View images as a clickable sequence.

Nazca Lines image 1

1) Between the Cordillera Occidental and the Pacific Ocean, a wider coastal piedmont zone consists of a valley separated from the sea by low hills. The arid character of this lowland strip is interrupted by green valleys watered by streams descending from the highlands, surrounded by now dry alluvial fans. These flat areas (Pampas) were easily accessible from the river valleys. The Nazca valley and its tributaries was one of the most important concentrations of coastal population in southern Peru in early times.

Landsat TM image, 30m resolution, circa 1990, with Band 7 displayed as red, Band 4 as green and Band 2 as blue.
Landsat TM imagery provided by NASA.

Nazca Lines image 2

2) This image shows the confluence of the Ingenio River with the Nazca River, and the area of the Nazca Pampa which they enclose, set back from the sea.

Landsat TM imagery provided by NASA.

Nazca Lines image 3

3) Two sets of artificial lines are visible on this image of the area between the Rio Ingenio and the Rio Nazca: the Pan-American Highway (view, inset), and the 'Nazca Lines'.

Landsat TM imagery provided by NASA.

Nazca Lines image 4

4) A closer view shows the network of artificial lines, many with astronomical orientations and aligned on low hills, which criss-cross the Pampa between the Ingenio and Nazca rivers. The lines were processional paths, created by clearing the scatter of stones on the desert surface.

Landsat TM imagery provided by NASA.

Nazca Lines image 5

5) Pampas Below the 30m limit of resolution of this satellite imagery, the outlines of sacred animals are visible on aerial photographs of the Nazca Pampa, four of which are shown here: 1. The Monkey.

Aerial Photographs: Francesco Menotti 1995

Nazca Lines image 6

6) Pampas Below the 30m limit of resolution of this satellite imagery, the outlines of sacred animals are visible on aerial photographs of the Nazca Pampa, four of which are shown here: 2. The Cormorant.

Aerial Photographs: Francesco Menotti 1995

Nazca Lines image 7

7) Pampas Below the 30m limit of resolution of this satellite imagery, the outlines of sacred animals are visible on aerial photographs of the Nazca Pampa, four of which are shown here: 3. The Humming-bird.

Aerial Photographs: Francesco Menotti 1995

Nazca Lines image 8

8) Pampas Below the 30m limit of resolution of this satellite imagery, the outlines of sacred animals are visible on aerial photographs of the Nazca Pampa, four of which are shown here: 4. The Condor.

Aerial Photographs: Francesco Menotti 1995

Visualisation

 



How to cite this page: Andrew Sherratt and Francesco Menotti (2004), 'Sites from Satellites: Nazca Lines, Peru', ArchAtlas, Version 4.1, http://www.archatlas.org/SitesFromSatellites/sites.php?name=nazca, Accessed: 23 September 2017