writing pad that is ideally suited to the artist who wants to leave his mark for eternity.

The concentration and juxtaposition of the lines and drawings leave no doubt that they required intensive long-term labor as is demonstrated by the stylistic continuity of the designs, which clearly correspond to the different stages of cultural changes.

There appear to be two kinds of designs: the first are figures of various beings and things and the others form geometric lines. The former consists of figures of animals, plants, objects, such as anthropomorphic figures of colossal proportions made with well-defined lines. Of these figures which have been restored by Maria Reiche and other collaborators about 70 are known.

There are also drawings of flowers and plants, as well as representations of deformed animals and other strange figures. An example of this is the drawing of a weird being with two enormous hands, one normal and the other with only four fingers. Also represented are drawings of man-made objects such as yarn, looms and "tupus" (ornamental clasps). All these figures have well-defined entrances which could be used as paths or to allow people to line together along the conformations of the drawings.

The anthropomorphic figures are relatively few and are situated on the slopes. The most well-known being The Astronaut at 32m length and E.T., discovered by Eduardo Herran in 1982. Others are The Man with a Hat and The Executioner and they also appear to be the most primitive. These figures are very similar to the small petroglyphs found in the rocky areas of the region.

In terms of the lines, many kilometers long, they crisscross sectors of the pampas in all directions. Many of the lines form geometric figures: angles, triangles, bunches, spirals, rectangles, wavy lines, etc. Other lines form concentric circles converging with or emanating from a promontory. Other prints have formed "roads" like geometric planes and appear to have been occupied by large groups of the population.

Many of the lines are random and seem to have no pattern to them. They are seen over the scattered seemingly at random over the desolate plain, crossing and intersecting for no apparent reason.

Theories About The Nasca Lines

1. They were used for rituals, probably related to astronomy.
2. There were used to confirm the "ayllus" or clans who made up the population and to determine through ritual their economic functions held up by reciprocity and redistribution.
3. They were created for ET creator Gods.

In 1969, Erich von Daniken floated the idea that airborne extraterrestrials might have laid out the lines as runways for their aircraft.[1] However, his imaginative theory ran into a number of problems. First, it is claimed that the soil is not hard enough to sustain repeated landings of heavy aerial craft. Secondly, why did the alleged extraterrestrials not design something far more sophisticated? Thirdly, many lines are only 3 feet wide - too narrow for aircraft. In addition, von Daniken has failed to explain the meaning or purpose of the animal geoglyphs.

The foremost expert on the Nazca Lines is undoubtedly Maria Reiche, a German mathematician who has devoted more than fifty years of her life to the study and protection of the Lines. Reiche has led a determined effort to discredit the von Daniken theory of extraterrestrials. The strategy of this attack has been to argue that the Nazca Indians constructed the Lines relatively recently - some time between 300 BC and AD 800. In support of this possibility, some scientists have put forward ingenious ideas on how the geoglyphs could theoretically have been designed from the ground. The more important evidence, however, is that which attempts to link the Lines definitively to the Nazcan culture. Here, neither of the two key pieces of evidence survive close scrutiny.

The first piece of evidence is a series of radiocarbon dates, based on ceramic and wood remains which were left at the Lines by the Nazcan people. It is claimed that this proves that the Nazcans constructed the Lines. On the contrary, the dating of these materials tells us only that the Nazcans lived in the area of the Lines. Since the Lines themselves cannot be radiocarbon dated, the possibility remains that they already existed when the Nazcan culture emerged.

The second piece of evidence is the alleged resemblance of the Nazca geoglyphs to certain features found on Nazcan pottery. This is an important issue because it potentially offers proof that the Nazcans had either designed the images or at least viewed them from the air.

Maria has her theories but no conclusive proof as to their construction.

In 1968, a study by the National Geographic Society determined that, whilst some of the Nazca lines did point to the positions of the Sun, Moon and certain stars two thousand years ago, it was no more than could be expected by mere chance. In 1973, Dr Gerald Hawkins studied 186 lines with a computer programme and found that only 20 per cent had any astronomical orientation - again no more than by pure chance. In 1982, Anthony Aveni obtained similar results, whilst in 1980, Georg Petersen pointed out that Reiche's theory did not explain the different lengths and widths of the lines. More recently, Johan Reinhard has noted that the surrounding mountains provided a ready-made and much more effective mechanism for the Nazcans to use as a solar calendar; the lines would thus have been quite superfluous to them. In addition to this avalanche of scientific opinion, we should also note that Reiche, like von Daniken, has failed to explain the significance of the animal geoglyphs.

Truck Driven Across Nazca Lines

Tourists have driven a pickup truck across a section of Peru's mysterious Nazca Lines, damaging at least three of the lines that were etched in desert sands centuries ago, authorities say.

The thousands of Nazca lines, located 250 miles south of Lima, are among Peru's top tourist attractions. The loosely guarded lines cover a 35-mile stretch of desert.

The intruders, whose vehicle had a California license plate, bypassed protective concrete markers and drove across the desert plain, over the ancient lines, reports park guardian Hector Garcia.

The tourists had camped overnight among the lines, then departed today leaving garbage behind, Garcia says. The tourists were not stopped or identified and it is not known if they are still in Peru.

The most famous figures among the lines -- a hummingbird, monkey, heron, whale, spider and flower -- have not been damaged, says district prosecutor Jose Herrera Ramos.

The shallow etchings were made well over 1,000 years ago by Indians who cleared the stony surface, exposing the whitish soil underneath. Scientists continue to debate their purpose, offering such theories as a calendar, a map of underground water supplies -- even landing strips for space aliens. (AP)

The Code of Carl Munck: The Ancient Geomatria of Numbers

The ancient sites around the world are very precisely positioned on a global coordinate system in relation to the position of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The positions of the sites are given in the geometry of their construction. A very ancient system of numbers was used in the system, which we will call "Gematria." Gematrian" numbers are found in ancient myths and religions, including the Bible. Gematrian numbers were used in systems of weights and measures by ancient peoples, including the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Babylonians and the Romans.

The Code system uses mathematical constants, such as pi and the radian. The system also uses conventions that are still in use, such as the 360 degree circle, 60 minute degree, 60 second minute, the base-ten numbering system, the 12-inch foot, and the 5280-foot mile.

The ancient Mayans used Gematrian numbers in their very accurate timekeeping.

The Nazca Line ground markings "locate themselves" on The Code Matrix System.