Japanese researchers have discovered 168 new geoglyphs near the Nazca Lines on the southern coast of Peru, which have been considered World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1994, as confirmed to EFE by Yamagata University (Western Japan).
This team of academics from Yamagata University, led by Masato Sakai, made the discovery with the help of local archaeologists, aerial imagery and drones, where they discovered 168 new geoglyphs or large figures drawn on slopes or hills.
“In total we found 168 figures: about 50 human, as well as birds, felines, snakes and also many linear and trapezoidal figures,” Sakai told EFE, noting that pottery was also found.
Since the beginning of the research project in 2004 -and since 2010 in the field-, Japanese scientists have already found 358 figures (including those of the new discovery), with which they try to protect these deposits, but also to understand the objective with which ones were created.
Among the geoglyphs were representations of humans, camelids, birds, orcas, felines, snakes, etc.
“To protect the lines, we need to know their exact location so they don’t become homes or local people use the area for agriculture,” says Sakai, who believes they were used to mark trails and paths.
The researcher explains that they also now use artificial intelligence to find patterns and see exactly what these shapes wanted to communicate, something that with traditional search methods would take a long time due to the large field to investigate.
“We can find these shapes on roads and trails, so we want to figure out the combinations to know what they meant,” says Sakai.
The Nazca Lines have traditionally been thought to be a large astronomical calendar, other experts believe they are religious figures, and some ufologists argue they were landing strips for alien spacecraft.
Yamagata University has been dedicated to the study of the Nazca geoglyphs.
The most representative figures are known as the spider, the monkey and the hummingbird, as well as the condor, pelican, seagull, snail, whale, snake and llama, among others.
The Nazca Lines are a set of hundreds of geometric figures, animals or plants located in an immense desert in the Ica region, south of Lima, made by the Nazca culture (1st-7th century) and whose function and meaning is not I am clear, nor is it clear how they were made, since some exceed 100 meters and are only visible from above.
Despite their age, these famous and enigmatic figures were not discovered until the 1930s because the flatness of the desert surface allowed the drawings in their entirety to be seen only from the air or from a few surrounding hills.