20th December 08:48
Priests and the Nazca Lines
Priests may have designed Nazca lines, expert says
NAZCA, Peru's High priests at an ancient religious compound in southern
Peru may have designed the mysterious Nazca lines, a set of huge
geometric patterns, animal figures and long lines etched in the desert,
the area's top archaeologist said.
Researchers say the Cahua-chi compound, built in 400 B.C., is just
across the Nazca Valley from the lines, one of Peru's most popular
tourist attractions and a U.N. World Heritage site.
"It is logical to think that the Nazca people's religious beliefs
originated in this ceremonial site and got expressed on the wide-open
plain," Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Orefici, who leads research at
Cahuachi, said last week.
Geographical proximity is not the only evidence of links between the two
ancient sites â€" the same religious icons appear at the lines and
on ceramics and crafts excavated at the Cahuachi compound.
"Felines and whales are found in all Nazcan art, and this is what we've
found in the geoglyphs," Orefici said, referring to ground drawings
surrounding the Nazca lines and the Cahuachi compound.
The Nazca lines, best viewed from the air, were made by clearing away
surface shale or piling it up onto other stones. Among its most
emblematic figures is a giant monkey with a spiral tail.
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