Nasca Lines : are a lines
which were constructed in southwestern Peru by the Nasca culture around
1,500 - 2000 years ago. The lines depict a number of mammals and
birds including: a monkey, hummingbird, and a man. There are also
many other geometric figures called 'geoglyphs' which include, spirals and
zigzags. The lines were made by etching the surface of the dessert
by the removal of surface pebbles to reveal the much lighter sand beneath.
The figures measure up to 1.2 miles in length and can be found around 250
miles to the south of Lima. Their actual meaning has caused
speculation for centuries. Some experts have suggested that the
figures served a ceremonial or religious function, others suggested the
lines may be some form of astronomical calendar. However, recently,
a team from UMass (The University of Massachusetts),
after performing some scientific tests, have begun to theorize that some
of the lines at least mark the location of underground water.
"Ancient inhabitants may have marked the location of their
groundwater supply distribution system with geoglyphs because the springs
and seeps associated with the faults provided a more reliable and, in some
instances, a better-quality water source than the rivers. We're testing
this scientifically." said Stephen B. Mabee (hydrogeologist
with the team of scientists from UMass). "The spatial coincidence
between the geoglyphs and groundwater associated with underground faults
in the bedrock offers an intriguing alternative to explain the function of
some of the geoglyphs."