Indiana Jones 4 - Crystal Skull - NAZCA LINES and SKULLS

This aerial image depicts a photo by Diego Delso of “The Hummingbird,” a famous geoglyph of the Nazca Lines. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. Image online via Wikimedia Commons; click on it for a better view. License: CC BY-SA 4.0


About two thousand years ago, the Nazca people lived in the land we call Peru. They were short of stature with elongated heads. It’s not that they were born that way. Like other Mesoamericans, the Nazca practiced head-binding. In other words, an infant’s head was reshaped when a small board was strapped around it soon after birth.

As the infant grew, its deforming skull appeared flattened in front because it was pushed back at an angle. Since Nazcans lived in the desert, with extremely limited rainfall, their bodies (and artifacts) were remarkably preserved throughout the ages. Archeologists studying their culture have found mummified remains with elongated  skulls.

Giuseppe Orefici (chief archeologist at the Nazca sites) and his team have uncovered a wealth of information about the Nazca people and incredible pictures (called geoglyphs) which they created on their land.  Also referred to as the Nazca Lines, those earth drawings and scrapings (located about 400 kilometers, or 248 miles south of Lima) were rediscovered in the 1920s (after commercial flights began to fly over Peruvian territory).

Soil at the sites, and the weather patterns of the area, have worked together to preserve  these treasures which were “scratched”  onto the earth so long ago. In 1998, Orefici told the BBC:

These lines have been left untouched by man because no-one has ever farmed this area. What's more, there's the nature of the soil itself. It's made up of clay and gypsum. The humid nights make the stones sink deeper into the soil itself. Then, during the day, the sun hardens the surface leaving the stones even more securely fixed in the soil. The wind is constant but it can't move very large stones. That's why the lines can still be seen after 2,000 years.

Because the lines and drawings (covering an area of 500 square kilometers, or 193 square miles) can only be seen from above, people have speculated for decades on how (and why) they were created. Recent scholarship suggests they were ritual in nature.

In addition to connecting the Nazcas’ ceremonial city (Cahuachi) with their urban settlement (Ventilla), the geoglyphs might be representations of their gods. Let’s take a look at some of them:

The Nazca Lines are not the only geoglyphs in the world, but they are among the most interesting. They are also not far from another wonder of Planet Earth: The Iguazu Falls.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2008

Updated Last Revision: Jun 28, 2019

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"NAZCA LINES and SKULLS" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2008. Feb 19, 2020.
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