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books about the 'Nasca Lines', 'Geoglyphs' and 'Ground Drawings'

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Probably the best known examples of geoglyphs in the world are the magnificent lines and drawings carved into the desert on the Nazca Plain in Peru - only able to be seen in their fullness from the air. These were discovered in 1939 by Dr. Paul Kosok of Long Island University, who in 1946 handed over over all his information about these amazing geoglyphs on the Nazca Plain to Maria Reiche, a mathematician and graduate of Hamburg University.

Maria Reiche spent the next fifty years living on the Nazca Plain close to the area of the drawings, painstakingly mapping each one, and trying to protect them from the encroaches of modern civilisation. She died aged 95 in Peru in June 1998, and left many feeling that the great Nazca geoglyphs have lost their champion.

She was laid to rest besides the enigmatic drawings she spent half a lifetime protecting. And, as you will see from some of the aerial photographs, car tracks, horses hoof prints, and even the Pan-American highway have all contributed to the destruction of a number of the drawings. In many respects this has been caused simply by the sheer size of the geoglyphs which can only be appreciated properly from the air. Maria Reiche explains in her book, "Mystery on the Desert", their method of construction :

"It seems almost incredible that ground-drawings made by superifcially scratching the surface could have withstood the ravages of time and weather over such long periods. The climate is one of the driest of the globe. One could say that it rains for half an hour every two years. And although strong winds carry great quanitites of sand, not encountering any obstacles on the vast tablelands open towards the north and south, they take it further north, where at seventy miles distance one can see huge dunes on both sides of the (Pan-American) highway. Moreover, close to the ground the air is becalmed considerably. Owing to their dark color, the surface stones absorb much heat, causing a cushion of warm air to protect the surface from strong winds."

 

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"Lines to the Mountain Gods: Nazca and the Mysteries of Peru" by Evan Hadingham

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"Archeologist Hadingham investigates the mysterious grooves carved in the Peruvian desert by the pre-Inca Nazca Indians, patterns that Erich von Daniken claimed were landing strips for UFOs. PW called this "thoroughly documented, beautifully written and richly illustrated. This book isn't going to give you any of the tingle of reading some vapid or mysterious account of the lines on the floor of the desert in Nazca but it will provide you with some highly rational and logical explanations. The book goes into significant depth about the cultures surrounding the Nazca region and explores the links shared with the Andean culture as well as many of the cultures on the North Coast of Peru."

 

"Ancient Nasca Settlement and Society" by Helaine Silverman

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"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

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"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. It traces the history of archaeological research on the south coast and reveals the misconceptions that became canonized in the scholarly literature. Based on years of fieldwork by the authors in the region, it provides a comprehensive and readable analysis of ancient Nasca society, examining Nasca social and political organization, religion, and art. The highlight for many readers will be the chapter on the Nazca Lines which debunks Erich von D'niken's contention that the desert markings were made by extraterrestrials."

 

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

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"The Nasca Lines are one of the world's great enigmas. Who etched the more than 1,000 animal, human, and geometric figures that cover 400 square miles of barren pampa in southern Peru? How did the makers create lifelike images of monkeys, birds, and spiders without an aerial vantage point from which to view these giant figures that stretch across thousands of square yards? Most puzzling of all, why did the ancient Nasca lay out these lines and images in the desert? These are the questions that pioneering archaeoastronomer Anthony Aveni seeks to answer in this book. Writing for a wide public audience, Aveni begins by establishing the Nasca Lines as a true wonder of the ancient world. He describes how viewers across the centuries have tried to interpret the lines and debunks the wilder theories."

 

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

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

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"The giant ground drawings that cover 400 square miles of the floor of southern Peru's coastal desert have been called the eighth Wonder of the World. Anthony Aveni and his team have spent over ten years investigating this enigma, and this book tells the story of what they have discoverd."

 

"The Archaeology and Pottery of Nazca, Peru: Alfred L. Kroeber's 1926 Expedition" by Alfred L Kroeber & Donald Collier

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"Published in cooperation with The Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois When Alfred Kroeber left Lima, Peru for the ruins of the Nazca region in July 1926, he could have had no inkling of the importance of what he would uncover. Nor would he have guessed that his excavation report would not appear until the end of the century, completed by Donald Collier and Patrick Carmichael after Kroeber's death in 1960. Kroeber's report contains what is still the only complete analysis and seriation of the beautiful painted pottery of Nazca, complete with over 400 photographs and drawings of objects uncovered in the excavations, some in full color. His report is also notable for its rare discussion of Nazca architecture, its description of cloth, hair bundles and other artifact groups, its accurate analysis of Nazca human remains, and even for one of the earliest descriptions and photographs of the famous Nazca lines."

 

"Irrigation and Society in the Peruvian Desert: The Puquios of Nasca" by Katharina Jeanne Schreiber & Josue Lancho Rojas

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"Nasca, once home to a sophisticated ancient culture, is an improbable paradise - a verdant landscape in the middle of the Peruvian coastal desert, one of the driest places on the face of the Earth. This book looks at the legendary puquios of Nasca, the underground aqueduct system built by Incans which is arguably responsible for this strange abundance of water. Authors Katharina Schreiber and Josue Rojas explore the puqious, their probable means of constructin, their function in ancient society and how they are used today. Few ancient cultures were as knowledgeable about water or as technologically adept at accessing it and Schreiber and Rojas provide a glimpse of an ancient society through the seemingly mundane act of transporting water. More than a simple treatise on water distribution, this is a detailed examination of the role of large scale irrigation in the emergence of soci-political complexity."

 

"The Incas and Their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru (Revised Edition)" by Michael E. Moseley

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"In 1532, when Pizarro conquered Peru, the Inca realm was one of the largest empires on earth, graced by gold masterpieces, towns with great palaces and temples, and an impressive network of roads. But this glittering culture only obscured the rich and diverse civilizations that had preceded it: Chavin, Moche, Nazca, Tiwanaku, Huari, and Chimú. Described as a "masterly study" and an "outstanding volume" on its first publication, The Incas and Their Ancestors quickly established itself as the best general introduction to the cultures and civilizations of ancient Peru. Now this classic text has been fully updated for the revised edition. New discoveries over the last decade are integrated throughout. The occupation of Peru's desert coast can now be traced back to 12,000 BC and ensuing maritime adaptations are examined in early littoral societies that mummified their dead and others that were mound builders."

 

"The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru" by Nigel Davies (Editor)

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"A companion volume to the author's ancient kingdoms of Mexico, this text is a history of the cultures and civilizations of pre-Hispanic Peru from prehistory to the conquest. Archaeologist and Incan expert Nigel Davies offers astonishing revelations about the remarkable empire of the Incas and the civilizations that preceded them. From the desert at Nazca to the great coastal civilization of Chimor, this compelling overview makes accessible the latest research on all the ancient kingdoms of Peru. 6 maps. 31 figures."

 

"Textiles of Ancient Peru and Their Techniques" by Raoul D'Harcourt

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"This definitive, magnificently illustrated work offers a comprehensive view of the textiles and techniques of pre-Columbian Peru. An introduction discusses yarns, dyes, looms, and raw materials; the first of the two-part text examines weaves, and the second considers such nonwoven materials as braiding, felt, and embroidery. Hundreds of illustrations depict authentic, well-preserved textiles, tapestries, and personal items. "An incentive, an inspiration, and a guide."--Scientific American. Approx. 465 b/w illus."

"Myths, Mysteries and Mysticism: The Nazca Lines - Pathway to the Gods"

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"Mummies and Pyramids: Desert Mummies of Peru"

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"Mysteries of Peru: Enigma of the Ruins"

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"Peru's Mystery in Stone: A Unique Look at an Ancient Enigma"

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"Peru Journeys to the Golden Cities"

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"Treasures of Peru"

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