The Awesomeness of…The Nazca

That's no runway

That’s no runway

About 2000 years ago, a civilisation existed in the Andes between 100 BC and AD 900, that created some of the most mysterious images, The Nazca Lines.

These famous geoglyphs have been made a World Heritage Site, and stretch for miles. There are dozens of them, and they range from straight forward lines to animals like lizards, spiders, monkeys, fish and more.

Researchers think the figures must have taken years, maybe even centuries to make, with the purpose of them still a mystery. There are some theories regarding the astrological alignment like that of the spider image, which is said to correlate with the Orion constellation. Other wild theories contain aliens, but I won’t get into that here…not today.

Aerial view of the spider geoglyph

Aerial view of the spider geoglyph, not for the arachnophobic

The Nazca culture was heavily influenced by the preceding culture, the Paracas, and are celebrated for their beautiful carvings and pottery, as well as the different colours used for painting. They used substances like wood, ceramics, clay and even whale teeth to make different designs.

Seeing as they lived in the arid part of the River Valley in Peru, their gods were mainly fertility gods that would bring the rain and harvest. They created aqueducts for agriculture called puquios that are still in use today.

On the gruesome side of the things, the Nazca are known for their Trophy Heads, which are just random heads here and there. Their burial custom represented a compact box-type chamber with material all around it and a head at the top, some with bones and some without. The reason for this is also unknown, but we have to assume that there was some religious reasons behind it.

They are also known for their elongated skulls. It may have been the Paracas people, but findings from Nazca of these cone-heads have been found in the region. The alteration was made by binding material to elongate the skull.



All in all, the Nazca culture seemed pretty cool. They’re relatively unheard of seeing as the Inca civilisation “stole their spotlight” after them. But they still have those awesome geoglyphs, which are so symmetrically amazing that you have to give them some appreciation.


4 thoughts on “The Awesomeness of…The Nazca

  1. I’ve looked at pics of modern cranial elongation… None of them look like the skull on the left in your pic. The pics of living people have their heads narrowing and if anything have less capacity.. The skull on the left looks like it is actually bigger than normal. Can you speak to that?


    • Hey there!
      Thanks for commenting! Unfortunately none of these photos are mine, and I can only do research on the good ol’ Interweb. From what I could find, these skulls are from the Ica Museum in Peru, and the source said Nazca, but there is also a possibility of it being a Paracas skull as they practised this type of elongation as well. I’m sure not all the skulls came out the same way, so I guess it’s tricky to define why some are different to others in terms of capacity.

      Thank you so much for your input, really appreciate it. I’ll definitely look into this more!

      PS. You have a really cool blog! 🙂


  2. Pingback: Ancient Andean lines marked the way to festivals | Unearthed

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