NAZCA LINES IN DANGER – HOW TO PROTECT THE ANCIENT GEOGLYPHS

Gregory Dolgos - Dec 12, 2011
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The famous Nazca Lines in Peru remain a mystery. The geometric designs date back to 200BC and today draw the attention of tourists and archaeological enthusiasts. However, drastic weather changes as well as increasing visitor presence are threatening the lines.

The Nazca lines in Peru remained concealed for hundreds of years. When first planes started to fly over the area in the 1930s, the giant drawings of animals, plants and human figures raised the attention of archaeologists and anthropologists who immediately started their research.

In an instant, these lines became a major hit and theories emerged explaining the reasons behind their creation. Such fascinating heritage landmark is especially alluring to tourists who come there to explore the mystery, yet their presence alone comes as a threat.

The Nazca lines were created by several tribes in southern Peru, between 200BC and 500AD. They include approximately 300 geoglyphs depicting people, animals, plants, and even geometric shapes which are scratched 15 cm deep onto the surface of a desert. The complexity of these geoglyphs varies, some stretch even 200 meters.

In fact, three different cultures participated in this artistic creation and while all depictions have been found and photographed, scientists still struggle with justifying their presence. Most believe they were created to worship mountains and other water sources as after all, all life in the area was bound to the presence of water.

While the Peruvian desert still is very dry, the weather conditions are changed. The threat of flooding is more real than ever before. Should indeed this come true, the lines would hardly withhold.

Yet another bad piece of news is the popularity of the place – viewing platforms, lack of safety rules and arrangements, increasing amount of rubbish, inadequate and inappropriate tourism infrastructure – all these present severe threats which ought to be dealt with as soon as possible.   

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