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The Nazca lines
The Nazca lines, a new perspective
The enigmatic Nazca lines have defied explanation for centuries. Current theories, such as, a landing sight for aliens, astronomical alignment to the stars, or markers for underground water sources, have failed to unravel the complete mystery. I propose the Nazca lines were garden labyrinths. Through careful research of the Nazca people and the arid environment of the Nazca plateau, I will explain why this is the Nazca lines true purpose.
To solve this puzzle It is important that we understand, the customs, art, beliefs, and fears of the Nazca people. In doing so we find very telling markers that can better explain the reasons and uses for the Nazca lines.The Nazca religion was agriculture. They were master farmers and irrigators. They spent their entire lives improving the planting and harvesting techniques of farming. Their worst fears were famine. Their economy was based on agriculture. They worshiped the Earth, water, sky, mountains, fire, and the sea.. It is important to note that before the Nazca people there were the Paracas, who were known to use advanced farming techniques, and likely passed down this knowledge to the Nazca culture.
The Nazca lines, located in the arid Peruvian desert, experiences very little erosion, rain, or winds. The average temperature is 72 degrees year round with plenty of sunshine. This may seem an unlikely place for a garden because it is so dry, but keep in mind that the Nazca were master irrigators and farmers who knew how to cultivate this unforgiving land. Because of the heavy rains, mudslides, and fierce winds in the surrounding area, the crops were at risk of being washed away causing great famine. Aside from the carefully constructed garden terraces, the Nazca plateau made it possible to grow crops year round without the risk of failures as with other locations.
By creating networks of aqueducts, canals, fountains, channels, and reservoirs called Puquios, the Nazca could easily cultivate their lands. Aside from farmers, the Nazca people were expert fisherman and weavers. They made many colorful textiles and were known to have had the most colors of pigments for their time. Art was very important to them for trade and community celebrations.
They performed rituals related to agriculture, water, and fertility. They worshiped nature Gods to aid in the growth of agriculture. Many of the symbols seen in the Nazca lines were also on pottery. Each symbol has a meaning;
- The Hummingbird is a symbol of regeneration and resurrection
- The Monkey is related to a flood myth, fertility, and a patron of the arts associated with the sun
- The Spider represents weavers, the four cardinal directions, and abundance
- The Condor is a symbol of the sky, medicine, love of earth, death, and rebirth cycles
- The Dog is a protector of the underworld as well as a symbol of death and regeneration
- The Lizard stands for renewal, conservation, regrowth, and transformation
- The Parrot is associated with the south, a symbol of fertility and abundance
- The Flamingo, rebirth, proper nourishment, drawing its power from deep waters
- The Hands are protection , power, and strength
- The Tree brings fruit, life, new life and protection
- The Heron is a loner, a water creature who creates balance as well as a communicator to the Gods
- The Pelican is associated with the months September through March, and controls storms and weather
The Nazca grew cotton, maize, beans, squash, San Pedro cactus, potato, sweet potatoes, peanuts, cane, reeds, gourdes, peppers, coco, and junco. There is evidence of these crops located at the site. There is also evidence that beneath the soil there is water evidenced by long term water exposure near the lines such as iron oxide (rust) seen covering the rocks. There is also evidence of lime on the surface of the lines useful in plant growth.
The Nazca lines have been carefully measured marking out areas with irrigation access as well as the different alignments of sun exposure angles needed for individual crops grown there. It also helped in replanting the types of crops grown according to its symbol. They only had to measure it once. An example of this would be, the spider, associated with weaving, perhaps the crop grown on this symbol was cotton.
In summary, the Nazca lines were garden labyrinths. An ancient farmers market.