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Earth's Powerful Places: From Stonehenge to Easter Island Knowledge Cards
Sample Card Text
This mysterious civilization produced some of the largest examples of public art ever. The 2,000-year-old drawings remain fresh and remarkably intact—although several decades ago a highway was slashed through one of them. Also, they are beautiful—a heron, a monkey, a long-snouted hummingbird, a humanoid wearing a pair of goggles that proves he’s from outer space, for sure!
Where are these drawings, and why did they remain undiscovered until 1927?
Answer The Nazca people created their now-famous “lines” high on the Nazca plateau of Peru, 200 square miles of dry, windless desert. While the climate preserved the drawings, created by scraping dirt from an underlying layer of chalk, the area’s remoteness made them hard to find—as did man’s inability to fly.
The drawings, which can best be perceived from on high, were first spotted by an archaeologist who climbed a nearby plateau in 1927. They were drawn to entice the gods, some say. Others, noticing the “trapezoidal landing pad,” say they were a spaceport. Aliens, Erich von Däniken surmised, did the drawings. Others, noting that most drawings were done as a single line, see them as ritual walking paths. Similar designs are found on Nazca pottery and weavings.
As for Goggle-Eyes (aka the Astronaut), scientists say he’s not a space creature, just an owl man. Perhaps it was owl men who drew the lines!