Segments in this Video

Introduction: Nazca Desert Mystery (02:11)


An ancient Andean society created huge drawings in the Peruvian desert. In this video, researchers use modern technology to study the landscape and investigate over 1,000 years of history, and the origins and purpose of the Nazca Lines.

Nazca Culture (05:44)

Over 1,500 years ago, people created thousands of earthworks across nearly 200 square miles of one of the most arid deserts in the world; most are geometric motifs. Today, towns are close to the Nazca Lines; there has been a revival of ancient traditions.

Hillside Geoglyphs (05:31)

Drone footage reveals unexpected geoglyphs; archaeologists restore a faded drawing. Masato Sakai uses artificial intelligence to study footage. Johny Isla discusses the location and style of the geoglyphs; they are similar to ceramics and textiles that date to 200 or 300 BCE.

Paracas Textiles (05:30)

In the 1920s, Julio Cesar Tello discovers 429 mummies in the Paracas Peninsula. A Lima museum houses the funerary bundles that provide insight on the Paracas' worldview. Many images resemble the Nazca hillside geoglyphs. Cusco community members use traditional techniques to weave textiles

Animas Altas, Animas Bajas (02:09)

Discoveries reveal the Paracas civilization stretched across nearly 250 miles. Archaeologists discover artifacts, pyramid facades, tombs, and foundations; the Paracas abandoned the settlement and covered it in earth.

Chincha Valley Paracas Sites (07:17)

Archaeologists excavate mounds, including Huaca Soto, and realize the site is the political and cultural capital of Paracas. In the desert, they discover a network of five huacas, long lines, and rock piles. They believe the desert sites were neutral places for the exchange of goods.

Cahuachi (06:03)

DNA analysis reveals the Paracas and Nazca are genetically similar. Around the year 100, the culture shifts, but the Nazca continue line-making traditions. Guiseppe Orefici discusses a large Nazca ceremonial complex. Researchers discover several lines leading to the site.

Nazca Drawing Changes (04:59)

Evidence suggests that the Nazca created different lines for different purposes. The Nazca draw new shapes over earlier geoglyphs and geometric shapes become more common. Isla believes a widespread change in rituals occurred. Cahuachi provides clues about the changes.

Las Trancas Valley (04:59)

Experts discover round mounds, pottery shards, and a trapezoid geoglyph that points to Cerro Marcha. Drone and geo-radar data reveal the remains of a puquio. Trapezoid geoglyphs coincide with increased dramatic imagery on Nazca pottery. Today, Canas communities engage in ritual war.

Nazca Environment (05:12)

Experts discover the Usaca forest near Cahuachi and analyze soil samples from different areas. Aqueducts provide fertile grounds for growing crops and the Wari push the Nazca to increase agriculture, resulting in desertification. Today, deforestation threatens the remaining forest.

Ancient Remnants (02:13)

Geoglyph making declines as Nazca society falls apart. Evidence suggests the Nazca abandoned the landscape because of ecological collapse and assimilated with the Wari. Archeologists believe the geoglyphs were multi-functional.

Credits: Nazca Desert Mystery (01:12)

Credits: Nazca Desert Mystery

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Nazca Desert Mystery

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Who created the Nazca lines, one of archaeology’s greatest enigmas, and why? Recent finds of long-hidden lines and figures etched into the Peruvian desert offer new clues to the origins and purpose behind these giant desert symbols.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL283770

Copyright date: ©2022

Closed Captioned

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