The straight lines and the central shape with straight line are “Nazca Lines”
The term “Nazca Lines” refer to a series of images created in the desert of Peru about 2,000 years ago. These images, many depicting geometric shapes, are extremely large with some covering several kilometers. Although researchers know how the Nazca Lines were created--the top layer of dark rocks were removed from the desert floor, exposing the lighter soil underneath--they remain uncertain why they were created. Several theories have been suggested to account for the presence of these lines.
One theory is that the Nazca Lines were used as an astronomical calendar for tracking events such as the winter solstice (the day with shortest number of daylight hours) that were important to agricultural peoples. This theory was supported by the discovery of an astronomical link between some of the images and various planets and stars. It was pointed out, for example, that on the day of the winter solstice, the Sun sets almost directly over a single long line drawn in the desert.
Another theory is that the Nazca images were created as a monumental art form expressing the Nazca people’s cultural and social importance in the region. Many ancient peoples built large monuments and artworks to demonstrate their power and celebrate their achievements. The Egyptians built massive pyramids, for example, and Easter Islanders curved massive human heads out of stone. It seems reasonable, therefore, to think that the Nazca images were built for similar reasons--to impress others.
A third theory focuses on the fact that there is evidence that people traveled by foot along the line. This has led to the speculation that the Nazca Lines represented sites of footraces in which individuals or groups of individuals competed for athletic victory. In this view, the Nazca images are ancient racetracks.
The three theories that you read give some very creative explanations for the Nazca Lines. But none holds up well unto the examination.
First, about the Nazca Lines as indicators of astronomic events. What the reading didn’t mention is that the vast majority of Nazca images don’t match up with anything observable in the sky. And for the few images they do, well, you know, there are hundreds of Nazca images and countless objects in the sky. Given these numbers, of course, a few line up. That would happen just by chance.
Second, the Nazca images as art. Well, it is certainly true that Nazca images are large, but they are impressive really only when seen from overhead, like in an airplane. When you’re simply standing on the ground next to one of these images, it is not impressive at all. The landscape is too flat and the images are too large to allow people on the ground to recognize them. This is very different from the pyramids and the Easter Island stones. They are not just large, they are tall. It is their great height them makes them visible and impressive.
Third, the idea that people were using the lines as racing tracks. Some of the images are in the shape of animals. There is a monkey, a hummingbird, a spider and so on. And these images are too complex to make good locations for foot race. Ok, so what could count for the evidence that foot traveled along the line? We can’t be sure of course, but we know that other prehistoric peoples in the region had religious rituals that involved walking along especially created pathways. It could be that Nazca line played a role in religious rituals or ceremonies that involved walking along the line.
A lot of high school students now cheat in homework assignments, by asking other students for answers. Which of the following do you think is the most efficient way to stop?
-asking parents to help stop the students from cheating
-penalty or punishment to the students
-asking teacher to create homework assignment that cannot be easily cheated