Sunday, October 3, 2010

Long before the Wright brothers lifted their tiny plane into the heavens and flew into history, mysterious hieroglyphics and designs have adorned plateaus and hillsides in the Nazca region in Peru.

They can only be seen while in flight and yet they were created almost 2,000 years ago. Since their discovery, these centuries old drawings have remained a mystery. Similar lines, including "ley lines", appear in numerous locations throughout the world as widespread as Egypt, Malta, Chile, Bolivia and even in the United States.

Located on a high plain in the Nazca Desert, they contain hundreds of simple lines and geometric shapes. The designs were first noted and recorded by the conquistador chronicler Pedro de Cieza deLeĆ³n in 1547.

These huge geoglyphs are thought to be from ancient gods, a landing strip of aliens or even a celestial calendar. Some archeologists believe they are paths created for ceremonial processions.

They stretch out across the plains of Peru like a huge map. These mysterious lines were created sometime between 200 BC and 600 AD.Scientists have also discovered that the lines were placed in such a way that they can even track the changing positions of the yearly equinoxes.

Cat on rock

The owl man overlooks the other Nazca drawings. His arm points skyward with the other points to the ground as if he is bearing a message. These pictures are best seen when the sun is low in the sky so the shadows highlight the drawings.

Little is known about the Nazca Indians except that the were the predecessors to the Inca Indian civilization and flourished from 200 BC until around 600 AD. The biggest mystery of all is that we may never know why or for whom the ground dwellers of the Nazca plateau created these magical drawings.

Nazca Symbol; archaeology, history, nazca lines, Peru

American photographer Marilyn Bridges was intrigued by these mysterious pictures and is a master of the art of capturing the Nazca Lines. In the late 1970's, she went on to photograph the world's most extraordinary images of these mysterious lines.

Her methods of photography can only be considered hair raising. To get these terrific shots, she would hang herself out of the door while the plane she was riding in did a turn in order to get the wheels out of the picture.

More Images

Nazca Whale; archaeology, history, nazca lines

Satellite image of the Nazca Lines