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Nasca Etch-A-Sketch

A common misconception is that the Nasca lines were made at one time, in one place, for one purpose. In fact, many Nasca lines have been superimposed on older ones. Some of the Nasca images, such as the spider and the hummingbird, were single-line drawings; a person could step into them at one point and exit at another without ever crossing a line, suggesting to archaeologists that at some point in early Nasca times the lines evolved from simple images to pathways for ceremonial processions. Later, possibly in response to population growth, more people may have participated in these rituals, helping to explain why the geoglyphs eventually took on open, geometrical patterns, with some trapezoids stretching more than 2,000 feet.

One hypothesis is that one of the main purposes of the Nasca lines was related to the worship of mountain deities, embodied in Cerro Blanco, because of their connection to water.

Click below to find and explore the geoglyphs.

Text Source: Hall, Stephen. (2010, March). "Peru's Nasca Lines." National Geographic, 217(3), 70.
Photo Credit:
  • Robert Clark