University of Leicester researcher 'walks the lines'

Posted by hct16 at Dec 11, 2012 05:24 PM |
Archaeologists gain insight into ancient desert drawings – by walking them
University of Leicester researcher 'walks the lines'

Professor Clive Ruggles, www.cliveruggles.net

The first findings of the most detailed study yet by two British archaeologists into the Nazca Lines – enigmatic drawings created between 2,100 and 1,300 years ago in the Peruvian desert – have been published in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity.

As part of a five-year investigation, Professor Clive Ruggles of our School of Archaeology and Ancient History and Dr Nicholas Saunders of the University of Bristol’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology have walked 1,500 km of desert in southern Peru, tracing the lines and geometric figures created by the Nasca people between 100 BC and AD 700.

In the midst of their study area is a unique labyrinth originally discovered by Ruggles when he spent a few days on the Nazca desert back in 1984.

Professor Ruggles explains that the labyrinth is completely hidden in the landscape, which is flat and virtually featureless. As you walk it, only the path stretching ahead of you is visible at any given point. Similarly, if you map it from the air its form makes no sense at all.