Lines and geoglyphs created by other than the Nazca are found between Arica and Calama, in northern Chile.
The geoglyphs of northern Chile have had a variety of interpretations related to their function, with an emphasis on the activities of groups of prehistoric caravans. From the first explorations of the Atacama Desert, humans were forced to adopt careful solutions for survival. Through the incorporation of the llama as a transport system, they were able to increase their knowledge of the regional geography and its various extreme environments like the 'puna', cordilleras, gullies, pampas and salt flats, and to reach points that were both remote and difficult. The accumulated knowledge included fundamentals such as the location of water resources and their quality. No less important was knowledge of the distribution of fodder in sufficient quantity to maintain the caravan system. Thus the people of the region eventually put together a complex network of paths to serve the specialised groups that crossed the different geographical regions of the desert.
Possible functions include a cultic worship of mountains, or expressions of devotion to Andean deities
The latest research has identified more than 5000 geoglyphs, among which geometric forms are hugely dominant, and then figurative forms, either anthropomorphic or zoomorphic, in broadly equal measure.
Geometric geoglyphs range from simple conventional motifs to the most complex designs. Many resemble designs on textiles and ceramics, such as circles, concentric circles, circles with dots, rectangles, equal-sided crosses, arrows, simple parallel lines, complex parallel lines, spirals, simple and complex stepped rhombuses. They are found isolated or forming groups with or without apparent order. There are some noteworthy linear figures laid out on level, horizontal surfaces, some of them more than a hundred metres long, and also concentrations of circles, always around paths.
This feature has drawn comparison with the Nazca Lines
Zoomorphic figures include camelids in pairs or in lines, figures of felines, birds of lakes, sea or land, such as flamingos, seagulls, eagles, rheas, serpents, toads, lizards, foxes, dogs, monkeys and fishes, especially open-sea species like dolphins or sharks.
Can a shark can be seen top left?
Lama geoglyph on the crest of a Hill
A herd of Lamas
The Atacama Giant (Spanish: Gigante de Atacama) is a large anthropomorphic geoglyph in the Atacama Desert, Chile. Located at "Cerro Unitas", this is the largest prehistoric anthropomorphic figure in the world with a height of 86 metres (282 ft) and represents a deity for the local inhabitants from 1000 to 1400 CE.
The Giant Seen From Above Using Google Earth
Peculiar figure of a man holding a walking stick
The geoglyphs drew the attention of German mathematician Maria Reiche, who worked as (archeologist) Paul Kosok's translator. She studied the lines from the 1940's to her death in 1998. She lived nearby, walked and photographed the lines, drew maps, developed theories, and drew the attention of the world to Nazca.
"I began my research in 1940, but then the war came and Peru joined the allies. We Germans were not allowed to leave Lima. In '46 I could see that the solstice lines existed in different places especially from centers, of which almost every one of them has one, or two, solstice lines. There are also solstice triangles! In general, one can say that not only straight lines, but also the edges of triangles and quadrangles, have specific directions which are repeated everywhere. More than sun directions there are moon directions, which is in agreement with the knowledge that the moon was observed before the sun.
For instance, the big quadrangle beside the figure of the spider is a moon direction and the other one beside the figure of the Heron with the winding neck, is one side in the single direction and the other side in the solstice direction! Such a quadrangle could have served to predict eclipses, which were a powerful means of subjecting the people. Even Columbus used an eclipse to frighten the people as he knew the correct time to do so.
During this work of measuring lines I saw that there were many figures. I could recognize them because I had seen one! Others couldn't.
That is why the Pan American highway cut the figure of the lizard in half. Before the highways construction in 1938 people drove randomly over the lines and figures without seeing anything! From the air the figures were not visible either due to the nature of the soil at the time. You see the figures are of a whitish color on a brown surface, this brown surface is a thin covering of dark stone about 10 cm, which suffers the process of oxidation giving the entire region its particular brownish effect. Underneath the soil is still whitish, not brown, comprised of a mixture of rock that had been split into small fragments due to extreme temperatures, and clay, which ultimately was blown away by strong winds coming down from the Andes. The huge basin was filled with this mixture creating this flat surface we call the Pampa. This is why we only have these small pebbles on the surface.
There are extremely strong winds here, even sandstorms, but the sand never deposits over the drawings. On the contrary, the wind has a cleansing effect taking away all the loose material. This way the drawings were preserved for thousands of years. It is also one of the driest places on earth, drier than the Sahara. It rains only half an hour every two years! Now all this has changed due to air pollution. Huge masses of dust and sand blow in from a large iron mine southwest of Nasca and fill the entire region with contamination, this produces precipitation, not enough for agriculture, but enough to endanger the figures.
The figures, the drawings, are very superficial furrows never more then 30 cm in depth, and very shallow. For this reason the wind has obscured them by filling them with small dark pebbles from the surrounding surface like grain, making them difficult to detect from the air. To make them more accessible for viewing I cleaned them with a broom, one broom after another throughout the years. I went through so many brooms rumors circulated that I might be a witch! "
Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by kiwifoot
Nice one Kiwi, you got your Mojo back!
I've seen the 'Giant' before in fringey books, but the rest is all new to me. Crosses are, naturally, a common symbol across the ancient world...basically two straight lines. The crosses here seem distinctive due to being contained in squares. The zoomorphic figures are familiar and can be found on textiles and pottery from Chilean and Peruvian graves in the high Andes.
I'll have to see if I can find anything worth adding...unlikely.
Originally posted by polarwarrior
Nice Op I like these, here are a couple of my own
The sri yantra
Originally posted by oriondc
Am I the only one who feels a sudden need to learn how to live off the land? I mean, really, if such advanced cultures could disappear, couldn't we all? Perhaps these people asked the same questions. I guess I'm not full of answers tonight
I'm sure we have most of the history of ourselves completely wrong, but regardless, the individuals who created these monuments clearly went through rather enormous effort to do so; it could not have been simply for idle amusement. Whether it was to communicate with flying gods or to express themselves artistically, we should uphold these creations as what they are, monuments to their efforts.