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Discovery of a new geoglyph in Nazca

Géoglyphe du Chat а̀ Nazca, Pérou (Crédit : Ministère de la Culture du Pérou)

Cat geoglyph in Nazca, Peru (Credit : Peruvian Ministry of Culture)

Peru’s Ministry of Culture has announced the discovery of a new geoglyph. It’s a figure in the shape of a cat that had been drawn on one of the slopes of the Natural Mirador at the archaeological site of Nazca.

Archaeologists from the Ministry made this discovery by chance while renovation work was being carried out on the site. According to the press release, the figure was barely visible and was on the verge of disappearing, as it had been drawn on the side of a hill, where it had suffered the effects of natural erosion. After the discovery, the archaeologists carried out cleaning and conservation work until the body of a cat in profile and its head, defined by a 30-40 cm line, became visible.

Judging by its stylistic characteristics, the geoglyph dates from the late Paracas period, which means that it is between 2200 and 2400 years old. Evidence indicates that the cat belongs to the Paracas culture, which preceded the Nazca culture by several centuries, to which the best known geoglyphs in this region are attributed.

This region is world famous for its numerous geoglyphs, drawings of animals and zoomorphic beings, as well as the famous Nazca lines, geometric and plant figures that were carved in the desert until 1500 years ago. This area was declared a World Heritage Site by UNSCO in 1994. According to the researchers, these figures are linked to astronomical rituals but also to a map of underground watercourses.

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