The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient glyphs stretching across southern Peru's desert. They were created by people who lived between 500 to 300 BCE, long before the Inca Empire occupied the area. The Nazca people lived on top of hills overlooking the sea, where they built their homes out of mud and straw.
The Ancient Glyphs of Peru
The Nazca Lines were made by removing stones and surface soil with wooden tools like axes, hammers and knives— revealing a light-coloured clay earth beneath the reddish surface of the Nazca desert. With the help of wooden steaks and a surveyor from the hills, the people of Nazca could make geometric shapes and figures on the ground.
Whether believable or not, the Nazca lines of Peru have sparked the imagination of people around the world. These structures may have been used for religious purposes but also served other functions, such as offerings to deities for blessings and better irrigation. But because of the mysterious shapes formed, some people believe that the Nazca lines serve a different purpose. Guesses range from the Nazca people as highly advanced civilizations with magical tools to extraterrestrials who created the lines for geolocating around the earth.
The Nazca Lines Have Become an Essential Part of Peru's Cultural Heritage.The Nazca Lines are a cultural icon of Peru and is an essential part of the country's heritage. In 1995, they declared the area a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This designation means the lines are protected by the Peruvian government and cannot be touched without permission from that body. The Nazca Lines are also an inspiration for artists and writers worldwide, using them as source material for their work (such as novels).
It's no doubt the Nazca Lines attract thousands of tourists annually, easily making it one of Peru's most popular tourist attractions. The best way to see what Nazca has to offer is by taking a guided tour with one of several operators who offer tours throughout the south of Peru. You can include visits inside nearby Inca ruins and hiking trips around the region for an immersive experience of the ancient mysteries surrounding Peru.