As a result of a recent study, researchers are claiming that the mysterious Nazca Lines are not written by just one group of people but two separate groups that roamed the desert and used the engraved geoglyphs for pilgrimages to an ancient temple for sacred rites.

The researchers clarified that the role of the Nazca Lines could have probably been altered over time. Based on their research, the first Nazca Lines were drawn as symbols for the pilgrims to mark their paths and the second batch of travelers used the intersection of lines of geoglyphs as a ritual point by breaking ceramic pots on the lines.

The conclusions were formulated based on the discovery of 100 fresh geoglyphs and cracked ceramic pieces at the intersection points of some of the Nazca Lines, along with the analysis of the style, location and construction method of these recent features by experts at Yamagata University in Japan. Last month, a presentation of these findings was conducted at a meeting by the Society for American Archeology.

The true purpose of the Nazca Lines has long been disputed by experts. Some archaeologists think that the lines were remnants of a labyrinth, while some scientists reasoned that these lines form shapes of sky constellations or subway lines of water; and still, some experts believe the lines were part of an ancient path explored by pilgrims. Analyzing all the data and recent evidence, Masato Sakai of Yamagata University and co-researchers think that the pilgrimage route theory is the most plausible one.

Scientists stated that there were four specific group styles of geoglyphs identified along different routes going to the Cahuachi, a pre-Incan temple complex. Some of the images were created by removing the borders and others were formed by polishing off the rocks from the interior of the shapes. The geoglyphs discovered alongside a route that near the Ingenio River may have been formed by ancient people who populated the Ingenio Valley. Other images illustrating trophy heads and supernatural beings were focused near the path to Cahuachi in the Nazca Valley and were possibly completed by a group of people from that area. Another group of images, which could have been drawn by both groups, was recovered on the Nazca Plateau between the two cultures.

"Even after the collapse of the Cahuachi temple, trapezoids and straight lines continued to be made and used," Sakai said.

Photo: Paul Williams | Flickr

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