Monday, November 22, 2004

Nov 26, Day8

Enigmatic Nazca Lines

check out day 8 photo album here

I went very early for my overflight. I was hungry in the morning, but my tour guide said i can have my breakfast after coming back from the overflight. I was supposed to go on 4 seater single engine cessna.

The Nazca lines are geoglyphs and geometric line clearings in the Peruvian desert. They were made by the Nazca people, who flourished between 200 BCE and 600 CE.(Iam trying to use the BCE & CE notaions. They are increasingly favored in place of BC & AD.BCE & CE denote Before common Era & Common Era which is same as Before & after christ. but named common era , so that even non Christians will me more comfortable with the convention.)

The area of the Nazca art is called the Pampa Colorada (Red Plain). It is 15 miles wide and runs some 37 miles parallel to the Andes and the sea. Dark red surface stones and soil have been cleared away, exposing the lighter-colored subsoil, creating the "lines". The pan american highway runs through it. very close to the lines at some places.

In simple terms they are like crop circles. Design that have been made in the desert centuries before. But know one is sure what they are for. There are figures, lines, geometrical shapes etc. Some lines run for 9 miles. These shapes are visible only from the aircraft.But the million $ question is why did they create these glyps when they cannot see the full image.why did they do it when it is visible only from the air.

How were they built? Straight lines can be made easily for great distances with simple tools. Two wooden stakes placed as a straight line would be used to guide the placement of a third stake along the line. One person would sight along the first two stakes and instructs a second person in the placement of the new stake. This can be repeated as many times as needed to make an almost perfectly-straight line miles in length. The symbols were probably made by drawing the desired figure at some reasonable size, then using a grid system to divide it up. The symbol could then be redrawn at full scale by recreating the grid on the ground and working on each individual square one at a time.

There are lot of theories on who made those lines. Most of them believe that it was made by the peoples of the nazca civilization. After the tour I went to a pottery place which was displaying the potteries of the nazca civilization and found the spider in the excavated nazca pottery is same as that of the nazca line spider. why would they draw something like that?? There are numerous theories on nazca lines, From great mathematical theories to funny ones.

The western world which is fascinated by UFO , started coming out with various theories, that it was a runway for UFO's and the lines where clearing made by the air released from the UFO's on take offs etc. They tried to substantiate this with the image that looks like an alien and the elongated skulls that they found in that area.

Later it was proved that the elongated head where of the primitive peoples who lived on the coast.

2) Funy ones:

There is a theory that says ,the nazcan people could have used a rudimentary air balloon and another one says that the kings of Nazca ordered the drawing of the nazca-line to control the population etc. The population control idea is this that. When they did work they couldn't make children at the same time. Nazca being a desert region was not able to provide food for everybody. so the king might have come out with this innovative idea

Two theories that fascinated mere are the one on shamans and the other by Jiri Mruzek. Dont forget to check out Jiri Mruzek report on the monkey sign.

Jiri Mruzek - The Seal of Atlantis

Jiri Murzek has another solution to Nazca Lines, and Figures. It is a very complete solution of the monkey's figure. It involves geometrical code, which speaks of specific aspects of analytical geometry. This code coincides with the code of prehistorically La Marche, France.

checkout the monkey figure solution

It is said that the shaman's ordered these drawings. The shamans who take hallucinogens to talk with god and spirit, always act as if they are flying after taking the physco active drinks. It is said that the lines are born out of there imagination. There imagination of seeing these figures when they were flying.

There are so many interesting theories about nazca. read them all here

I flew with a couple from holland. The cessna ride was great till we saw the first glyph. The pilot went sideways on the lines for better visibility. He did it twice once on the right and once on the left for peoples seated on opposite windows. The more he did it the more inconvenient it became. I was so thankful to my guide, for not allowing me to have my breakfast.

Chaunchilla cementry

This is a cemetery used by the Nazca culture people between 200 BCE and 500 CE. The cemetery is about 25 kms from the city. My guide came on a old dodge. A big blue dodge which his father has customized with a japanese engine. I was the first person in the tour group to enter into that ship and we started picking up more peoples. Next came this japanese guy and then Nick. Nick was a heavily built very loud and happy guy. He was speaking good spanish. I thought probably he is from cuba are something. But his english accent was east european. Nick heavily built with tight t-shirts showing his forearms and terminator type glass made me think he must be a professional body builder. Two more people joined us. One was ana an american and the other guy was from Uk. We had an international group. an american, japanese, chechez, english, peruvian(guide)and offcourse an indian.

Lot of mummies have been excavated from this place. And some are there on display. The Nazca area is a barren desert and it receives only about 2 hours of rainfall for an entire year. The extremely dry climate has preserved the bodies, including still-attached hair, skin and cotton textiles for over 1000 years. The bones and skulls have been bleached white by the sun. The bodies were placed in the fetal position in tombs dug into the sand, together with jewelry and pottery. The tombs were raided by grave robbers (huaqueros) who left the bodies scattered around the desert. About 10 years ago, archeologists placed the mummies back into graves as they were found.

In those days the cemeteries were classified. This one was for middle class people. The cemeteries where made for the family. children’s , dad and mother. If the mother dies after the father, the grave next to the father is dug and mother is buried next to him. I think the mommies being placed in fetal position is a representation of there belief that life is a full circle. You come into the world in the fetal position, so you had to leave this world in a fetal position.

My guide showed me 2 skeletons and asked whether i can identify which one is male and which one is female. First time i said it correctly as the female skeleton frame was smaller than the male. The second time i failed. If you are supposed to identify the sex of the skull, you are supposed to look at the Zygomatic bone (cheekbone that lies under the lower eye ridge).It is more pronounced on the male skull.

I saw some weird skulls with a triangular lamboid suture. And mummies with well preserved hair. Nazcan women were having long hair.
She must have been the Miss.Nazca

We started to leave the cemetry. My guide's car was looking great on the desert background. The blue colored big Plymouth type car on a yellow background. I took a few pics of that. Nick wanted to take a pic, but he ran out of films i took one in my camera and told him that i will email him. I asked his contact info and what he was doing etc.He said he was teaching plasma physics in a brazilian university. The guy who i thought would be a professional body builder turned out to be a plasma physics professor. I haven’t seen such a well built professor in my life. And Ana was a software engineer working on VB and .net. She decided to see the world. Left her job, sold her house, car etc and has been touring for a while.

A mini tornado.

We all had lunch, i had to take the lunch in 10 minutes and rush for my bus. My bus was waiting for me.I was the last guy to get in. I got a stare from everybody in the bus.

On the way back in the bus i was thinking about man's effort to reach god. To please god. Primitive people have been misinterpreting things. And there environment contributed a lot to there customs/belief's and practices.

off all the glyphs the outstretched hands was the one that made me think more. I looked at it as a top angle image of someone asking god for help. Was everything in nazca done for the eyes of god. It made me think why did all the religions in unison thought that god was in the sky, in the clouds and that he is looking at us. Whether it is the pyramids or the peruvian ruins the human lust to live beyond death was fascinating.

Hinduism became more primitive to me as i saw lot of commonalities between the incan beliefs and Hinduism. Worshiping mountains, rivers, earth was similar to the incan believes. Incas prime god was inti the sun and pachamama the mother earth. They did offerings in the river, so that it will go and join the ocean.sacrifices were made to impress god.

I read a story in the amazon jungle about how the son of the sun god became a deer. one day some bird plucks his eyes and the god gives his beautiful deer eyes and the story goes on describing how every part of the deer was installed into that person. I have read the hindu mythology story of how lord ram who was impressed with a squirrel, which helped him in building the bridge to lanka, caressed the squirrels back, leading to permanent mark's at this back. I was able to realize a commonality in all these. God, religion, culture all seamed to be a result of man's quest for some unanswered questions with the available knowledge.

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