It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by dave_54
How about the builders drew the designs in the sand, and using a grid copying system just magnified them. The ancient Chinese, Romans, and Egyptians used the same method. Why do people assume South American natives were not able to figure out the technique? Racism? Ethnocentrism?
Due to insufficient surface water in the river system, the ancient inhabitants of the drainage settled in locations adjacent to geological faults because the springs and water resources associated with these features provide a more reliable source of fresh water during the dry season than the rivers. Thus, the ancients marked their water supply distribution system with geoglyphs just as a modern city delineates its underground utilities with maps.
Around the beginning the Ancestral Beings rose from the folds of the earth and stretching up to the scorching sun they called, "I am!" As each Ancestor sang out their name, "I am Snake", "I am Honey Ant", they created the most sacred of their songs. Slowly they began to move across the barren land naming all things and thus bringing them into being. Their words forming verses as the Ancestors walked about, they sang mountains, rivers and deserts into existence. Wherever they went, their songs remained, creating a web of Songlines over the Country. As they travelled the Ancestors hunted, ate, made love, sang and danced leaving a trail of Dreaming along the songlines. Finally at the end of their journey the Ancestral Beings sang 'back into' the earth where they can be seen as land formations, sleeping.
The inclusion of important water soakages in ritual Aboriginal sand paintings was necessary survival knowledge.
Originally posted by Jeremiah25
When I first looked at the various designs, I found it relatively easy to dismiss the simple straight lines and geometric patterns, assigning them little value when compared with the beauty of the animal depictions. But then I remembered that it must have taken the Nazca people hundreds of years to form the lines and shapes in their entirety. Why would anybody go to the trouble of creating these huge (the longest is over 9 miles) lines if they served no purpose?
The thought I came up with was that the plain may have been a story, told on a gigantic scale. It would have to have been a story that was so important that it needed to be preserved indefinitely, etched into the Earth itself for permanence.
But what is really interesting is the belief that the locations visited and created by the spirits must be revisited and the old songs sung there anew, to preserve the land indefinitely. The stories must be retold so that the land will be forever preserved. There needs to be a permanence to the story. Perhaps, in the same way, the Nazca lines are some form of story, or myth, or legend, that had to be permanately preserved for practical or religious reasons, or some combination of both. Perhaps the seemingly random straight lines and swirls and rectangles represent landmarks as the Nazca people understood them. The lines may represent a journey, or the swirls may represent a body of water. The animals might be the spirits responsible for creating or guarding these landmarks.
The Nazca region is an arid desert. Perhaps the lines tell a story about how the spirits created the land and told the people where to find water. In many of the Aboriginal tales, the journeys and creator spirits are often linked with a series of waterholes. The story essentially tells people how the spirits created the waterholes in the arid desert, where they should journey to find them and how to preserve them indefinitely. The following quote describes the importance of knowledge of waterhole locations and its incoporation into the sacred:
Now then, if the plain is a story, why construct it so that it can only be seen from the air? Why the huge scale? Several reasons spring to mind: the size of the lines and the amount of work and devotion put into their construction may have been an effort to placate the gods or the spirits, to demonstrate to them that the Nazca people were keeping their story/ies alive in a manner only the gods could read. The paths may have been walked generation after generation, as the elder members imparted knowledge of the stories and the landmarks to the young. For example, an older member of the Nazca may walk around the spider feature, telling the stories of the spider spirit to a young initiate as they went and pointing out valuable information relating to the geometric lines and their relation to important landmarks. Finally, the sheer size of the lines may have been a deliberate effort to ensure their permanence, to create something of reverence that would, by its very nature, require the effort of many generations, thereby ensuring its longevity.
Actually, it doesn't take that long. And rock art is full of abstract shapes. Some are conceptualized versions of deities (Tlaloc is one that gets almost unrecognizable in some areas.) Others are representations that don't make sense to our modern eyes (because we are so used to looking at representational art.) The rock art symbol for peyote here in south Texas is a set of black dots... but elsewhere, dots mean other things. You need to look at the art of the culture first.
The purpose of the drawings is uncertain, but it is believed to be connected to their beliefs and economical systems. According to anthropologist Johan Reinhard, the Nazca people believed that mountain gods protected humans and controlled the weather. These gods also affected water sources and land fertility since they are associated with lakes, rivers and the sea. Each figure might have a different meaning for the Nazca people depending on their social class.
The straight lines, as sacred paths, from Nazca to Andean highlands are still used to bring water. Today, these lines are maintained for the religious merit of the people. The triangles and trapezoids are made for the flow of water and are placed near the river. People often have ceremonies beside the water flow. The figure of spirals depicts seashells and the ocean, and the figure of zigzags illustrates lightning and river. The bird figures, representing a heron, pelican or condor, are believed to be signs of faithfulness to the mountain gods. Other sea birds are associated with the ocean. Monkeys and lizards represent the hope for water. Shark or killer whale motifs show the success of fishing. Spiders, millipedes and plants are associated with the rain. Even though the Nazca River was located near this cultural area, river water was not enough to support their agricultural needs.
it seems that the straight lines going through the desert have constituted some sort of ceremonial roads. It seems that the triangle figures, in turn, have connections with water veins underground.
Even the theory that animals in the geoglyphs were symbols of mythological god-protectors, or were linked to water, had an agricultural basis. Life on the desert-oasis meant knowing how to adapt to an unyielding environment, and hard work in extracting springs of life from it. These ancient Peruvians mastered the challenge. Successful at irrigation, they improved their crops, extended cultivated areas, and built terraced pyramids. And during this era, they developed and perfected a new art form: Ground art... using the surface of the earth itself to create wonderful works, which, in this special environment, would be frozen in time.
Originally posted by Jeremiah25