with Nazca Lines
Following the discovery of an enormous lounging cat in 2020, archaeologists have uncovered hundreds of additional geoglyphs on the Nazca Lines site in Peru. A team from Yamagata University has spent nearly a decade at the location 250 miles south of Lima, and a field study between June 2019 and February 2020 unveiled 168 previously hidden works. Spotted in aerial photos captured by drones, the drawings feature myriad creatures like birds, snakes, orcas, and people likely created between 100 B.C. and 300 A.D.
Researchers believe there are two types of geoglyphs on the Nazca Pampa, a linear and relief, although only five documented during this mission are linear. Prehistoric populations created the works by removing darker stones from the earth’s surface to reveal the lighter sand below, and the renderings are thought to be part of spiritual, astronomical rituals. Spreading across 170 square miles, the Nazca lines vary in size, although most are smaller than 30 feet in diameter.
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A new discovery on the side of the Mirador Natural Hill in Peru reveals that common feline activities—namely sprawling out in the most comfortable position—have remained relatively stable throughout the last 2,000 years. This week, archaeologists unearthed a 120-foot-wide etching of a cat at the Nazca Lines site in Peru, which is home to a series of geoglyphs depicting a spider, monkey, hummingbird, whale, and fish. The feline rendering dates back to the Late Paracas period between 200-100 BC, making it the oldest in the area.
With bulbous eyes and a striped tail, the now-faded creature was created by stripping the top layers of soil to reveal the lighter-colored bedrock beneath, with lines ranging from 12 to 16 inches thick. “The figure was barely visible and was about to disappear due to its location on a fairly steep slope and the effects of natural erosion,” the Peruvian Ministry of Culture said in a release.
The area is located in the Nazca Desert, which is about 250 miles south of Lima, and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although the cat predates Nazca culture—according to the ministry, feline renderings were common in Paracus society and found on textiles, ceramics, and other iconographic objects—similar prehistoric drawings influenced many of the geoglyphs found at the Nazca Lines site. (via Gizmodo)
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