Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Brooks Hays
Los Angeles (UPI) May 6, 2013
Everyone loves a good fair, even the ancient Paracas people of Peru. In fact, they littered the desert with stones just to make sure everyone got there safe, sound and on time.
The Paracas people populated modern day Peru's Chincha Valley from 800 to 100 B.C. The Paracas, like their cultural ancestors, the Nazca, had a habit of building geoglyphs, a large motif constructed of rocks and other durable natural elements. Geoglyphs are found throughout history, and served practical purposes nearly as often as artistic ones.
A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, credits the Paracas with two types of geoglyphs, each acting like signposts helping lead the way to an ancient gathering place -- somewhere akin to modern day fairgrounds.
One method included scattering rocks in a long line. The other involved scraping the dark desert soil off the bright limestone underneath, forming an apparent white line. In both cases, study author Charles Stanish confirmed the giant lines would have been easily visible to those descending the hills of the valley 2000 years ago.
"They're converting this landscape into a big theater, and the ultimate goal is to bring people together to market, exchange goods, manufacture goods, exchange marriage partners, gossip, do all the things people like doing," added Stanish, an archaeologist at the University of California.
Stanish and his research colleagues also discovered three large mounds, which they deduced served ceremonial purposes. The mounds correspond with pairs of geoglyphs that would have guided ancient people in the direction of the sunset on the winter solstice in June.
Because there is no evidence that the Paracas lived near the mounds, Stanish concluded that they served as central gathering places.
"When you stand behind the mounds and you're facing the sunset -- and we were there for the solstice -- the sun sets right on the mound. And if you're a human being standing there, the sun melts right on your head. It's pretty impressive."
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|