The Nazca Lines & Symbols?
The Nazca lines aren't the only geoglyphs in the world. The tradition of drawing figures on the ground spans the pacific coastal desert areas from central California to northern Chile, as well as Europe and Asia. The drawings at Nazca, however, are unique because of their size and density within a 500 square kilometer area in southwest Peru. Straight lines that go on for hundreds of kilometers, only swerving out by a few degrees, huge trapezoids and spirals, and animal figures, some of which can be seen in their entirety from space - have been holding the attention of archeologists since the 1920s. How did the Nazcans make them so precise? For whom? And why?
As it turns out, how they got their drawings so precise is the one question on which scientists can agree. The Peruvian desert provided a perfect tableau for the Nazcan 'artists'. Covered by fist-sized volcanic rocks, blackened and varnished from exposure to the atmosphere, the desert or pampa surface makes a sharp contrast to the soft yellow soil only inches underneath the stones. By simply removing the overlying stones and piling them on each side, the Nazcans were able to sketch their drawings onto what may be the greatest scratch pad in the world. In another climate, the drawings would have been obliterated in months, but Nazca is one of the driest and most windless regions on Earth. Climate and geology conspired to create an ideal medium for the Nazcans - leaving their distinctive images to be admired and pondered over thousands of years later.
But how were the Nazcans able to get the hundreds of kilometers-long lines so straight, and their figures in such perfect proportions?