At some time before 1000 BC the Nazca Valley, the desert region on Peru's southern coast, was occupied by a people whose sophisticated agricultural technology enabled them to build an irrigation system to improve their crops and expand their area of cultivable land. Over the next 1500 years they also made advances in pottery, weaving, and architecture. The most astonishing of their technological and cultural achievements, however, was the creation of a remarkable ground art whose precise function remains a mystery.
The most common markings of the so-called Nazca lines, of which there are thousands, consists of five kinds of markings. William H. Isabell writes:
Most common are the long straight lines. Thousands of these crisscross the desert in every direction... Sometimes the lines turn back on themselves to form elaborate geometrics complexes with zigzags or long parallel sets of oscillating lines. Second are the large geometric figures - elongated trapezoids or triangles - which were first noticed from the air... Third are representational drawings of animal and plant forms accomplished with curving lines... Frequently these three types of markings are combined in a single layout... A fourth class of ground markings incorporates several kinds of rock piles... The fifth class of ground art consists of figures on steep hillsides.
The lines may be as narrow as six inches or as wide as several hundred yards and may run as far as several miles. The Nazca people created such patterns by removing the dark surface stones and placing then in the specific pattern. By walking or sweeping the resulting figure disturbs a thin brown surface coating of material called desert varnish, which then accumulates over time, then the action exposes the creamy pink soil underneath. Those are the areas that make up the Nazca lines, and because of the dry, stable climatic conditions of the area, have remained essentially unchanged over many centuries.
The reason of which these lines have produced extra curiosity from not only the South American archaeologists is the fact that some forms are only visible from the air.
Beacons of God
The Nazca lines became even more popular during the UFO proliferated interest in the 1950's. In an article by amateur archeologist and UFO buff James W. Mosely, Mosely suggests that since the markings were largely invisible from the ground, that the Nazca people "constructed their huge markings as signals to interplanetary visitors or to some advanced earth race (presumably Atlanteons) that occasionally visited them."
Picking up on the subject, fringe archeologist and flying-saucer contact George Hunt Williamson devoted and entire chapter to this theory. He wrote:
[T]here were "sky gods" who came to Earth in the dim past. But why did they come and what was the necessity of immense astronomically perfect (sic) lines?...These "gods" or heavenly messengers must have been in communication with some highly advanced civilizations on Earth: perhaps these people assisted the "gods" in the building of the lines and surfaces, or perhaps the "gods" were only the master architects and the Earth races did the actual building.
The "highly advanced civilizations" being referred to were from the lost continents of Lemuria and Atlantis, and of course the "gods" were space people. Williamson also thought that the archaeologically interesting sites, including the lines, had been built at "magnetic centers" in which space ships would refuel.
Unexplained Mysteries: Missing Link