1911, while on an expedition in Peru, explorer Hiram
Bingham famously stumbled into
rediscovering the ancient city after being forgotten for
the mid-1920s, military and commercial pilots flying
over the southern part of the country were the first
modern men to see the majestic Nazca Lines, thanks to
the dawn of flight.
These two are top of mind the world over for Peruvian
Thanks to their awe-inspiring and iconic scale and
grandeur, they have even been declared UNESCO world
However, Peru has many more fascinating historical
sites, though less popular with tourists.
These include the Kasma lines, the temple
fortress of Chankillo,
the geoglyphs of Lima, and
Pikillaqta, one of the
most significant archaeological complexes worldwide.
Despite not being as popular with tourists, these other
archaeological sites are just as mysterious,
awe-inspiring and built at a vast scale that modern
architects and engineers are intrigued at how ancient
Peruvians made it happen.
Though not as impressive as the
Nazca lines, the
discovery of the Kasma lines hints that at one point in
time, this area was a central social and administrative
hub, with Sechin Alto, a massive architectural complex
built over 1,000 years before the pyramids in Egypt as
While its exact purpose is unclear, there are hints that
Sechin Alto might have been a medical or surgical center
due to the numerous stone engravings depicting body
Chankillo, on the other hand, is another monumental
edifice located in Peru's coastal desert.
consists of a fort and what is believed to be an
observatory, identified by the Thirteen Towers.
is a series of granite towers ranging from two to seven
meters high, spaced exactly five meters apart, dating
from about the 4th century BC.
On the eastern outskirts of the bustling capital city of
Lima, the Canto Grande geoglyphs were discovered by
chance by an airplane.
Sadly, rapid urban construction and industrialization
have destroyed most of these geoglyphs, and those that
remain are located on higher ground.
consist of a trapezoidal-shaped drawing, a solid
135-meter rectangular strip with scattered groupings of
single or large stones.
despite using the same construction methods as the Nazca
lines, these geoglyphs were created 2000 years before
Despite the massive effort to build these structures,
their primary purpose still needs to be clarified.
Finally, no trip to Peru should miss Pikillakta, near
was built around 800 AD by the mysterious Wari people
and can only be truly appreciated when seen from a great
Built over an area with extreme differences in
elevation, its builders still constructed it perfectly.
contains over 700 rooms, precisely built into each
other, using granite and additional labor and materials
that match the building of
the Great Pyramids.
Peru truly holds a wealth of ancient sites beyond Machu
Hopefully, there will be continuous archaeological
efforts to study and unravel their mysteries.
January 04, 2023