Scientists believe the lines were constructed by the Nazca people, who lived from roughly A.D. 1 to 700. Some of the geoglyphs may have been drawn by the Chavin and Paracas civilizations, who lived before the Nazca people.

Anthropologists believe the ancient humans created the forms by removing 12-15 inches of rock and digging deep to expose the lighter colored sand beneath, allowing the figures to be seen in the region covered in an iron oxide coated pebble layer. They most likely began with tiny size sculptures and gradually enlarged their proportions.

What is the purpose of these lines?

In the late 1930s, American historian Paul Kosok began to investigate the lines both from the ground and air. Based on the relative location of one of the lines to the sun around the winter solstice, he assumed that the geoglyphs had an astronomy based purpose. For him, the 310 square miles high desert is the ”largest astronomy book in the world.”

Following Kosok, in the 1940s, a German archaeologist Maria Reiche who is known as ”the Lady of the Lines” due to her 40 years of investigation, agreed that the lines had an astronomical and calendrical meaning. According to Reiche, some animal geoglyphs were representing groups of stars in the sky.

Another hypothesis that stood out and attracted a lot of attention came from a Swedish writer named Erich von Daniken, who stated in his book ”Chariots of the Gods?” (1968), that these lines served as a landing location for UFOs, and that the ancients considered extraterrestrials as “alien gods.” Other alien-related ideas speculate that the shapes were created by aliens and used to guide their spacecraft and as landing sites.

Water is both the source of life and the cause of change. Maybe that’s what the residents wanted to communicate. They meant to influence the desert in which they lived by sending messages. And perhaps what they looked for was access to water, something we may lack in the future owing to disturbed weather patterns caused by global warming.

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