Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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New Images Seen in Peru’s Nazca Desert

Thursday, August 07, 2014

NAZCA, PERU—Sandstorms are thought to have exposed what may be previously unknown geoglyphs in Peru’s Nazca desert, according to a report in El Comercio and translated in Spotted by pilot Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre, the new figures depict a snake, a bird, an animal that may be a llama, and some zig-zag lines. The some 700 known geoglyphs, created between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D., also depict natural objects and geometric designs. Archaeologists think that Nazca lines were created with wooden stakes by removing a layer of iron-oxide rich pebbles on the surface to a depth of four to six inches, revealing the lighter, contrasting sand that can be seen from nearby mountains and hills. Some of the geoglyph images are also found on pottery from the same time period. Archaeologists will investigate the new images.