Nazca lines are one of the most intriguing mysteries of
the ancient world.
Located in the south Peruvian
plateau, it is a group of giant geoglyphs etched into
Geoglyphs are works of art built using
rocks, stone fragments, gravel and even trees.
makes the Nazca lines interesting is that hundreds of
them span a wide area, and no one knows who built them
They date from around 500 BC - though archaeologists are
still unsure about this estimate.
There are around 300
of them depicting different animals, human figures and
plants like the Spider, Condor, Tree, Monkey, Parrot and
Flower, amongst many others.
Many of the geoglyphs can't
be seen at ground level despite measuring roughly 1km
They were also only discovered in the 1920s when
airplanes came to be, and pilots flying over the area
noticed the images.
However, in the 1990s, tourists discovered a different
set of drawings between Palpa and the Nazca Plateau.
Instead of the usual depictions of nature, this group
was given the name "estrellas" - or "stars" in Spanish,
due to their geometrically correct and highly complex
The 'estrellas' include circles, squares, points and line
designs that measure over 130 meters.
They are also
nearly impossible to see from the surface, only coming
out clearly in high-resolution photos, drone images, or
viewing on an angle due to the terrain.
When they were first discovered, no one took the
Many considered them a hoax or a
tourist trap. Until a second group was found with a
similar design, though this depicted a more intricate
geometric shape dubbed "The Mandala."
There are 18
'estrellas', each designed with increasing degrees of
complexity, connected by one line that runs through them
Each estrella's geometric formation is
frighteningly precise, making us all ask how they did it
Many historians believe that these geoglyphs, which are
younger than the Nazca lines, were created by the Huari
civilization, which came after the Nazcan people.
The Huari is credited for creating the "tocapu", a popular
geometric design consisting of complex circles and
squares found in Peruvian art, fashion and more.
The tocapu is highly similar to the creation of the
The Huari most likely continued the Nazcan
tradition of creating geoglyphs but incorporated tocapu
inspired designs, as opposed to animals, thereby making
There have been numerous theories as to why the
'estrellas' were constructed at all. They might have been
offerings to the gods and deities they worshipped.
'estrella' could also have been a way to mark solstices
and the changing of the seasons.
We may never really know their true purpose, but
archaeologists should continue to study them.
'estrellas' provides insights into just how "modern" the
ancient civilizations were in terms of designing
long-lasting structures using some form of physics,
science, geometry, engineering and math.
day, both the Nazca lines and the 'estrellas' will give up