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Lines Over Mountains

a tribute to the work of Maria Reiche on the Nazca plain

text translation service for many worldwide languages

 

 

    a photograph of Maria Reiche    

a remarkable woman to whom the world owes
a great debt of gratitude
...

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Books by
Maria Reiche

"Markings: Aerial Views of Sacred Landscapes
by
Maria Reiche
Charles Gallenkamp
Keith Critchlow
Lucy Lippard
(Contributors)
Marilyn Bridges
(Photographer)
Haven O'More
(Preface)

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EU English Edition


"Mystery on the desert: A study of the ancient figures and strange delineated surfaces seen from the air near Nazca, Peru"
by
Maria Reiche
Unknown Binding
1949 Edition


"Geheimnis Der Wuste/
Mystery on the desert/
Secreto De La Pampa"

German/English/Spanish by
Maria Reiche

Hardcover
1968 Edition


"Peruanische Erdzeichen/Peruvian Ground Drawings
German & English
by

Maria Reiche
(Author)
Malcolm G. Leybourne
(Translator)
Dr. Hermann Kern
(Translator)
Hermann Kern
(Foreword)

1974 1st Edition


"Geheimnis Der Wuste/
Mystery on the desert/
Secreto De La Pampa
-
Preliminaries for a Scientific Interpretation of the Pre-Histori c Ground-Drawings of Nazca, Peru and Introduction to Their Study"

German/English/Spanish by
Maria Reiche

Hardcover
1989 7th Edition
Signed by author


Books about the Nazca
lines & geoglyphs

"Maria And The Stars Of Nazca / Maria Y Las Estrellas De Nazca"
Spanish & English
by
Anita Jepson-Gilbert
Rodger Osban

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EU English Edition


"Ancient Nasca
Settlement & Society"

by
Helaine Silverman

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EU English Edition

"Nasca society arose on the south coast of Peru 2000 years ago and evolved over the course of the next 700 years. This text examines the range of sites occupied by the people responsible for some of the most exquisite art and ingenious hydraulic engineering of the pre-Columbian world.


"The Nasca
(Peoples of America)"

by
Helaine Silverman
&
Donald A. Proulx

a book cover link direct to amazon.com
EU English Edition

"Ancient Nasca culture of the south coast of Peru is famous for its magnificent polychrome ceramics, textiles, and other works of art, as well as the enigmatic ground markings on the desert plain at Nasca. In the past two decades much has become known about the people who produced these fascinating works. This scholarly yet accessible book provides a penetrating examination of this important civilization."

 

The aerial photographs below show exactly how straight these lines really are. It is believed they were drawn into the landscape in approx. 600 BC, though how they were built so accurately is still a mystery. They go on for many miles over mountains, across deep ravines and gorges and up and down valleys.

The skills of the surveyors who directed the amazing construction of the many straight lines on the Nazca Plain must be acknowledged and also admired for this great achievement.

Maria Reiche writes of the moment Dr. Paul Kosok, the man who first brought her attention to them, discovered the astronomical orientation of one of the straight lines.

This is an aerial photgraph showing the straight lines that have been drawn in the landscape. They go on for many miles over mountains and up and down valleys
Copyright © 1949, Maria Reiche

"There can be no doubt that with this enormous amount of work, continuing through hundreds of years, ancient Peruvians pursued a definate aim, which lay in the centre of their interest.

Dr. Paul Kosok, who was the first to tell about the drawings, was also the first to suggest a plausible explanation.

A chance observation which he made on the same day he discovered the first figure, led him to it.

After recovering from the wonder of seeing on his tracing-paper the figure of a bird, which had taken shape gradually as he was surveying the winding paths he saw before him, he left, and on his way back found himself at a place with many lines radiating from it.

At that moment the sun set in the direction of one of these lines. It was June 21st, the solstice day, in the northern temperate zone the longest day of the year.

If this line was constructed specifically for a solstice observation, then at least the meaning of one was explained.

Perhaps all the lines were constructed towards horizon-points where heavenly bodies set and rose, and the drawings were, as Dr Kosok named them:

'the largest astronomy book in the world'

These straight lines go on for many miles across mountains and plains alike in the Nazca region of Peru.

There are also similar lines seen from the air in Bolivia, where they are known as 'ceque lines'.

As with the other geometric shapes and animal figures there is much speculation as to their original purpose, but an astronomical explanation is the most favoured.

It is not known at present if similar lines exist in any of the other South American countries.

This is another aerial photgraph showing other straight lines that have been drawn in the landscape.
Copyright © 1949, Maria Reiche

"The first step towards proving this was a search for more solstice-lines. It can be no chance-happening that of each of the three longest oscillating lines the first piece points in a solstice direction.

People in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere from December 21st on begin to look forward to the arrival of Spring bringing new life to the frozen earth. They watch the sun attaining higher positions, rising earlier and setting later.

December is also a month of expectation in Nazca. People watch eagerly the dry riverbeds which are due to fill with water, which can be conducted over the fields to cover again the dry, barren lands with luscious green.

The sun's rising and setting points, oscillating like a pendulum over east and west, could be employed as a giant time-measuring device on which to read the return of the fruitful season and the intermediate epochs.

All over the world monuments can be found which were built for the observation of the solstices. The best known in Europe is Stonehenge in southern Britain. It consists of giant stone pillars which were arranged along sun and moon directions. Similar monuments exist in Peru and Bolivia."

The photograph below is of the midwinter solstice sun setting just to the right of one of the lines on the Nazca plain.

The midwinter sun set 'exactly' over this line between the 6th. and 1st. centuries BC, and if it was constructed for that purpose then it quite probably dates from that period.

In common with most ancient cultures, the peoples of these areas obviously also observed the extreme positions of the sun rising and setting at the equinoxes and solstices - though this is in reverse order in the Southern Hemisphere than the Northern Hemisphere.

This a photographs of man standing besides one of the straight lines at sunset on the winter  solstice
Copyright © 1949, Maria Reiche

"The purpose for which they were built could be gathered from their name in the native language.

They are called 'Intiwatana', or 'the place to which the sun is tied', a name that could be derived from the fact that around the solstice dates the directions towards the rising or setting of the sun remain the same, similar to a pendulum which stands still before the reversal of its motion.

The moon directions refer to a movement of its rising and setting points, which, like those of the sun, oscillate over east and west. Only here the shifting back and forth does not extend over a year, but takes only about a month, its amplitude being in some years more, in others less, changing within a cycle of about 18 years.

In a similar way as the moon directions found at Stonehenge, the numerous lines in Nazca pointing in the corresponding directions, could have been constructed as indicators of extreme positions of moonsets and rises on both sides of the east-west direction.

Especially within these tropical latitudes, where sun and moon, when at their highest point in the sky, alternate between northern and southern positions, this change cannot have remained unnoticed."

It is remarkable that Maria Reiche and Dr. Paul Kosok were able to discern so much astronomical data at this early time.

The opposition from mainstream archaeologists to any astronomical interpretation of ancient sites was at its most apoplectic during their times at Nazca, and the same ridiculous nonsense continues to this day unabated amongst some so-called "experts" in academia.

 

all quotes on these tribute pages are from
"Mystery on the Desert"
by Maria Reiche

 

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"Pathways to the Gods: The Mystery of the Andes Lines"
by
Tony Morrison

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EU English Edition


"Nazca: Eighth Wonder of the World?"
by
Anthony F. Aveni

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EU English Edition


"Between the Lines: The Mystery of the Giant Ground Drawings of Ancient Nasca"
by
Anthony F. Aveni

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EU English Edition


"The Cities of the
Ancient Andes"

by
Andriana von Hagen
& Craig Morris

a book cover link direct to amazon.com
EU English Edition

"The largest empire of pre-Columbian America was toppled in under a decade by a handful of Spanish invaders who looted the fabled riches of its greatest city, Cuzco, and severed its 15,000 mile system of roads. But this Inca empire was only the final link in a chain of urban development stretching back to 2500 B.C. How did cities evolve in the ancient Andes?"


"The Nasca
(Peoples of America)"

by
Helaine Silverman
&
Donald A. Proulx

a book cover link direct to amazon.com
EU English Edition

"Ancient Nasca culture of the south coast of Peru is famous for its magnificent polychrome ceramics, textiles, and other works of art, as well as the enigmatic ground markings on the desert plain at Nasca. In the past two decades much has become known about the people who produced these fascinating works. This scholarly yet accessible book provides a penetrating examination of this important civilization."


Nazca News


more information
about the Nazca lines
& geoglyphs on :

Mystery on the Desert

Landscape Geometry

Animals & Landscape

Figures On The Plain

The Human Scale

Birds On The Pampa

The Spider Geoglyph
& The Stars Of Orion

Spirals In The Desert

 

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