Perspectives in the Pampa: ancient american huge ground drawings in Peru's desert

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The interpretation of the geoglyphs: from reliable to grotesque
Only few archaeological phenomena have stimulated the imagination of amateurs and scientists so much as the Nazca geoglyphs – to the point of Erich von Daenicken's grotesque alien theory. A fundamental error occurs frequently by seeing all geoglyphs as a coherent unity – but they originated over a period of more than 1000 years and have constantly been altered.
New investigations like the German-Switzerland-Peruvian Nazca-Palpa-Project came to interpretation patterns which are not completely new, but can now be proved better by new results. So Markus Reindel speaks of a sacred landscape where geoglyphs had similar functions as religous inspired buildings like pyramids, temples or megaliths in other cultures. The remains of offerings found at platform-like structures in the geoglyphs may reflect rites which have to do with water and fertility. Geophysical investigations have found strong soil compressions along the geoglyphs which may be a result of constantly repeated walking, perhaps in the course of ritual processions. This seems quite compatible to the opinion that at the same time local groups of geoglyphs were visible signs of individual clans.The increasing size of the geoglyphs is explained by more and more intensive rituals which should oppose the steady increase of the deserts. 

There are also still astronomical based interpretations established at first by Paul Kosok and Maria Reiche, especially concerning the obvious connection between particular lines and astronomic events (summer and winter solstice), which were important for the definition of seasons especially in oasis cultures here, where seasonally the rivers were in flood which was important for surviving. Also aspects like these make sense in a interpretation context of water and fertility rituals. But reviewing using different methods showed that the majority of the geoglyphs cannot be explained with astronomical orientations.
Other monocausal interpretations often seem to be too simple to be convincing. David Johnson for instance maintains that trapezoids assign submerse water streams following geological disturbations in the underground which could be used by farmers and that their positions are exactly above them, while zigzag lines mark lack of water.
From a scientific point of view it doesn't make sense that the deflection of a divinig rod is the striking argument for such explanations apart from the fact that trapezoids are often found on the same spot as former used zigzag lines.
Some people suggest for instance priests rising into the air with hot air balloons, kites or paragliders, because the graphics can only be overwieved from far above. They forget that persons walking on the geoglyphs could mostly be seen from far away. There are many other non-scientific interpretations, e. g. as a kind of sport arenas.
Cartoons: Tim Eckhorst www.timeckhorst.de

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