Go Geometry Education

Nazca Lines from a Cessna: Trapezoids. Geometric figures

From above they sprawl,
Nazca Lines, secrets of old,
Trapezoids emerge.
Geometric figures dance,
Mysteries etched on Earth's face.

The Nazca Lines (Nasca Lines), are a set of zoomorphic, phytomorphic and geometric figures (lines, triangles, trapezoids, circles, spirals, birds, a spider, a monkey, flowers) that appear engraved in the surface of the Nazca desert, a high arid plateau that stretches 37 miles between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on a large flat area of southern Peru). The Nazca Lines are one of the mysteries of the ancient world. They are the most outstanding group of geoglyphs (drawings on the ground) in the world.

and figures appear in an area of over 300 square miles.

How did the ancient people of the Nazca desert (between 900 BC and 600 AD) achieve such geometrical precision, and what is the meaning of the drawings of giant spiders and birds?

Decades of exploration and study by German-born mathematician Maria Reiche led her to see the Nazca lines as a sophisticated astronomical observatory, created to mark risings and settings of the sun, moon and stars.

"If you fly high above Peru's parched southern coast, you'll see one of the world's enduring mysteries, the Nazca lines: geometric shapes and renderings of animals and plants, some of them miles long, scratched into the surface of the desert. How did their ancient creators draft these gigantic patterns with such precision? According to one theory, their shamans drank a liquid that took them on soaring psychedelic journeys whose visions were later traced in lines on the ground. Today, as you hover above them, you come to a singular realization: in Peru, magic realism is more than a literary genre, it's embedded in the landscape." The New York Times, Sunday Book Review July 16, 2006.

See also:

The hummingbird
The Spider
The Parrot
The owl-man or astronaut
The Condor
The Monkey
The Nazca Line: Monkey Puzzle.
Why were the Nazca Lines made?
Giant Figures in Peru Desert Pre-date Nazca Lines
Peru link to Indian archaeological find?
Priests may have designed Nazca lines, expert says
Nazca Lines News