I also visited Nazca, the self-proclaimed astronomical capital of the world and home to the Nazca lines.
There are hundreds of lines and the longest straight line is more than 50km long. The lines were created by different groups over a 1000-year period. Some of the lines serve as a form of calendar, matching up with the position of the sun on the winter solstice. It is believed other lines indicate the position of underground water sources and some of them also roughly correspond to some constellations.
From the ground it is easy to miss the lines all together, and a highway was built through one of the lines that no one had noticed prior to flights going over the area. The lines weren’t made by adding rocks. They were made by removing rocks and exposing the different colored rocky ground. The lines have been preserved because Nazca is such a dry place.
There are some viewing towers and I also did a flight over the lines in a small plane. We flew over lots of different designs, including a whale, a 9 fingered monkey, a hummingbird and a spider. Even from the air it can be sometimes quite hard to distinguish the lines from the marks in the terrain.
I also visited some ancient aqueducts and an old cemetery. The mummies were preserved because the air is so dry.
The guide kept saying the mummies had probably died of Thai food. Well, at least that’s what his accent made it sound like. I think he might have meant typhoid.