DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017H/33/S12.037

NAZCA LINES AS AN INDICATOR OF ANCIENT IRRIGATION SYSTEM ELEMENTS

V. Seglins, A. Kukela, B. Lazdina
Thursday 23 November 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgemviennagreen.org, SGEM2017 Vienna GREEN Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-27-0 / ISSN 1314-2704, 27 - 29 November, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 33, 299-306 pp; DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017H/33/S12.037

ABSTRACT

Nazca lines in Peru are well known for their geometric precision and ancient images. It is assumed that these lines were created by ancient Nazca civilization almost 2,000 years ago, mainly motivated by religious considerations. Satellite images and publicly available images from airplanes and air balloons were studies, as well as on-site observations performed. The orientation, interconnectedness and quality of geoglyphs were evaluated. The results suggest that only a small portion of geoglyphs may indeed be very ancient, while most have been created just over the last centuries. The oldest lines and trapezoidal bands are connected with the attraction of water resources and their accumulation along with the groundwater for further use for agricultural purposes. Only a small number of lines and shapes can really be associated with ancient religious practices, but it is also likely to be associated with water attraction that has been in ancient times, and is still, a life-critical resource in this region. In this sense, the attempts of ancient Nazca civilization to find unusual solutions for water supply can be regarded as a prominent example with a high cultural and historical significance.

Keywords: geoglyphs, water supply, groundwater resources, ancient civilization