The Nazca Lines



Thought you all maight find this of interest

November 23, 2002 1:03 AM

Reading between the lines in Peru

By Jude Webber
PALPA, Peru (Reuters) - It's a question that has puzzled Peruvians
for centuries --why did ancient civilisations bother to etch
elaborate shapes into the desert south of Lima some 2,000 years
ago, especially when most can only be seen by air?

But two archaeologists who have pored over the patterns for the
past five years say they may have unravelled the riddle.

And fittingly, the puzzle contains a paradox: According to one of
the archaeologists, Johny Isla, the famous Nasca lines (often
spelled Nazca) and less well-known Palpa lines nearby, were all
about water in one of the world's driest deserts.

"The main meaning is oriented to water. Water is life, fertility,"
Isla told Reuters, overlooking a double spiral etched into the
gray-brown Palpa plain. He said it was often dubbed the sun dial
but was in fact a sign linked with water.

Scientists and aficionados over the years have come up with plenty
of theories to explain away one of Peru's top tourist attractions.
One of the wackiest had the lines as landing strips for alien
astronauts and their spaceships, while other experts thought they
were sacred paths, the outlines of an agrarian calendar or linked
to a fertility and mountain cult.

Isla, who has been studying and excavating around Palpa with his
German colleague Markus Reindel since 1997, noted that the giant
"geoglyphs" -- including birds, figures, trapezoids and spirals
-- lie on a plain cut by three rivers, something that would have
made it a very fertile "privileged site."

He said it appeared that people living on the Palpa plains chose
where to settle based on where their water sources were, since
the rivers would not have been full all year round. Some
trapezoids seem to point east or northeast, towards the source of
the rivers, and two in particular point to a confluence of water
that could be another clue, he said.

Furthermore, his team's excavations of mounds covered over at the
end of some of the trapezoids, and of tombs, turned up offerings
such as fragments of orange spondylus shells that can be found in
Ecuador during the El Nino weather phenomenon and which have been
considered symbols of water and fertility in the Andes for
thousands of years.

Other finds included crab claws -- further evidence of the
existence of a water cult. "We know (water) was the principal
function ... The theory of extraterrestrials is something we
didn't even take into consideration. It makes no sense," Isla

The studies by Isla and Reindel, which have been funded by the
Swiss-Lichtenstein Foundation for Archeological Investigation
Abroad, have also filled in other important information for those
trying to read between the lines -- such as the key question of
who made them. Until now, scientists had assumed the lines were
made under the Nasca civilisation, which ran from 200 B.C. to
650 A.D.

"Who did this is something that has never been known. It has
always been said that they (the Palpa lines) belonged to the
Nasca (period) because a lot of figures are reproduced (in the
Nasca lines)," Isla said.

But his study's excavations, dated using a system of relative
chronology that he said had a margin of error of 100 years,
showed the area was inhabited much earlier. The excavations were
the first conducted of Palpa or Nasca lines.

"The first geoglyphs were in this region (Palpa), at least the
ones we know about today," Isla said. "They started here and
spread to Nasca," he added, though he noted that not all the
Nasca lines were younger than the Palpa ones.

Accordingly, the first Palpa lines dated from around 200 B.C.,
the end of the Paracas culture -- a civilization famous for its
textiles, which flourished from 800 B.C. to 200 B.C.

Although the earliest Palpa lines were formed in a slightly
different way than the Nasca lines, and were thicker, Isla said
some of the lines that criss-cross the desert are connected over
9 miles (15 km) of plain.

That helped debunk a theory that the Nasca people lived
independently in valleys in simple societies. "We totally
disagree ... There's too much coincidence," Isla said, adding he
believed the societies, whose famous desert lines often
reproduced symbols that decorated their fine ceramics, were
complex and highly hierarchical.

The study also identified and excavated what Isla said were key
religious and administrative sites from the early-and mid-Nasca
period -- called Los Molinos and La Muna, respectively --
although tomb-robbers had long ago plundered them.

The lines -- which have survived for centuries largely intact --
were also used for rituals and were remodelled, according to the
findings of the excavations.

Isla said broken ceramics and musical instruments found near the
lines supported the theory they were used in rituals.

"They (the lines) weren't just made once and then left, but were
used throughout time. Some were erased or remodelled or lines
were superimposed ... These were social spaces, used for
ceremonies and working," Isla said.

The so-called sun dial, for example, is crossed by a straight
line and one symbol of a bird appears to have been partially
obliterated by a giant trapezoid.

Some destruction is more recent -- the result of peasants
trailing their animals across them or more wilful destruction.
Next to the sun dial, for example, Isla showed where locals had
cleared an area, destroying part of a geoglyph, to make a soccer
field, until they were stopped.

The Nasca lines are a U.N. world heritage site -- although poor
policing has failed to crack down on vandals that have defaced
them -- but the Palpa lines have no protection, something Isla
said his team was lobbying to change.

Despite the new answers, Isla said more questions remained and
said scientists were planning to use a revolutionary irradiation
technique to pinpoint the lines' ages by measuring when the
stones they contained were last exposed to daylight.

Because the lines were made by pushing surface shale on top of
other stones, irradiating those that were hidden could prove a
more accurate dating method, he said.

As for another of the key questions -- why bother to build
elaborate constructions that are best appreciated from the air,
when air travel was unknown to the ancient peoples -- Isla noted
that the principal Nasca god was often shown in flight or related
to divinities like the condor.

"I imagine they didn't need to see (the lines) -- they were
offerings to the god. It was all for him," he said. His team has
paused its studies to write up the findings so far, and Isla said
he was delighted to have discovered far more than he had imagined

Copyright swissinfo SRI
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Copyright © AZTLAN <[email protected]> 2002.
All rights reserved.
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Well....thats great but.....the Nazca was not the first desert dwelling people. So why did other civilzations that dwelt in the desert not come up with this system. And I discredit the theory that this one little group of people came up with this idea. Ideas that spring up in one place, usually show up in other places. In egypt, they built pyramids to thier kings. in the Mayan civilzation, they built step pyramids to thier gods. This whole thing could be a hoax, like those stupid crop circles. The law of averages says they couldntve just made random lines and happend to have come out with shapes.


I shouldve explained that better. I have heard that the ancient peoples scratched lines into the deserts because they wanted to irrigate thier land, simple enough, right? Well, along with that, people say that the shapes were a freak accident, random chance made them carve those shapes.


Well then someone will have to FIND OUT what they were used for. You dont have to be a rocket scientist to find that stuff out. Examine the scratches. If they were water channels, you would expect to find the bottoms of the scratches scoured out and smoothe. Also, you wouldnt find any solid deposits of dirt in the bottom, loose sand or dirt maybe, but nothing well established. If they were foot paths, you would expect to find the bottoms of the scratches to be rough and unevenly worn off from people walking on it.

My personel theory is that the people of the desert inscribed the glyphs so that the gods could see them. The gods were above them, in the sky, wich is probably why they are only visible from the sky. And about how they carved them, Im not real sure about this thought. Is it possible that wood could have been found and constructed so as to have a commanding view of the construction site. Or even rocks have been piled up to create a platform of a satafactory height so as to be able to see the site and direct the carving.


Like I said, someone needs to go down there and find out what they were used for. That'd be cool to do it, and incidentally I do want to goto collage and study archeology. Well, egyptology rather.


A detailed documentary, about two years ago on British TV, discussed the water line theory.
Memory fades with time, but my oversimplified recollection may be of assistance.

The plain, which is very dry...hence the lines surviving (it has always had low rainfall, keeping the lines intact) bounded to the east by mountains, on which the rain does fall.
Many of the lines appear to point towards areas where rain may come down from the hills , affecting the crops/herds of those who live around the plain. The researchers also felt that parts of the designs/lines actuallly mirrored, on a small scale, the areas of mountains they pointed towards.
So it seemed reasonable to suggest that inhabitants would wind there way along the `roads` to encourage rainfall or water flow down towards their settlements.
This ceremonial way can only be seen from the air, of course....but there was one group of citizens who could :)) ) fly through the air......the shamans (!) on dream journeys, perhaps to the mountains to intercede with whatever gods were involved to bring fertility.
It was claimed...I seem to remember..that similar practices by shamans are still known of in the area.



Abominable Snowman
Jul 31, 2001
I remember that show as well. Very intriguing.

For more on the kind of Shamanic ritual associated with this it is worth taking a look at "Haunted Land" by Paul Deveraux. I don't think it refers to the nazca lines, but it talks about shamanic flight quite a lot.


em if u lived in a desert why would you make yourself travel there and back to the water?the said reason for the lines is directions
wouldnt you just move there?
and if it is for nomads they seem to do quite well without them
in other countrys
so it sounds a whole load a .........................


Abominable Snowman
Aug 2, 2001
1. The Nazca lines were made by moving stones off the underlying soil, which is a different colour. So no scratches to examine.

2. There's no need for high platforms or balloons (which was in the Arthur C Clarke 'great mysteries explained'-type series) - some years back, senior pupils at an English girls' school did a replica Uffington man (IIRC, and with a huge willy) in the playground using a lining machine (used for hockey/football pitches, etc.) overnight using a technique they learned in geometry class.

3. The documentary concluded that the lines were 'devotional paths' set up by different families/tribes to appease their own particular gods (who, presumably, lived in the heavens) during an extended drought, which probably spelled the end of the civilisation.

someone needs to go down there and find out what they were used for.
Yeah, like they've been doing for 60-70 years (since the lines were discovered) :rolleyes:


And I like to roam the land
May 18, 2002
Caroline said:
I think there was a programme years ago which showed that there was a possibility that hot air balloons could have been used to direct work.
I've got a book about that. The authors actually constructed one out of the materials available to the civilization there at that time, and oddly enough it worked.


Beloved of Ra
Aug 3, 2003
There was a documentary made a couple of years back looking at archaeological finds at Nazca, a number of trophy heads had been unearthed, also some of the drawings on the plain feature what the archaeologists interpreted as being trophy heads, though I might not have guessed if they hadn't of told me.
Aug 18, 2002
Ancient desert markings imaged from orbit

20 February 2004

Visible from ESA's Proba spacecraft 600 kilometres away in space are the largest of the many Nasca Lines; ancient desert markings now at risk from human encroachment as well as flood events feared to be increasing in frequency.

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1994, the Lines are a mixture of animal figures and long straight lines etched across an area of about 70 km by 30 km on the Nasca plain, between the Andes and Pacific Coast at the southern end of Peru. The oldest lines date from around 400 BC and went on being created for perhaps a thousand years.

They were made simply enough, by moving dark surface stones to expose pale sand beneath. However their intended purpose remains a mystery. It has variously been proposed they were created as pathways for religious processions and ceremonies, an astronomical observatory or a guide to underground water resources.

The Nasca Lines have been preserved down the centuries by extreme local dryness and a lack of erosion mechanisms, but are now coming increasingly under threat: it is estimated the last 30 years saw greater erosion and degradation of the site than the previous thousand years before them.

In this image, acquired by the Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (CHRIS) instrument aboard Proba on 26 September 2003, the 18.6 metre resolution is too low to make out the animal figures although the straight Nasca Lines can be seen faintly. Clearest of the straight markings is actually the Pan-American Highway, built right through the region – seen as a dark marking starting at the irrigated fields beside the Ingenio River, running from near the image top to the bottom right hand corner. Associated dirt track roads are also visible amidst the Nasca Lines.

Clearly shown in the Proba image is another cause of damage to the Lines: deposits left by mudslides after heavy rains in the Andean Mountains. These events are believed to be connected to the El Niño phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean – first named by Peruvian fishermen hundreds of years ago – and one concern is they are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

A team from Edinburgh University and remote sensing company Vexcel UK has been using data from another ESA spacecraft to measure damage to the Nasca Lines, with their results due to be published in the May Issue of the International Journal of Remote Sensing.

Their work involves combining radar images from the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrument aboard ERS-2. Instead of measuring reflected light, SAR makes images from backscattered radar signals that chart surface roughness.

Nicholas Walker of Vexcel UK explained: "Although the instrument lacks sufficient resolution to unambiguously distinguish individual lines and shapes, by combining two satellite images using a technique known as SAR interferometric coherence it is possible to detect erosion and changes to the surface at the scale of centimetres".

The image shown combines two scenes acquired by ERS-2 in 1997 and 1999. The bright areas show where there has been very little terrain change in the interval, while darker regions show where de-correlation has occurred, highlighting possible sites where erosion may be taking place.

"Some de-correlation comes simply from the geometry of the area as seen by the instrument in space, with low coherence around areas overshadowed by Andean foothills to the east of the Nasca plain," said Iain Woodhouse of Edinburgh University. "The second major loss is seen in the river valleys, due primarily to agricultural activity taking place during the two-year period.

"The third is changes in the surface of the plain due to run-off and human activity. The dark lines crossing the plain are roads and tracks serving local communities and the power line, as well as the Pan American Highway, the only surfaced road in this region of Peru."

The de-correlation observed is most likely caused by vehicles displacing stones along these tracks and the sides of the Pan-American Highway. The de-correlation from the run-off is distinct from this as it follows the characteristic drainage patterns down from the foothills.

"Interferometric coherence seems to provide an effective means for monitoring these two major sources of risk to the integrity of the markings," Woodhouse concluded. "We are developing the technique to include more sensors and data of higher spatial resolution, so as to encourage the establishment of a long term and frequent monitoring programme supporting conservation efforts in the area."

Lots of good pictures.



Junior Acolyte
Dec 23, 2003
On 21/1/2003, Hagrid wrote:

>A detailed documentary, about two years ago on British
>TV, discussed the water line theory.

It was entitled, 'Flightpaths to the Gods':

"Giant geometric shapes have been discovered on the floor
of the Nazca Desert in Southern Peru. What are they and
what was their purpose? Archaeologist Dr. Tony Spawforth
investigates the phenomenon of the Nazca Lines".

A BBC Worldwide production.

For some further background, see [from FT106]:

If I recall, it was repeated on one of the documentary
based Sky satellite channels last year.

Worth looking out for as it is hugely insightful.

See also:

Related evidence cited in 'Flightpaths' includes pottery,
dated as contemporary with the Nazca drawings.

One, complete, pottery figure is of a shaman with
distinctive San Pedro cactus epaulettes.

Other pottery fragments depict shamen with a nasal
discharge, emblematic of having imbibed the cactus'
psychoactive alkaloids [mescaline].

Interestingly, large-scale illustrations of animals which
can only be discerned from an aerial view, are not
exclusive to Nazca.

'Flightpaths' highlights examples from Chile and North
America [Wisconsin and Ohio], regarded to all be from a
period when the main religious beliefs were shamanic.

I wonder how much of this was also perhaps drug

James Easton.


Abominable Snowman
Jun 30, 2002
Is it just me, or are these two archaologists really simply saying, "Er, it's all to do with water"?

The theory of extraterrestrials is something we didn't even take into consideration. It makes no sense," Isla said.
"I imagine they didn't need to see (the lines) -- they were offerings to the god.
Since when have gods been terrestrial? :confused:


Junior Acolyte
Dec 23, 2003
On satellite channel UKTV History:

'The Lost City of the Nasca'
Examining the Nasca Lines in the Peruvian desert...

Tonight at 20:00

Tomorrow at 08:00, 14:00

Also on UKTV History +, one hour later.

James Easton.


Justified & Ancient
Oct 29, 2003
Nazca photos deepen mystery

Chicago Tribune

By Colin McMahon, May 23, 2006

The Nazca Lines have been a source of mystery and dispute since their discovery in southern Peru nearly a century ago. So why should the latest find be any different?

Japanese enthusiasts recently released new aerial photographs of figures etched in the ground of the Nazca region, adding a fresh dollop of wonder to the giant geometric patterns and animal drawings that scientists say the Nazca Indians created as many as 2,000 years ago.

Peruvian officials expressed excitement about the announcement. But Nazca experts said the Japanese discoveries might merely be good photographs of previously known lines.

'Saying these figures are new is a risk,' said Josue Lancho Rojas, a Nazca historian and writer. 'You cannot say at this time that there are any virgin sites.'

Even if the Japanese figures are not new, the announcement exposed shortcomings in Nazca scholarship. And it raised new questions about the Peruvian government's commitment to sophisticated scientific study.

Largely undocumented There is no central catalog detailing the hundreds of lines and figures already mapped and measured. There is no database for archeologists or, for that matter, a team headed by a literature professor from Yamagata University in Japan, to refer to when trying to piece together the history of the Nazca.

'There are two consequences to this `discovery,' one positive and one negative,' Lancho said. 'The positive is that a lot of tourists are going to come to Nazca now, eager to see the new figures.

'The negative is that once again it shows that the National Institute of Culture has no central registry of the geoglyphs.'

Putting together such a list would not be difficult, experts said, but it would take time and money. Though the Peruvian government profits greatly from the international tourists who come to Nazca to fly over the lines for a dizzying display of ancient accomplishment, Peruvian officials say they could not afford such a project.

'The government should open its doors and say that all the scientists of the world, all the foundations, are invited to come and work,' Lancho said. 'But the Peruvian government puts up too many obstacles to projects.'

Though the Nazca have been studied for decades, rich areas of research remain, said Giuseppe Orefici, director of the Italian Center for Pre-Columbian Archeological Studies and Research.

One example is the painstaking excavation of the Cahuachi complex, the Nazca's ceremonial and administrative center. Though Orefici's team has gathered a treasure of artifacts and a wealth of knowledge amid its pyramids and esplanade, Cahuachi is little noticed outside select archeological circles.

The Nazca emerged as a distinct civilization about 200 years after the time of Jesusand flourished for centuries until the Wari Indians usurped them in the 800s. The Nazca created a system of aqueducts still used today. They were skilled with textiles and ceramics. And they were prolific illustrators in the sand, gravel and dirt of their Pacific Coast region.

There are the best-known figures: The hummingbird and the monkey. The spider, the whale and the humanoid figure dubbed 'The Astronaut.' Trapezoids, circles and long, straight lines seem to be everywhere around Nazca.

The famous figures are clear even to the untrained eye. But other lines take work, and sometimes luck, to detect. Whether a figure shows up clearly depends on several factors.

Winds take sand and dirt and dust over the plains and hills that were called home by the Nazca and their ancestors, the Paracas. How sunlight falls on the earth affects visibility, so some figures can be spotted only at certain times of the day. Having a good pilot who knows where and how to look helps too.

Some difficult to spot The Japanese, for example, needed several flights to identify their figures. Among their more striking images: what appears to be an animal with horns, measuring nearly 200 feet long.

A hummingbird they recorded might prove more interesting to science, however. A Chilean colleague of Orefici's noted that bird's genitalia appeared different from that on other Nazca hummingbirds. Perhaps this was connected to fertility, the scientist speculated.

Such theories go to the heart of what makes the Nazca Lines so compelling.

Science has debunked the idea that beings from outer space made the lines. The Nazca were capable of designing the figures using a grid and template system, experts have shown, and the execution of the lines using ropes, sticks and rocks is not complicated. The Nazca used the lines in ceremonies, experts say, and some probably are connected to a calendar.

But believers in extraterrestrials still are drawn to Nazca. And even many non-believers find something otherworldly about the place.

Orefici is rueful about how talk of UFOs or 'new' Nazca lines garners more attention than a critical dig at the Grand Pyramid of Cahuachi. But he understands it too.

'The Nazca Lines are interesting because they create dreams,' said Orefici, an Italian who has studied in Peru for 30 years and curates the Antonini Museum in Nazca. 'It doesn't matter whether I can say they are completely wrong. This is what people want.

'To be able to dream, to leave normal life for a little bit,' Orefici said. 'This is a beautiful part of the geoglyphs.'

Copyright © 2006 Chicago Tribune, All Rights Reserved.

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Justified & Ancient
Aug 27, 2004
I was just watching golf and they showed the whole field from an aereal view. It looked strange and reminded me of hill figures. So it came to me that maybe the Nazca lines were not religeous [stupid idea anyway IMOH] but sport related?

After all the old Inkas played football already.
Aug 19, 2003
Peruvians walked their prayers into the earth ... earth.html
by Linda Geddes

Orthophoto of a geoglyph site called PP01-36 from the Pampa de Llipata, south of Palpa (Image: Karsten Lambers / Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, ETH Zürich, Switzerland)

5 more images

THE ancient, intricate geometric patterns stamped on the surface of a desert in Peru have long been thought of as messages to the gods, or as markers that tracked celestial objects. Now new details about these geoglyphs suggest they may have been made for "prayer walking".

The Nasca lines are a collection of lines, giant trapezoids, and figures of humans, plants and animals in a desert 400 kilometres south of Lima, Peru. They were created between 400 BC and AD 650 by the removal of reddish oxidised stones from the desert pavement to reveal the lighter sand beneath.

Tomasz Gorka of Munich University in Germany analysed five geoglyph complexes near the city of Palpa, focusing on the large trapezoidal structures which are etched on the plains there. He measured anomalies in the Earth's magnetic field caused by changes in soil density at various depths. The team walked the entire site, an area of about 60 hectares, using hand-held sensors.

"We found other lines, in the interior of the trapezoid structures, which were not visible from the air," says Gorka, who presented his findings at an archaeological geophysics meeting in London last month. "The geoglyphs visible today are the most recent stage of a prolonged construction process during which the whole complex of drawings was constantly added to, remodelled, obliterated or changed by use," adds Gorka.

Some of the lines produced stronger magnetic anomalies than others, prompting Gorka and Karsten Lambers of the University of Konstanz in Germany to suggest that the soil beneath was compacted by people walking back and forth during prayer rituals. "This activity was closely connected to the placing of ceramic vessels along the lines," perhaps as offerings, says Lambers.


King-Sized Canary
Aug 25, 2001
Sounds like old research to me, I heard that theory years ago. I also noticed from the new Indiana Jones movie that the lines are guarded by Peruvians practicing kung fu.


Fresh Blood
Oct 3, 2009
Why it is so hard to believe that Peruvians did these lines? Think again, they believed in natural gods such as the sun the moon the earth, etc

Peruvians were very religious and even sacrificed virgins in their god's honor so is quite likely that the nazca lines were an offering to their gods, the land involved and the fact that this lines can only be seen from above...

In my peru tour, I went ther and being up in the sky seen this you realize the wonderful work these peruvians did so many years ago!!!


Great Old One
Aug 7, 2001
alisson86 said:
Why it is so hard to believe that Peruvians did these lines?
Who said they didn't? The debate seems to be about Why they did.

Athough we could quibble that the line-makers never called themselves Peruvians... ;)


Justified & Ancient
Mar 13, 2003
#24 ... f21e0.html

Tourist plane crashes over Nazca. From what I can gather one of the dead is a fellow Wycombe Wanderers fan and a quick Facebook throws up some friend of friend links. Very sad, but the reason for posting is that i notice in a few news reports that this is the third such crash in a few years involving tourist planes flying over the Nazca lines.

Obviously there must be hundreds of flights made so three light aircraft going down is probably not that big a coincidence.

Does make you wonder if there is something mysterious causing the crashes, although I would think coincidence is the far more likely cause.


Ephemeral Spectre
Jan 28, 2003
Does make you wonder if there is something mysterious causing the crashes, although I would think coincidence is the far more likely cause.
There was some suggestion on the news last night, that a factor may be the old, and badly maintained / poorly serviced aricraft, being flown by some of the Nazca flight tour operators.

Mr P


Ephemeral Spectre
Jan 18, 2002
having been there about 3 weeks ago, and having flown over the Nazca lines myself I can give you a bit of recent info on it.

The planes are all pretty new to be honest, newer than you'd get for similar things in the UK, apparently, so I was told, after a few accidents the Peruvian government (Tourisim being a major source of income for them) started getting involved in sorting out the situation and as a result the planes have to be nwerer that 5 years or so (I forget the exact details) and maintained regularly. The planes did all looked really new.
There are about 6 air companies doing overflights of the Nazca and Picca from the new Nazca airport site. Each flight (over Nazca lines only) takes 30 minutes. So there are about 70-80 odd flights every single day, every day.
The planes are quite low and make quite tight turns as they show each figure so both sides of the plane can see it.
I suspect that it's general mechanical glitches or the engine stalling for some reason.


Fresh Blood
Oct 19, 2008
And why are they always virgins?

Is there some ancient manuscript that starts "Take three virgins and sacrifice them at the full moon."

It's like betting on a poker game without seeing any cards! Surely a woman who's had 6 kids and proved her fruitfulness would be a better bet to ensure the coming growing season.

I do understand the desire to dispose of a teenage female, and anyone who's spent time with a teenager understands why animals sometimes eat their young, but this wilful waste of potential breeding stock makes little sense. A woman who has proved her fertility, yes. A virgin who might be as sterile as a petri dish, no.


Beloved of Ra
Aug 3, 2003
Could also be the classic mistranslation of virgin, being turned into the modern meaning of virgin whereas it may simply have meant a young woman.
Aug 19, 2003
New geoglyphs found in Nazca desert after sandstorm

( —While flying over the famous Nazca desert recently, pilot Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre spotted some geoglyphs that had not been seen before. He believes the geoglyphs or Nazca Lines, as others call them, were exposed after recent sand-storms carried away soil that was covering them.

The Nazca Lines have become world famous, showing up in paintings, movies, books and news articles. They exist on the floor of the Nazca desert in a southwestern part of Peru, near the ocean. Scientists believe the figures (approximately 700 in all) were created by the ancient Nazca people over a time period of a thousand years—500BC to 500AD. The geoglyphs vary in size and have been categorized into two distinct categories: natural objects and geometric figures. The natural objects include animals such as birds, camelids, or snakes. It is believed the lines were created by removing iron-oxide coated pellets to a depth of four to six inches—that left the lighter sand below in stark contrast to the surrounding area. The images vary dramatically in size, with the largest approximately 935 feet long. It is a myth that the figures on the desert floor can only be seen by aircraft (they were first "discovered" by a pilot flying over the desert in 1939). In fact, they can be seen quite easily when standing on nearby mountains or hills.

The newly revealed figures discovered by de la Torre are of a snake (approximately 196 feet in length), a bird, a camelid (perhaps a llama) and some zig-zag lines. They are actually on some hills in the El Ingenio Valley and Pampas de Jumana near the desert floor. Archeologists have been alerted to authenticate the find. ...

"New geoglyphs found in Nazca desert after sandstorm." August 7th, 2014. ... storm.html