woensdag 3 november 2010

Sacred and Profane landscapes

On the pampa, south of the famous Nascadesert in Peru (from where you are overlooking the Nascadrwawings), archaeologists have discovered the lost city Cahuachi from the makers of the Nasca lines.
Cahuachi was the ceremonial centre of the Nascaculture, about one thousand years ago and mysteriously disappeared five hundred years later.
What archaeologists have found there in recent decades in the cemeteries, gives some insight into the culture of the Nasca people and the possible meaning behind the mysterious desert drawings .
The population who had their habitat, was probably quite small, but because it was a pilgrimage place it grew into a very large ceremonial centre where many events took place.
These ceremonial events involved the Nasca drawings .
Because of the dry climate (probably one of the driest places on earth), very little rain and wind, discoveries in the cemeteries are well conserved .
At these cemeteries several artefacts and ceramic objects are found decorated with religious motifs.

The discovered pots and cups, in which mythological and symbolic forms are processed, have great similarities with the motifs and symbols in the desert drawings.
This piece of ancient weaving technique, which the nascapeople had developed , gives a little insight (as if you look at a map), how the lines are made in the desert.

The lines of Nazca are the best preserved and largest gathering of world geoglyphs. Dozens of figures of animals, hundreds of geometric shapes and  thousands of lines and line patterns are preserved in the sands of the desert and plateau of Peru.

Standing on the surface, the lines seem to disappear, but looking from the air towards it, the size and beauty of the lines becomes clear to see. This shows that the Peruvians had geometric knowledge at that time. Some believe that the Nazca Indians could fly or had contact with aliens. Others say that the lines are intended as expressions of religion: the different figures could also be a symbolic path to the gods.

By Maarten Donders  `` Traces in Time & Space``

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