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Massive new line drawings revealed in Peru

April 12, 2018

Using drone cameras, scientists have documented spectacular line drawings newly discovered in southern Peru. They are likely much older than the famous Nasca lines.

Geoglyphs in Peru
Image: picture alliance/dpa/G. Bautista

The latest line drawings discovered by archeologists in Peru show geometric figures portraying humans, apes and a whale, according to a report published in National Geographic

Twenty-five images of the previously undocumented line drawings — so-called geoglyphs, or "ground drawings" — in Palpa province in southern Peru were taken from drones, said Peruvian archeologist Johny Isla Cuadrado in the Peruvian daily, "El Comercio."

Scientists flew the drones over the region about 30 meters above the ground, and spotted 50 geoglyphs – 25 were unknown, while the local population was aware of the other 25 drawings.

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Researchers hope that documenting the newly found line art will give them new insight into the area's ancient cultures.

Cuadrado said the massive drawings seem to point at "a tradition of over a thousand years that precedes the famous geoglyphs of the Nasca culture, and which opens the door to new hypotheses about its function and meaning."

Peru Nazca Linien
A glimpse of the world-famous Nasca drawingsImage: Imago/S. spiegl

Predating the Nasca lines

Archeologists believe the Palpa drawings were created by the Paracas and Topara cultures between 500 BC and 200 AD, which would make them older by many centuries than the famous Nasca lines in the neighboring Nasca Valley.

And unlike the renowned Nasca sketches that were etched into the high desert sand and are only visible from above, the Palpa geoglyphs were found on the slopes of the region's hills, meaning they can also be observed from the ground.

db/sb (with dpa)

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