The Morien Institute - skywatching through the ages

Spirals In The Desert

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
...

Bookmark this page

 Today is  


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)

a book cover link direct to amazon.com
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

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

 

The spiral geoglyphs are some of the most spectacular of the many symetrical drawings on the Pampa. Constructed from one continuous line, they betray a similar knowledge of spiral geometry that has been found on petroglyphs, or rock art, in many different ancient cultures worldwide. The example below left is similar to some found in the islands of Prydain, and is criss-crossed by the straight lines that are found all over the flat areas on the pampa at Nazca.

Below right is a smaller spiral that is made up of one continuous line, and the lines themselves are small enough to walk along in the ritual fashion suggested by Maria Reiche, and confirmed by the observations of other researchers since.

An image of one of the spiral geoglyphs in the desert
Copyright © 1949, Maria Reiche

"A smaller double spiral was found among a maze of lines. The line pointing to its border ... could have been constructed for solstice observations. The marvellous regularity of two spirals was produced by winding two ropes, 150 and 130 feet long, around three posts forming a triangle."

An image of one of the spiral geoglyphs on the pampa
Copyright © 1949, Maria Reiche

The diagram below shows the scale in feet of the double spiral shown at top right. Whilst the spiral bottom right is in fact the equally amazing spiral tail of the monkey geoglyph. Like the other double spirals it is made up of one continuous line which is wide enought to permit a ritual procession along it. Recent archaeological surveys have shown a proliferation of pottery pieces from a number of periods known as Nazca I; Nazca II; Nazca III; Nazca IV and Nazca V.

An image of one of the spiral geoglyphs on the pampa
Copyright © 1949, Maria Reiche

The suggestion now is that during ritual processions along the various lines and figures that pottery was ritually smashed on the ground as an offering to the rain gods. This is probably the result of a severe drought which ended the Nazca cultures.

An image of one of the spiral geoglyphs on the pampa
Copyright © 1949, Maria Reiche

It is a little known fact, but the path traced by the sun over a specific quarter of a year, such as during the period from the cross-quarter day, Samhain, to the Winter Solstice, will form an anti-clockwise spiral. This will continue to the next cross-quarter day before straightening out as it approached the Spring (Vernal) Equinox.

After the equinox the path of the sun will begin to form another spiral as it approaches the next cross-quarter day at Beltaine, this time in a clockwise direction as it heads for the Summer Solstice. Perhaps this precise astronomical knowledge of the Sun-Earth interaction is what the geoglyph builders were depicting when they built the amazing double-spirals on the Nazca Plain.

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

 

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

an image/link direct to this product at amazon.com
EU English Edition


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

an image/link direct to this product at amazon.com
EU English Edition


"The Nasca
(Peoples of America)"

by
Helaine Silverman
&
Donald A. Proulx

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


Nazca News


more information
about the Nazca lines
& geoglyphs on :

Landscape Geometry

Lines Over Mountains

Animals & Landscape

Figures On The Plain

The Human Scale

Birds On The Pampa

The Spider Geoglyph
& The Stars Of Orion

 

Google
  Web The Morien Institute

 

please take a look at our Ancient Mysteries Bookshoppe for a wide selection of books
that challenge orthodox views of prehistory on every continent


Home | About Us | Skywatching Calendar | News & New Discoveries | MarketSpace

Marine Archaeology News 2017 | Astro-Archaeology News 2017

all material on this page
Copyright © 1996-2017 The Morien Institute
all rights reserved