New Nazca Line Secrets revealed

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Archaeology' started by Debi, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Debi

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    Mysterious Nazca Lines reveal their secrets

    Scientists are shedding new light on the mysterious Nazca Lines etched in the desert of southern Peru, revealing what some of the drawings actually depict.

    A UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 249 miles south of Lima, the Lines are regarded as one of archaeology’s great mysteries. The lines are scratched into the dark ground to reveal the lighter-colored earth underneath, and are best viewed from the air. They depict a range of animals, plants, imaginary beings and geometric figures.

    Experts from the Hokkaido University Museum, the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology and Yamagata University in Japan studied the 16 bird geoglyphs among the more than 2,000 drawings in the area.

    "Until now, the birds in these drawings have been identified based on general impressions or a few morphological traits present in each figure,” said Masaki Eda of the Hokkaido University Museum, in a statement. “We closely noted the shapes and relative sizes of the birds' beaks, heads, necks, bodies, wings, tails and feet and compared them with those of modern birds in Peru.”

    The scientists were then able to reclassify some of the drawings. One famous shape carved into the desert, long thought to be a hummingbird, actually depicts a hermit, they say. Another drawing, which was previously thought to be a guano bird, is actually a pelican, as is another long unidentified bird among the drawings.

    "The Nasca people who drew the images could have seen pelicans while food-gathering on the coast,” Eda explained. “Our findings show that they drew exotic birds, not local birds, and this could be a clue as to why they drew them in the first place.”

    Etched into the ground by pre-Inca people, the Nazca Lines date from 400 B.C. to 1000 A.D. Mystery, however, still swirls around why they were created. Theories include that they are a primitive Sun calendar, an irrigation system or even an alien landing strip, according to LiveScience.

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    With its long and thin bill, short legs, three toes facing the same direction, and the long tail with an elongated middle section, the previously identified hummingbird is re-classified as a hermit. In Peru, long and pointed tails only occur in hermits whereas the tails of typical hummingbirds are forked or fan-shaped. (Eda M., Yamasaki T., Sakai M. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. June 20, 2019)
     
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  2. Lynne

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    I don’t see that they’ve shed much light here. They are still a mystery and as for what animals they are is just guessing.
     
  3. Ultima Thule

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    Agree. Their study simply seems to suggest that they drew birds not local to the area as was previously assumed. Rather than shed any new light it just begs a slightly different question as to why they were drawn in the first place.
     
  4. Rowan2222

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    If it was for their own study - a simple cave painting would suffice. These are not drawings that any person on the ground can even see!

    It could be a map of sorts - if the areas where those birds lived were a definite area - eg Pelican would symbolise the coastal area, and humming bird the wetlands. Maybe they were classifying geographic areas by species present?

    Does it work if you take a prominent centre landmark - as the centre of the signpost, and all drawings around it point to the geographical areas? - head that way for pelicans?
    - A guide for hunting certain species maybe? - this way for the pelicans?
     
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  5. Debi

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    Besides making me ROFL, these are good questions! :D
     

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