Hypotheses about geoglyphs at Nasca, Peru: new discoveries

Jaroslav Klokočník, Jiří Sonnek, Karolína Hanzalová, Karel Pavelka

Abstract


The known hypotheses about the reasons why the geoglyphs in the Nasca and Palpa region of Peru were created are many: roads/paths, rituals/ceremonials, use of hallucinogens, astronomical meaning, influence of extraterrestrials, underground water… and so on. We present a new hypothesis, formulated by J. Sonnek (first published in 2011) in the context of all previous hypotheses.1 Sonnek explains the geoglyphs as tidied work areas for the production of rope and nets, although he goes much further than Stierlin. This eccentric hypothesis now has not only experimental but also archaeological and ethnographical support, which is presented here. Geoglyphs of a special shape were discovered in the pampas; they may represent technical objects – different types of ‘rope twisters’. Following this idea, Sonnek made technical devices (using today’s materials) and tested them in practice; they work perfectly, see his YouTube videos.2 In November 2012, wooden pieces, which may be the remnants of ropemaking, were collected from the pampa near the towns of Nasca and Palpa, in vicinity of these hypothetic ropemaking places. Radiocarbon testing by 14C standardized radio-carbon age according to Stuiver-Polach convention and Accelerator Mass Spectroscopy (AMS) of these wood pieces shows the age to be in a wide range from Early Nasca to the 17th century (and to our epoch with a fake geoglyph, too), thus supporting (but surely not proving) the new hypothesis. Moreover, in the Quechua language, the word huasca, waskha (read: uasca) means a rope or cord or place where these are produced. This word is very similar to ‘nasca’.

Keywords


Geoglyphs, Nasca, Peru

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