Nazca Lines

Nazca lines , huge geometic lines and spirals, can be seen from the air, a fact that fascinates me particularly this week because I just flew back from Puerto Rico. I did not schedule a Caribbean resort vacation, but tagged along on my husband’s business trip to San Juan. Now Nazca lines are found in Peru – not Puerto Rico – but on the plane ride, I again realized there is no perspective quite like seeing things from the air.

According to the Discovery Channel, “Huge geometric patterns and spirals, animal figures including a monkey, a spider and an ‘owl man’, and thousands of perfectly straight lines are immaculately etched onto the desert’s surface. The last of them were drawn about a thousand years ago. Known as the Nazca lines, the drawings have mystified scientists since they were first discovered in the 1920s.”

I am always searching, as I record in this blog, for the fascinating ways that demonstrate that all of our new ideas are not so, or for ways new and old ideas connect. The lines, which can be seen from planes, are meticulously executed. According to DC, Dr. Persis B. Clarkson, an archeologist and geoglyph expert at the University of Winnipeg says the technology required was very easy and straightforward. “It was not a difficult technology… all you need is the will.” Basically, the Nazca persistently lined things up to make the big patterns.

One of the ways that I draw my learning from these lines is from the character or patience or vision – I am not sure which – prompting work that left an apparently unrequited satisfaction for people who could not go up in the air of crafting something so big it can only been see from the air.

While it is still not clear why the Nazca made the lines, it is clear the Nazca must have had a purpose. As DC continues: “Phylliss Pitluga is a senior astronomer at the Chicago Adler Planetarium. She’s studied the lines for more than ten years from an astronomical perspective. The lines first captivated her when she saw them from an airplane. ‘When I got over there and flew over the site, I saw a sense of organization that doesn’t show up in small close-up photos,’ says Pitluga.”

Organization in the little details creates organization in the big details. More learning from the Nazca.

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