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Capital of Nasca: Cahuachi

The site of Cahuachi is thought to have been a ceremonial center of the Nasca, where pilgrims would come to visit from the surrounding countryside. It was excavated in the 1950s by Columbia University archaeologist William Duncan Strong. Cahuachi is a 370-acre complex featuring a towering adobe pyramid; several large temples, plazas, and platforms; and an intricate network of connecting staircases and corridors. It was a ceremonial center where people would come with offerings from the mountains and the coast. Among some of the artifacts discovered during the excavation were dozens of severed heads that had been used as trophies. The skulls were typically found with a braided rope strung through a hole drilled in the forehead, perhaps to allow the head to be worn around the waist.

Text Source: Hall, Stephen. (2010, March). "Peru's Nasca Lines." National Geographic, 217(3), 64.
Photo Credit:
  • Robert Clark