LIMA, PERU—According to a report in The Guardian, a cat-like figure measuring more than 120 feet long was discovered etched into a hillside during work to improve access to a Nazca Lines viewing area in southern coastal Peru. Archaeologist Johny Isla explained that this geoglyph had grown faint due to the natural effects of erosion on the hillside’s steep slope. The image has been cleaned and conserved, and dated stylistically to the Paracas era, between 500 B.C.E. and C.E. 200, making it older than the animal and geometric images created by the Nazca culture between C.E. 200 and 700. The use of drones has led to the discovery of between 80 and 100 Paracas geoglyphs on hillsides that were not visible in previous aerial photographs, Isla added. Textiles from this period also feature images of birds, cats, and people in a similar style to that of the Paracas-era geoglyphs. “It’s quite striking that we’re still finding new figures, but we also know that there are more to be found,” he concluded. To read about bird species represented in 16 Nazca geoglyphs, go to ''Partially Identified Flying Objects.''
The dun sands of southern Peru, etched centuries ago with geoglyphs of a hummingbird, a monkey, an orca – and a figure some would dearly love to believe is an astronaut – have now revealed the form of an enormous cat lounging across a desert hillside.
The feline Nazca line, dated to between 200BCE and 100BCE, emerged during work to improve access to one of the hills that provides a natural vantage point from which many of the designs can be seen.
A Unesco world heritage site since 1994, the Nazca Lines, which are made up of hundreds of geometric and zoomorphic images, were created by removing rocks and earth to reveal the contrasting materials below. They lie 250 miles (400km) south of Lima and cover about 450 sq km (175 sq miles) of Peru’s arid coastal plain. ...
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