Nazca Lines

You know, the big pictures in Peru that you can only see from the sky? There’s one of a monkey, one of a hummingbird, etc… I’m confused that no-one can figure out how these were made. Everything I’ve seen about them assumes that one would have to be able to see the lines from the air, but it seems to me that they could be drawn on the ground without an overhead perspective. By drawing out the design beforehand and using some geometry to figure out the angles, length of each segment, etc., it seems like they could be made by stretching long (very long) wires to create straight lines, and these would guide the people who came to mark the actual lines we see today. By aligning several points with a far-away landmark, ie the North Star, one can figure out the relationship of the lines to one another. Any obvious problems with this theory? (other than the miles-long size of the figures?) Anyone know if the Nazca had a source of fiber that could be made into long ropes? I dunno… I’m saying it would be easy, but I don’t see why no one can figure this out.

I’ve always thought that it was a ridiculous (perhaps even racist) assumption that Native Americans were too stupid to develope the same surveying techniques that Western societies have been using for hundreds of years.

Another unfounded assumtion is that the huge drawings were for the benifit of airborne extraterrestrials. Seeing how most of the Native cultures in the area were Sun-worshippers it should be obvious for whose benifit they were made.

Actually, most serious researchers have never wondered how the lines were made; they assumed the native Americans could easily have made them.

The “mystery” of the lines is just another one of those things the “ancient astronauts” supporters like to bring up. They are the ones pushing the “no one knows how it was done” line so they can push their “obvious” solution that “they must have had help from the space people”. Unfortunately the average person today seems to get more of their information from the ancient astronaut supporters than from the serious scientific community.

It’s not the intelligence of the Native Americans that I question.

“You can’t run away forever; but there’s nothing wrong with getting a good head start.” — Jim Steinman

Dennis Matheson —
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb —

Several groups of archaeology students have been able to create lines like those in Nazca, using ONLY the resources available directly ON the fields where they did this.

I’m looking for a reference on the web as I type, and will post the address later.

Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe absurdities.

Here’s a link to a long entry about the Nazca Lines in the Skeptic’s Dictionary: It doesn’t really go into the “how” but more the “why” and does touch briefly upon the racism aspect of assuming the “primitive natives” couldn’t have done this themselves.

C3 ?
Aren’t you here?
I could have sworn you would be here…

The most common held theory in archaeology today is that the Nazca Lines were made as a sort of offering to rain god that lived in the nearby hills. The Nazca plain has been pretty much rainless since the lince were first made about 1400-1500 years ago (hence the offering to the rain god). The Nazca would have had knowledge of monkeys and tropical birds because trans-Andean trade had been going on since before the Nazca culture flourished. BTW, anybody who regards Von Daniken as anything but farcical entertainment should be humiliated in public.