Since the Nazca Lines were discovered in the 1930s, not one single theory has been put forward to explain all of the marks on the desert plain. A prominent scientist has called it 'one of the most baffling enigmas of archaeology'. However, I have recently completed an extensive worldwide study of ancient cultures which offers some intriguing new insights into this archaeological enigma.
Why have the Nazca Lines proved such an insoluble mystery? The reason lies in the sheer variety of designs, which include around 300 pictures, commonly referred to as 'geoglyphs'. Some of the better known of these figures are shown to scale in Figure 1. The relative sizes of the spider, monkey, condor and lizard (among others) can be judged against the largest figure - a stylised heron with a zigzag neck, approximately 900 feet long. However, as diverse as these geoglyphs are, others are different again, consisting of totally abstract shapes. And even among the abstract designs, there is diversity. Whilst one design in particular contains no less than 365 angles, others, in the form of spirals, contain no angles at all.
Although the recognisable animal geoglyphs draw most of the attention at Nazca, they are in fact dwarfed by the huge trapezoidal (wedge-like) designs such as the one shown in Figure 2. Some of these wedges have sides more than 2,500 feet long. The wedges, in turn, are outdone by the lines themselves, which run perfectly straight for up to 5 miles.