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Mysterious 37m feline geoglyph discovered in Peru near famous Nazca Lines
Archaeologists in Peru have discovered a huge feline geoglyph on a hillside, the country's Ministry of Culture has said.
The new motif was found in Nazca, home to Peru's world famous Nazca Lines that are carved on the surface of the coastal desert in the south of the country, depicting creatures, shapes and plants.
In a written statement, the ministry said the newly discovered geoglyph, which is 37 metres long, was barely visible and at danger of becoming completely erased due to its position on a steep slope, subjecting it to the effects of natural erosion.
The Enigma of Peru’s Nazca Lines, Giant Geoglyphs Etched in Desert Sand
The geoglyphs are thought to have been made by the Nasca civilization, who inhabited the region for around 800 years beginning in 200 B.C. (The terms "Nasca" and "Nazca" are often used interchangeably, but the former refers to the period and culture, while the latter describes geographical locations.) Scientists date the lines to between around 200 B.C. and 600 A.D., based on radiocarbon dating of pottery found nearby, estimates of rock aging and other measures.
Of the many mysteries of the lines, their survival is perhaps the simplest. It rains so little in the Nazca desert, less than an inch per year on average, and the air is so still, that there’s little to wash the lines away. Their construction, too, is easily explained. The lines were made by scraping away the reddish desert topsoil to reveal a slightly deeper layer that’s more gray in appearance. None of the lines are inscribed very deeply into the soil — no more than a foot or two. They vary from around a foot to over a dozen feet in width.
In 1982, a small team was able to reproduce one of the larger drawings, the condor, using wood and ropes to mark off measurements drawn from a small-scale drawing. These simple tools and methods would have been available to the Nasca at the time, and the reproduction easily shut down a theory that “ancient aliens” were somehow involved in the lines’ creation.
Large 2,000-year-old cat discovered in Peru's Nazca lines
Johny Isla, Peru's chief archaeologist for the Nazca lines, told Efe news agency that the cat pre-dates the Nazca culture - which created most of the figures from 200 to 700 AD.
The cat, he said, was actually from the late Paracas era, which was from 500 BC to 200 AD.
"We know that from comparing iconographies," he said. "Paracas textiles, for example, show birds, cats and people that are easily comparable to these geoglyphs."
it looks nothing like them