28 May 2020

Drones document new geoglyphs near Nazca

As reported in The Guardian:
Isla, now Peru’s chief archaeologist for the lines, spent hours poring through archives, before returning to Peru – armed with a drone and a lifetime of local field experience – to find it. After several false starts, it took just two weeks to find the 25-by-65-metre image which had been hiding in plain sight in the hills of Palpa, about 30 miles north of Nazca, in a huge expanse of desert in southern Peru. 
The design carved into the hillside depicts a terrifying mythological beast, part orca but with a human arm holding a trophy head and several more heads inside its body
New research with drones has helped uncover hundreds of such figures carved in the desert near the lines in Nazca but which predate them by as much as 1,500 years. The archaeologists leading the effort now believe that the anthropomorphic orca figure fills in a missing link between hundreds of older geoglyphs and the Nazca culture’s desert etchings. 
The smaller forms were etched on hillsides in nearby Palpa by the Paracas and Topará cultures between 500BC and AD200... 
Placing these geoglyphs on the slopes means that, in contrast with the Nazca Lines, you can see them if you are standing in the valley below where life and agriculture is taking place,” he said. 
“If the Nazca Lines were made by humans for the gods, these figures were made by humans for humans,” explained Castillo, a former minister of culture for Peru. “They are clearly representations of identifiable people. They are demarcating territories.”


  1. Probably my lack of knowledge/understanding but haven't people been flying over these before we had drones?

    1. You are correct that these have been seen from the air since forever. Drone technology provides the huge advantage of flying at altitudes of hundreds of feet rather than thousands and they facilitate zooming around and exploring.


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