created the lines?
The Nazca Indians are thought to have existed here between 200 AD
and 600 AD, making them the most likely constructors in the eyes of
orthodox archaeology. There is little doubt that the Nazca Indians
were at least contemporaneous to the lines.
Much of their pottery
used similar styles and motifs, and carbon dating associated with
the lines appears to confirm this:
The desert heat causes mushrooms and
lichens to grow under the stones. The organic matter on nine of
these stones, presumably up-turned to make the lines, have been
carbon-dated to between 190 BC and 600 AD.
A wooden stake at the end of a line
was dated to roughly 525 AD.
Lacking any evidence to suggest prior
cultures living there, it is a reasonable hypothesis that gives
these lines an uppermost age of just two thousand years.
still remains a possibility that others may have stopped there
briefly to construct the lines, then disappeared without leaving any
clues to who they were. Because of the impossibility of dating the
lines themselves, it is possible that they could be even ten
thousand years old!
But how could markings etched upon the desert this long ago remain
virtually intact -undisturbed by the forces of weather and time?
Well, this is a desert of stones, and the stones absorb heat. The
resulting cushion of warm air helps protect the surface from the
effects of wind. And it only drizzles rain here for an average of
twenty minutes each year, with most years being completely dry, so
there is zero erosion.
If there ever was some gradual deterioration
of the lines, they may have been restored from time to time. Humans
have a habit of repairing sites, especially if they have a ritual
importance, such as the chalk figures in the English countryside.
How were the lines created?
are a total of 70 creatures on the Nazca Plain, as well as drawings
of flowers and plants, deformed creatures and inanimate objects.
it possible that there were once 72? If so, this would create a
mathematical connection to sites such as Angkor Wat which also use
is normal for the figures to be asymmetrical. Where they have
fingers, the numbers will vary from limb to limb. An example this is
the drawing of a weird being with two enormous hands, one normal and
the other with only four fingers.
The monkey has three toes, with
four fingers on one hand and five on the other. The dog has either
an extra leg or an extra tail. The spider has one leg that is far
longer than the other seven.
There are also a few anthropomorthic figures situated on the slopes,
the most famous being the 32 meter Astronaut (below left) and
discovered by Eduardo Herran in 1982. Others include The Man with
the Hat (below right) and the Executioner.
These are the most
primitive figures at Nazca, and probably belong to a different time
Maria Reiche thought that the Nazca
artists prepared preliminary drawings on small six-foot-square
plots, some of which are still visible near some of the larger
The drawings were then subdivided into small sections, to
be transposed onto the desert on a larger scale. Lines could easily
have been formed by stretching a rope between two posts. A rope
radiating from a central point could be used to create arcs and
circles. In fact, the remains of posts have been discovered, as
well as holes in the centre of circles.
But their skilled use of
relative positioning puzzled Maria.
In her book she wrote,
Peruvians must have had instruments and equipment which we ignore
and which together with ancient knowledge were buried and hidden
from they eyes of the conquerors as the one treasure which was not
to be surrendered." 
Maybe it wasn’t so difficult after all? In 1981, volunteers from the
Earthwatch organization had a go at it.
Evan Hadingham, author of
Lines of the Mountain Gods, participated and described the process:
“We selected a remote corner of the
Nazca Valley for our experiment, far from any genuine ancient
markings. Though the surface here was rougher than that of most
parts of the pampa I had seen, consisting of coarse volcanic
stones, it was easy to create the color contrast required for
our line. All we had to do was peel away the crust of dark brown
surface rocks to reveal the dusty yellow-white clay immediately
Our reconstruction began with a simple surveying procedure: we
lined up two tall poles to coincide with a cleft in the distant
horizon and then stretched the string between them. This formed
one border of our line. To set out the other border, we measured
off another pair of poles side by side with the first.
Within the avenue of string thus created, we spread ourselves
out at arm’s length, one behind the other. The idea was that
each volunteer would squat on the ground and gather up all the
stones within arm’s reach into a single pile. This seemed an
efficient way to collaborate on removing the surface. Moreover,
it reproduced the small, regularly spaced stone heaps still
visible inside many (presumably unfinished) cleared figures.
The final phase was to get rid of the piles by spreading the
stones out along the borders of the line. At this stage it was
useful to have “Chief Priest Aveni” standing by to point out
where the edges of the line still appeared ragged or crooked.
Eventually the strings were removed, and the result looked
remarkably like the perfectly straight avenues we were
They went on to add a smooth spiral to
the end of the line, and Hadingham wondered whether the skills
required by the Nazcans were so amazing after all?
To take it one stage further, in 1982 Joe Nickell of Kentucky, USA,
and some family members, successfully recreated the 440-foot-long
condor in a field near their home. They took nine hours to plot and
stake 165 points and connect them with twine.
The resulting image
(they used white lime to mark it) was an exact replica.
“The method we chose was quite
simple: We would establish a center line and locate points on
the drawing by plotting their coordinates. That is, on the small
drawing we would measure along the center line from one end (the
bird's beak) to a point on the line directly opposite the point
to be plotted (say a wing tip).
Then we would measure the
distance from the center line to the desired point. A given
number of units on the small drawing would require the same
number of units - larger units - on the large drawing.
For this larger unit we used one gleaned by Maria Reiche from
her study of the Nazca drawings and approximately equivalent to
12.68 inches. For measuring on the ground, we prepared ropes
marked off with paint into these Nazca "feet," with a knot tied
at each ten-"foot" interval for a total length of 100 units. To
aid in accuracy in plotting on the ground, we decided to employ
a "T" made of two slender strips of wood.
With this we could
ensure that each measurement made from the center line would be
at approximate right-angles to the line.”
 Table 4. Radiocarbon Dates. Middle Nazca L-268H San Jose Pampa: small post from intersection of ground lines, No 421 525
± 80. William Duncan Strong, Paracas, Nazca, and Tiahuanacoid
Cultural Relationships in South Coastal Peru, from American
Antiquity, Volume XXII, Number 4, Part 2, April 1957, page 46.
The Society for American Archaeology.
 It has been mentioned by other researchers that many of the
creatures represented are not native to the area. The most
striking example of this is the 45 meter long Spider. It was
identified as a member of the rare genus Ricinulei, which is
only found in the most remote and inaccessible parts of the
Amazon Jungle. These spiders are only 5-10 mm in length. One leg
is noticeably longer – it is a protrusible tube, and at its tip
is the spider’s reproductive organ, normally only visible with
the aid of a microscope.( first determined by Hawkins, Beyond
Stonehenge, Arrow Books, London, 1977)
This information appears to signify an advanced ancient culture
at work, but fails when inspected more closely. The only
similarity between the spider figure and a Ricinulei is the
extended leg. Otherwise the figure could be just a common local
 Along some lines, the remains of
posts have been found at roughly one-mile intervals. See
McIntyre, Loren. 1975. :Mystery of the Ancient Nazca Lines."
National Geographic (May): pages 716-28.
 Reiche, Maria. 1976. Mystery on the Desert (1968), rev. ed.
Stuttgart: Privately printed.
 Evan Hadingham, Lines to the Mountain Gods: Nazca and the
Mysteries of Peru, Random House 1987 ,page 135-6
 The Nazca Lines Revisited: Creation of a Full-Sized
Duplicate, by Joe Nickell. THE SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, copyright