Nazca lines: water cult or early astronomical worship?
The geoglyphs on the Pampa de Nazca in Peru are as stunning as they are mysterious. Many, many theories surround the lines such as aliens, slaves, or tribute to the dead. The lines could have been created as an extension of the Inca Ceque lines in Cusco for part of the water cult and the worship of the water and mountain deities, or perhaps they were created to please a ‘sky god’ seen during the unusual amount of solar eclipses during the time of construction or even as a depiction of constellations and zodiac knowledge.
Many ancient cultures, with the ancient Nazcas included, believed the sun and moon to be deities or eyes of an otherwise invisible sky god. This would be reinforced on the occasion of a solar eclipse where a ‘ring of fire’ is formed as the moon crosses the path of the sun, creating an eye-like shape as seen in figure 1 and 2. Three major eclipses occurred over the Pampa de Nazca beginning in 97 CE and coinciding with the beginning of the construction of the lines (Edgar, R. 2000). This has given rise to the theory that these spectacular artworks were signs or appreciation for the gods of the sky. When the Nazca lines were supposedly created between is debated and varies from 97 CE to 400 and 650 CE. The Nazca people constructed the lines by digging into the pampa to expose the lighter earth beneath and due to dry conditions and little erosion they have remained visible (Alford, A. F. 1998). Some lines