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Introducing Nazca & Around

It’s hard to say the word ‘Nazca’ without following it immediately with the word ‘Lines,’ a reference not just to the ancient geometric lines that crisscross the Nazca desert, but to the enigmatic animal geoglyphs that accompany them. Like all great unexplained mysteries, these great etchings on the pampa, thought to have been made by a pre-Inca civilization between 450–600 AD, attract a variable fan base of archaeologists, scientists, history buffs, New Age mystics, curious tourists, and Peru pilgrims on their way to (or back from) Machu Picchu. Question marks still hang over how they were made and by whom, and the answers are often as much wild speculation as pure science (aliens? prehistoric balloonists?). Documented for the first time by North American scientist Paul Kosok in 1939 and declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1994, the lines today are the south coast’s biggest tourist attraction meaning the small otherwise insignificant desert town of Nazca (population 57,500) can be a bit of a circus.

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