Previously Undiscovered Nazca Lines Discovered

Photograph courtesy Luis Jaime Castillo, Palpa Nasca Project

For decades, the world has been intrigued and amazed by the famous Nazca Lines; geoglyphs of immense size found on the high arid plateau of a Peruvian desert.  Amazing depictions of animals such as the Hummingbird, Spider, Dog, Monkey, and the Parrot were carved into the hardened upper crust of the desert with a precision that continues to baffle scientists even today.  The drawings were first discovered in the 1920’s when commercial plane flights began flying over the plain and were believed to have been created between 500 BC and 500 AD.

Newly Discovered Human Figures – Photo Credit: National Geographic

Now, utilizing drone technology, Archeologists have discovered over 50 additional drawings in the neighboring Palpa province.  These previously undiscovered Nazca carvings remained hidden; their lines being to faint to be seen by the naked eye.  Drone-mapping with high-resolution photography has allowed the team, led by Luis Jaime Castillo, to bring the heavily-worn geoglyphs into focus.  Fabrizio Serván, one of Professor Castillo’s students is being credited as the co-founder of the new lines.

Needle-like Object – Photo Credit: National Geographic

Some of the newly discovered lines belong to the Nazca culture, yet the scientific team believes that some also belong to the Paracas or Topará cultures, which are much older.  The new lines were found on hillsides and are mostly human figures presented as warriors, while the original Nazca lines are animals or geometric shapes and lines.  The discovery has renewed research into the Nazca region and the scientific community will likely see new theories about the meanings of the lines.  Also, the success of the new process should lead to many archeological sites being revisited in hopes of finding other hidden gems.

This is not the first time in recent years that new glyphs have been brought to light.  In 2014 Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre, a pilot and researcher, discovered several previously unseen drawings after high winds and sandstorms.

Photo Credit – National Geographic

Additional Reading

To learn more about the Nazca Lines, please look at this article: The Nazca Lines

All of the photography in this piece are credited to National Geographic unless otherwise identified

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