A new Nasca Geoglyph found by Yamagata University Institute of Nasca in Peru

New Nazca Geoglyph Found in Peru

Following up on the discovery by Yamagata University Institute's Prof. Masato Sakai of 24 new geoglyphs in the Nasca Region of the Peruvian South Coast in 2014 and 2015 the team has identified a new 33m geoglyph that could be linked to a near by major ceremonial center. The new geoglyph is located within the central area of the Nazca pampa, a large, flat, arid region of Peru. The line drawing is of an animal, with many legs, what appear to be spotted markings and which is sticking out its tongue.

“It certainly represents an imaginary or mythical creature,” Masato Sakai at the Yamagata University in Japan, said.

Most of the geoglyphs are almost invisible on the surface and the team needed to analyze them using a three-dimensional scanner to highlight the images on the ground. As a result, the Yamagata University team was able to identify 24 geoglyphs of animals, some of which probably depict Andean native camelid, llamas. Last year, the team had discovered 17 geoglyphs of similar style in the adjacent area and thus it became clear the total of 41 animal geoglyphs are concentrated in a specific area. These geoglyphs are estimated to date back to 400 BC to 200 BC.

This new geoglyph is interesting because it is located on a slope and was discovered by researchers working at ground level.

“This new animal drawing was created by removing dark surface stones and exposing the underlying whitish ground,” Sakai said. ”The removed stones were then piled up to shape the animal image like a relief.”

Prof. Masato Sakai, the head of the research team has been concerned that the geoglyphs are in danger of being destroyed by the recent expansion of urban areas. Because of this Yamagata University which began to study of the Nasca Geoglyphs in 2004 created the Yamagata University Institute of Nasca in 2012.  The Ministry of Culture of Peru and Yamagata University signed an agreement to work together to preserver the geoplyphs in April 2015.


Prof. Masato Sakai - Yamagata University

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