Sandstorms uncover new Nazca Lines geoglyphs in Peru
High winds and sandstorms have uncovered previously undiscovered Nazca Lines geoglyphs in Peru.
Eduardo Herran Gomez de la Torre, a pilot and researcher, found the new shapes while flying over the desert last week and believes one of the geoglyphs depicts a snake 60 metres long and 4 metres wide, near the famous "hummingbird".
A bird, camelids (possibly llamas) and a zig zag line are among the lines found etched into the ground on hills in the El Ingenio Valley and Pampas de Jumana and now archaeologists are already trying to confirm whether they match the Paracas culture in the Ica region of Peru, which flourished from 800BC to 100BC and influenced complex textiles and ceramics at Nazca as well as the lines.
The Nazca Lines cover an area of approximately 280 square miles and are believed to have been scratched into the ground over a thousand years between 500BC and 500AD.
Animals, birds, insects, plants and imaginary beings are depicted as well as lines and geometric figures several kilometres long and the largest creature is a 285 metre-long pelican and other famous geoglyphs include a spider, monkey and lizard.
UNESCO, which designated the area a World Heritage Site in 1994, describes the Nazca Lines as "a unique and magnificent artistic achievement that is unrivalled in its dimensions and diversity anywhere in the prehistoric world" and their quality, size and continuity put them among archaeology's greatest enigmas and they are believed to have been used for astronomical rituals.
(Posted on 11-08-2014)