Image of the Day: Ancient Peruvian Nazca Lines --New Research Says "Still An Enigma"
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December 10, 2012

Image of the Day: Ancient Peruvian Nazca Lines --New Research Says "Still An Enigma"

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The first findings of the most detailed study yet into the Nazca Lines – enigmatic drawings created between 2,100 and 1,300 years ago in the Peruvian desert – have been released. As part of a five-year investigation, Dr Nicholas Saunders of the University of Bristol's Department of Archaeology and Anthropology and Professor Clive Ruggles of the University of Leicester walked 1,500 km of desert in southern Peru, tracing the lines and geometric figures created by the Nasca people between 100 BC and AD 700. The confusing palimpsest of desert drawings has attracted a host of theories purporting to explain them ever since they were discovered during the 1920s – notably the bizarre ideas of Erich Von Daniken who supposed they were made by visiting extra-terrestrials.

Dr Saunders and Professor Ruggles combined the experience and knowledge gained by walking the lines, studying the layers of superimposed designs, photographing the associated pottery and using satellite digital mapping into the most detailed such study to date. They discovered a new design of labyrinthine complexity 'hidden' in the landscape. Invisible in its entirety to the naked eye, the only way of knowing its existence is to walk its 4.4 kilometer length through disorienting direction changes which ended (or began) inside a spiral formation.

They studied the integrity of many lines and figures, and suggest that after 1,500 years, the often well-preserved contours of these features argue against crowds of people and their animals walking along them to the ancient pilgrimage center of Cahuachi in the nearby Nazca Valley.

"Meandering and well-worn trans-desert pathways served such functional purposes but they are quite different from the arrow-straight lines and geometric shapes which seem more likely to have had a spiritual and ritual purpose," said Saunders. "It may be, we suggest, that the real importance of some of these desert drawings was in their creation rather than any subsequent physical use."

For more information: "Desert labyrinth: lines, landscape and meaning at Nazca, Peru", by Clive Ruggles & Nicholas J. Saunders, Antiquity 86, 1126–1140. antiquity.ac.uk/ant/086/ant0861126.htm Journal reference: Antiquity

The Daily Galaxy via the University of Bristol

Image credit: With thanks to  (c) Clive Ruggles, www.cliveruggles.net

Comments

The article still does not explain why the Nazca people made these lines. I like Eric Von Danikens explanation.

Interesting use of "BC/AD" instead of the more commonly accepted "BCE/CE" (Before the Common Era and Common Era) of the scientific community that is free of religious attachment.

I also found the use of the word "bizarre" when referring to the theory originally put forth by Erich Von Daniken to be entirely out of place and insulting to an open-minded scientific community. Personal opinion of a theory should not be present in this article.

Rather than wasting funds on these researches that come to "pre-planned" conclusions, universities should invest in uplifting the poor of the world. Already, science has reached its nadir not because of the lack of talent and wisdom but because of the surplus funds that prevent you from knowing and which encourages filtration of knowledge. These so-called scientists or research scholars are doing nothing valuable but wasting funds.

And why would the Nazcans who created the Nazca line lay down the stones in the shape of animals? How could they know that the stones to be laid down has to be in the shape of, for example, a spider that could only be appreciated from way above?

Think they only discovered that there were stones laid in the shape of animals during a flight in the year 1930s which means that before that, people do not know about those shapes.

Hmmm, the four lines from the top; representing rays of the Sun shinning down on the
mountain and a line from the bottom, showing the location of a buried chamber or city?
Sounds plausible....

When studying Rock Art from all over the world, one can find several similar figures as in Nazca. There are also many ancient ritual structures designed to mark the celestial movements of the moon, the sun and stars.

The usual ancient calendar structure has a central marking stone and all the different alignments of the moon and the sun are marked with stones in the periphery of the center.

In my opinion, one cannot grasp the full meaning of the Nazca lines unless taking in account that we humans also can discover our natural world and cosmic surroundings with spiritual skills, of which out-of-body travels and intuitive learning methods are very important.

It can very well be that the Nazca people used the large images and lines as cardinal cosmic directions combined with and connected to their Story of Creation.

The ancient mytho-cosmological knowledge is very much embedded in the mythical stories from all over the world. When our ancestors talked of “deities” they really meant “mythical creative forces” of different kind of which the Primeval Elements creates the Milky Way and thereby created the Milky Way contours that very looks like a man on the northern hemisphere and a woman on the southern hemisphere i.e. the creation of Adam and Eve. See http://www.native-science.net/MilkyWay.Contours.htm

- Regarding Erich von Daniken and “the Ancient Alien/Astronaut society”, I´m sure that they all misunderstand the globally myths. Ok, in a sense “deities descended to earth” but what really “descended” were the creative forces from within the Milky Way galactic centre from where our solar system once was formatted and moved out in the galactic arm, i.e. “was expelled out from the centre of Eden”. Only in this sense can the mythical telling – and the biblical story of Eden be fully understood.

Besides this “descending to the Earth theory”, many myths from all over the world also have a specific mytheme of the “dying, descending, rising and flying” deity. A mytheme that was bases on the observation of a star constellation or/and of the Milky Way contours revolving around the celestial poles.

Also “The Flood” can be logically understood if thinking of the Milky Way contours as “the mythical river running in the sky over the Earth” – and not On the Earth. Read of the many cultural names of the Milky Way http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way_%28mythology%29

Ivar Nielsen
Natural Philosopher

if you needed any further proof that ivar is off his gourd, there it is

I honestly recommend everyone of you to watch The Ancient Aliens - Debunked

There is absolutely NOTHING special about the Nezca lines apart from them being made in an area where there's the least rain in the world and thus they're actually still there to be seen, not washed away.

But the animals pictured are all well known Gods of fertility and birth, pictured on many items from that era. Of course, there are absolutely -0- references to anything out of this world.

Regarding the BC/AD versus BCE/CE issue, regardless of how you name the eras, we are measuring our time by the number of years since Christ. He is still the meridian of time, whether or not you decide to name the eras. As for me, I'll stick with BC/AD, which is at least more intellectually honest and admits the dramatic influence of Christianity on human history.

As for the Nazca lines, who is to say why societies engage in large-scale works of art? Why build a Washington Monument, or a Mount Rushmore? Certainly these works were staggeringly difficult, and yet we built them largely for the mere fact of having them built. Such is the nature of art. Were ancient peoples, using ancient means, so different in that regard?

Did the works have religious significance? Probably so, considering that most of the world's great edifices, those that have lasted the millenia, were built for religious reasons. The Andean people worshipped the sun. Why should it be surprising that they would build monuments visible from the sky?

Those who condemn religion as a phenomenon are simple choosing a different faith. They may venerate science as an institution, or materialism, or nature itself. Often they are neo-pagans, worshipping the forces of the universe, holding the creation itself as a god rather than its Maker. It is laughable when such individuals condemn the religion of others.


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