Dozens of ancient geoglyphs, some as large as 200-feet across, have been discovered in Peru near the town of Quilcapampa, researchers have announced.
LiveScience reported this week that a team of archaeologists have identified and cataloged several dozen circular geoglyphs in the Peruvian desert. The geoglyphs are reminiscent of the famed Nazca Lines in the Nazca Desert of Peru, and according to the scientists, were made in much the same way — by removing the stones in the preferred areas to attain the shapes the builders wanted.
However, knowing how they were built is not the same as why they were built. That answer has remained elusive, but the archaeologists, led by Justin Jennings, the curator at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, posit that they may have something to do with trade.
The circular geoglyphs range in size from just a few feet across to roughly 200 feet (61 meters) across. Some are concentric constructs, while others are contiguous and/or overlapping. One has circles embedded inside other circles, giving it a swirl effect. Some of the circles exhibited stone cairns either inside them or placed next to them, according to the archeologists.
The geoglyphs have been dated to having been constructed from 1050 CE to 1400 CE. This was during the Late Intermediate Period when Quilcapampa supported a 70-hectare (173 acres) settlement, a trade hub in ancient times. It was a time when Quilcapampa was an important center. Located between the coast and the highland, the town was a convergence area where people and goods (including food) intersected along integral pathways necessary for daily life. Jennings said that the circular designs might symbolize the necessity of commerce with other towns in the region.
Are they connected in any way to the Nazca Lines, a grouping of hundreds of representational and geometric geoglyps that stretch for roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers), in the Nazca Desert? It is difficult to say, given that the Nazca Lines were constructed by the Nazca culture between 500 BCE and 500 CE. The recently discovered geoglyphs were laid out over half a millennium later and roughly a hundred miles southeast of Nazca itself.
Ancient Alien Theory, as explained by History.com, is a school of thought that suggests that alien beings have aided humanity throughout history, and has posited that at least some of the Nazca Lines had something to do with astronomy and/or provided messaging or guidelines for extraterrestrial visitations. However, unlike the United Kingdom’s Stonehenge and other ancient sites, like the ancient burial mounds of Portugal, which are now believed to be the world’s oldest telescopes, as reported by Inquisitr, the Nazca Lines have been found wanting in the discipline of archaeoastronomy, the study of astronomical influences on ancient cultures and their world-views. Yet, like Stonehenge, the Nazca Lines are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lest the impression be made that geoglyphs are only the product of cultures indigenous to Peru, it should be noted that the artificial “land pictures” can be found throughout the Americas. Ancient Code lists five geoglyph formations with which people may not be familiar, four of which are located in South America. They include the massive Atacama Giant in the Atacama Desert in Chile, and the Paracas Candelabra, also in Chile, the latter of which is neither a candelabra, nor in any way connected to the Nazca Lines, although the suggestion has been made. There is also the gigantic 22,522 square kilometers (8.696 square miles) Sajama Lines in Bolivia, a series of extremely long linear constructs (the largest in the world) that can only be seen in its entirety from the air. There are also the Blythe Intaglios, a set of some 60 humanoid figures — the tallest of which is 174 feet (53 meters) — and the only such set in the world, located outside of Blythe, California.
Although there are quite a few geoglyphs in the Americas, there are examples of the constructs in other parts of the world as well. For example, the geoglyphs of Kazakhstan, a grouping of some 60 glyphs, are believed to have been Iron Age creations, products of an ancient civilization that dates back some 8,000 years, according to LiveScience.
[Featured Image by Jess Kraft/Shutterstock]