'Ancient Vatican' built Peru's lines

High priests at an ancient religious compound in southern Peru may have designed the mysterious Nazca lines in Peru's desert, a top archeologist has claimed.

    Experts described the site as an ancient desert Vatican

    Researchers say the Cahuachi compound, built in 400 BC, is just across the Nazca Valley from the lines, one of Peru's most popular tourist attractions and a United Nations World Heritage site.

     

    "It is logical to think that the Nazca people's religious beliefs originated in this ceremonial site and got expressed on the wide-open plain," said Giuseppe Orefici, an Italian archaeologist who leads research at Cahuachi.

     

    Geographical proximity is not the only evidence of links between the two ancient sites - the same religious icons appear at the lines and on ceramics and crafts excavated at Cahuachi.

     

    "Felines and whales are found in all Nazcan art and this is what we've found in the geoglyphs," Orefici said, referring to ground drawings surrounding the Nazca lines and the Cahuachi compound.

     

    Generating interest

     

    Josue Lancho, a local historian, described the site as "a pre-Hispanic Vatican in the desert" where priests led ceremonies and drew people from all over the region.

     

    The Nazca lines, best viewed from the air, were made by clearing away surface shale or piling it up onto other stones.

     

    Among its most emblematic figures is a giant monkey with a spiral tail and a what appears to be a giant hummingbird.

     

    The Peruvian government is working to generate interest in Cahuachi, where archeologists have discovered the ruins of more than 30 pyramids thought to be open only to high priests.

     

    Researchers believe heavy flooding destroyed the site in 350 AD.

     

    Most of Cahuachi's structures are still buried, with the exception of a pyramid 40 metres high and the so-called stepped temple.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.