Machu Picchu, Inca Music, Index

Nazca Lines: The Needle and Thread

Nazca Lines: Google Earth Satellite image. Pointer 14º 50' 09.83" S, 74º 54' 10.27" W.


The Nazca Lines "Needle and Thread" drawing begins at the left of the figure as a wide beam; the beam is focused to a line as it moves right the "needle"; the Nazca people then use an oscillatory motion to delineate the borders of a plateau; and ends up drawing a spiral, a common motif at ancient sites.

The Nazca or Nasca lines are groups of large line drawings and figures that appear, from a distance, to be etched into the earth's surface on the arid Pampa Colorada northwest of the city of Nazca in southern Peru. Since their discovery in the 1920s, the lines have been variously interpreted, but their significance remains largely shrouded in mystery.

The Nazca lines were constructed more than 2,000 years ago by the people of the Nazca culture (c. 200 BC–AD 600).

Nazca culture: A pre-Incan civilization that flourished on the southern coast of Peru from about 200 B.C. to about A.D. 600, known for its polychrome vessels decorated with stylized designs and for the enormous drawings of geometric and zoomorphic forms etched in the desert floor 200 miles south of Lima.

Size comparison: The Empire State Building was built in 1931 and is 1,250 feet tall. By comparison the Nazca lines - "Needle and Thread" (see above) is 2,800 feet long.