Nazca Culture

Nazca Culture

The Nazca civilization was one of the essential Pre-Columbian civilizations in southern Peru, which developed between 300 B.C. and 800 A. D, the area of ​​influence it exercised was from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes Mountains.

The life of the Nazca was one of peace and splendor; as a culture, they had achieved perfect synchronicity with the climatic and telluric forces of Mother Earth. This pact with the elements of nature was always celebrated with the performance of grand ceremonies and festivals connecting the entire symbolic universe of Nazca with geoglyphs, petroglyphs, ceramics, textiles, and goldsmithing in such a way that the Nazca worldview will last in eternity.

Famous for the creation of the "Lines and Geoglyphs of Nazca and Palpa", giant designs of human figures, animals, plants, zoomorphic, anthropomorphic, geometric beings and lines drawn in the desert, near the current city of Nazca and that in some cases can only be seen complete from the air due to their large size.

World Cultural Heritage

The "Nazca and Palpa Lines and Geoglyphs" Located in the provinces of Nazca and Palpa, the Ica Region, on the desert coast of southern Peru, were declared "World Cultural Heritage" by Unesco. One of the extraordinary and incomparable works of man, there is no place like this in Peru. A natural landscape that becomes a cultural landscape with deep meaning and symbolism as they express the magical, religious, and creative genius of Pre-Colombian civilizations. A discovery that left us famous lines and geoglyphs over a thousand years old, used for rites and ceremonies, one of the most enigmatic legacies on the planet.

Nazca Lines and Geoglyphs

The imposing and enigmatic "Nazca Lines and Geoglyphs" are among the most important legacies of the ancient Peruvian Pre-Columbian archaeological cultures.

They are located in the Pampas de Jumaná, in the Nazca desert, "Department of Ica, Peru," on the edge of the Western Andes, 500 kilometers south of Lima and near the Pacific Ocean a height of 600 meters above the sea ​​level.

Knowing the exact date these geoglyphs were drawn has been a big problem for archaeologists, a group of scientists analyzed the amount of carbon 14, and these analyzes locate that several of these lines and geoglyphs were created between 550 to 650 A.D.

Significant figures are drawn on the ground several kilometers long; some represent fantastic beings, zoomorphic, anthropomorphic, geometric, animals, plants, labyrinths, rectangles, trapezoid mixed with lines and spirals.

Among the most representative figures are animals with dimensions between 40 and 300 meters, made on an extraordinarily large scale and with great precision, best appreciated from an aerial view as the hummingbird, condor, heron, crane, pelican, gull, parrot; lizard, iguana, snake, monkey, spider, snail, whale, dog, llamas, among others; which are a reason for constant admiration by visitors. We also find stripes that are geological lines.

The depth of the lines and the geoglyphs never exceed 30 cm, and some scratch on the surface, but they can still be recognized when the sun is low, and relief is accentuated.

It seems a miracle that "The lines and geoglyphs of Nazca," being only slight indentations in the ground, have not been erased by the water and the wind.

Figures that have had a choreographic determination in perfect proportion and harmony, a work of engineering and art, as if they had made a hand with just movement. A desert, spirits in the sand, a sacred place that is still a mystery.

Palpa Lines and Geoglyphes

These enigmatic lines and geoglyphs were drawn approximately between 500 B.C. and 200 A.D., located in the province of Palpa (Ica), at kilometer 400 of the Panamericana Sur Highway, 60 km. North of the city of Nazca, between Sacramento, Pinchango, and Llipata, near their sisters, is the emblematic "Nazca Lines and Geoglyphs."

According to the researchers, it is suspected that the first drawings were made in the Valleys of Palpa and the Río Grande and the previous cultures of Paracas and Topará, they carved many of the Palpa figures that they had hidden, covered and at risk, being discovered and that today are an exact enigmatic footprint.

A particularity is the large number of anthropomorphic figures that can be seen from the adjoining heights walking. However, if you want to see in full magnitude, there are also overflights, planes, and helicopters.


A creative canvas in the mountains, hillsides, and hills surrounding Palpa, made up of more than 600 geoglyphs of approximately enormous and small dimensions Made up of human, anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and phytomorphic figures such as: "The Royal Family", "The Oculate God", "The star," "The Dancer", "The fat stone Orca", "The Pelican", "The fox", "The owl", "The Tumi", "Warriors", "The Solar Clock "that measures One hundred and fifty meters and according to the researchers, at the equinox time, the signal or reflection of what would be a good or bad harvest year, among others, is reflected on the line.

Also in Palpa are impressive "Petroglyphs" depicted on volcanic and alluvial rocks, an even older art, images carved in stone such as "The stages of life," "Feline," "Snake," "Orange," "Trapezium," "The old man with three legs," among others. It should also be noted that at the top of the Palpa river valley is a "Monkey" astonishingly similar to "The Nazca Lines and Geoglyphs" being a real enigma.

Differences between Nazca and Palpal

"The lines and geoglyphs of Palpa" are as impressive as its sisters "The lines and geoglyphs of Nazca" and contain the same mysteries about their creation and function, but they have differences such as:

According to archaeological studies "The Palpa Lines and Geoglyphs" are older and more complex than "The Nazca Lines and Geoglyphs".

The figures were traced with precision on an immense canvas, where the successive Paracas and Topará cultures drew the "Palpa Lines and Geoglyphs" on the mountains and which served as an influence so that their successors of the Nazca culture would draw "The lines and geoglyphs of Nazca ”on the desert sands.

"The lines and geoglyphs of Palpa" have a large number of figures and much more diversity of anthropomorphic forms compared to "The lines and geoglyphs of Nazca".

"The lines and geoglyphs of Palpa" can be seen from villages located at the foot of the mountains, walking and do not necessarily require an overflight to observe them in all their magnitude, instead of many of the figures of "The lines and geoglyphs of Nazca" if they require overflights to see them in all their magnitude.

Theories of its Creation

It is known about its creation, but it is still a mystery to its creation, there are main theories:

Theory 1: Gigantic astronomical calendar
According to astronomers, archaeologists, and mathematicians, the most widely accepted theory is that it was used as a "gigantic astronomical calendar," considering it "The world's largest astronomy book." A calendar that marked the solstices and equinoxes to forecast the periods of planting, harvesting, rains, rest, partying, and others. Also, an astronomical observation site designed to target and contemplate the movement of celestial bodies such as stars, planets, constellations, and other phenomena, with the belief that they influenced the destinies of men and nations.

Theory 2: Map of underground aquifers
Another theory according to hydrologists, geologists and researchers claims that they were a "Map of underground aquifers" to locate water, essential for survival in the desert. An exact location for the location of water sources, built by a prodigious network of underground channels that started inside some hills, capturing groundwater and transporting it to the cultivated fields. Today farmers associate lines and geoglyphs with the water cycle.

Theory 3: Sacred places if gods
Another theory that prevails according to the ancient beliefs of the Nazca, is that these figures represent "Sacred Places of Gods", Apus of the hills, divinities, living creatures, epicenters, to carry out cults, rites, offerings, and ceremonies to those whom He believed that they also controlled the forces of nature such as earthquakes, periods of drought and floods, among others.

Theory 4: Extraterrestrial creation
This has motivated the theory of several researchers and Ufologists, who firmly maintain that they were "Extraterrestrial Creation", through codes made to meet beings from other planets, a landing field of alien ships, represented in ceramics with a large number of drawings of winged gods and others who, without having wings, are in a clear flight position.