An aerial photograph of one of the new Nazca Lines. Image Credit: Yamagata University.

Scientists Find 168 New Nazca Lines in the Peruvian Desert

Aerial imagery and drone surveys have now identified 168 new Nazca Lines in southern Peru, of which approximately 50 depict human figures.


The Nazca desert in Peru is like an art gallery for the gods. The desert lands of Peru are decorated with countless animal forms and shapes, as well as lines that stretch out into the horizon, like massive runways of the gods. And although we have known about the Nazca lines since 1927, they continue to surprise us. Despite decades of research and exploration, we have only spotted a small amount of the Nazca collection. According to some archaeologists, only a small percentage of Nazca lines have been found in the desert. A team of researchers from Yamagata University in Japan collaborates with local researchers to change this. Aerial imagery and drone surveys have now identified 168 new geoglyphs in southern Peru, of which approximately 50 depict human figures. One of the humanoid geoglyphs was etched with what appears to be facial hair.


Discovering more Nazca Lines

The landscape also features designs of birds, killer whales, cats, and snakes. Trapezoidal patterns or lines are also common. The designs are hard to date, but clay pots found near the lines date to 100 BC and 300 AD. From close up, it isn’t easy to see many of the vintage illustrations etched into flat ground. Due to erosion, the lines have made it more difficult to discover because they were created by removing rock and debris to expose contrasting soil below. As our eyes in the sky, drones are becoming more critical. Thanks to these flying devices, experts have seen the Nazca lines more clearly than ever before. Artificial intelligence programs are even being used to analyze some of the data they are collecting, which can detect patterns faster and more reliably than human vision. A new design of the Nazca line was found in 2019 by AI.


The Nazca Line Mystery

The geoglyphs in the Peruvian desert are one of the most fascinating mysteries of all time. It is unlikely that archaeologists will ever gain a deeper understanding of their purpose even if they find more geoglyphs. Southern Peru’s societies built lines, shapes, and figures across the landscape for some reason between 500 BC and 500 AD. Only from above can they be seen in their entirety. Over the decades, many interpretations have been made of the lines. In most cases, they were intended for the gods to look down on humans from above. Some theories also suggest these figures and patterns reflect the stars in some way and were drawn for ritual astronomical purposes.

Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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