New Nazca lines have been revealed in the desert of southwest Peru, following a sandstorm in the region that researchers believe uncovered the ancient and previously unknown formations.
Discovery News relates that the new Nazca lines were spotted by Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre, a pilot and researcher, who first laid eyes on the new lines last week during a flyover of the region. One of the newly discovered geoglyphs depicts a snake, and is nearly 200 feet long. Despite being located near one of the better known Nazca glyphs, which is in the shape of a hummingbird, the snake somehow remained unnoticed until now.
— chester rose (@che8ter) August 8, 2014
The other newly discovered designs depict a bird, a llama-like camelid, and a set of zig-zag lines, according to Phys.org. They are located on hills in the El Ingenio Valley and Pampas de Jumana, near the floor of the Nazca desert, where the previously known glyphs reside. Archaeologists have been alerted to the find, and are researching whether the new figures match the lines created by the Nazca Empire, which existed from the first century B.C until the fifth century A.D.
— Mikey Kay (@MikeyKayNYC) August 5, 2014
While similar formations have been discovered in Russia, as The Inquisitr reported, the lines in the Nazca desert have become world famous since they were first spotted from the air in 1939. There are over 700 different designs etched into the desert floor, depicting either natural objects or geometric figures. The Nazca designs vary widely in size, with the largest measuring 935 feet long. Researchers believe the lines were created through the removal of iron-oxide coated “pellets,” which in effect changed the color of the sand, marking it in contrast to the surrounding area.
— Darrell (@engelbrechtd) August 8, 2014
Gómez claimed that the new lines may have been created by the Paracas, a culture that predated the Nazcas, according to The Huffington Post. While archeologists need to study the lines, scholars contacted by Peruvian newspaper El Comercio said that the new lines may date to the transitional period between the Paracas and Nazca periods.
While the Nazca lines have captivated archaeologists since they were first reported, their true purpose is unknown. Though many explanations involving religious or astronomical significance have been offered up over the years, all that is truly know is that “a unique and magnificent artistic achievement that is unrivaled in its dimensions and diversity anywhere in the prehistoric world” is represented by the lines in the Nazca desert.
[Image via The Huffington Post]