A 2,000-year-old cat was discovered in Peru!3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Nazca is a city on the southern coast of Peru. It gets its name from the Nazca culture which flourished in the region between 100 BCE to 800 BCE.
The Nazca Lines are its legacy.
These are large geoglyphs, or designs on the ground, made in the shape of birds, animals, and plants.
This week, the geoglyph of a cat was discovered in the Nazca desert when plans were drawn up to create a new path to an observation platform. The platform is meant to offer a panoramic view of other geoglyphs in the area.
The Nazca Lines are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the figure of the cat has joined its celebrated repository.
What are Nazca lines?
Nazca lines are drawings across deserts and hills along the eastern coast of Peru and Chile. They are stylized as drawings of plants, animals, lines that indicated sacred rites or directed towards water sources. These designs are mostly visible from the sky. However, the ones made on slopes of hills can be viewed from the ground. Take a tour of the Nazca lines here.
How were they made?
Scientist believe that the geoglyphs were made through a play of colours in the desert. The desert soil was lighter than the oxidized rocks that covered its surface. So, the Nazca people made depressions in the ground in the shape that they wanted to create. The resultant exposed earth and its colour gave the desired form.
It seems like the cat, like other geoglyphs, was created in the same way. The geoglyph is 37 meters long and has been cleaned, and conserved by a team of experts.
In a statement, Peru’s culture ministry said,
“The figure was scarcely visible and was about to disappear, because it’s situated on quite a steep slope that’s prone to the effects of natural erosion.”
It’s great that it was found in time!
Experts are dating it back to the late Paracas era (between 500 BCE to 200 CE) making it at least 2000 years old.
They say that a cat has 9 lives, but this one has a few thousand to its name!
The world is full of such wonders! Why don’t you find out about some more, here?
Image and excerpts: BBC.
Think with Owliver:
If you had to create a geoglyph, what would it be? And why?