Archaeologists in Peru announced Thursday that they have found more than 50 new ancient drawings carved into the earth near the Nasca province, which are commonly referred to as ‘Nasca Lines.’
A report from National Geographic details how the researchers used drones to discover more geoglyphs in the neighboring province of Palpa. Some of the new lines are still believed to have come from the Nasca culture, which was prominent in the area from 200 to 700 A.D., though others from the new batch of discoveries could belong to the Paracas and Topará peoples as well.
Nasca lines were characteristically drawn on flat fields that can only be seen from far above and remain one of archaeology’s most puzzling discoveries in Latin America, according to UNESCO.
“These lines, which were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, are among archaeology’s greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity,” the UNESCO site says of the Nasca lines. “The geoglyphs depict living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures several kilometres long.”
Paracas drawings, on the other hand, are noted for usually being made on hillsides that can be seen from the valleys below. Studies have shown that the Paracas and Topará preceded the Nasca people, meaning these ritualistic drawings in the ground were customs that were well in place centuries before the famous Nasca lines came to be.
According to the report, the majority of these new drawings depict humanoid beings.
“Most of these figures are warriors,” archaeologist Luis Jaime Castillo Butters, who helped discover the new lines, told National Geographic. “These ones could be spotted from a certain distance, so people had seen them, but over time, they were completely erased.”
The latest discovery came following the controversial Greenpeace protest that damaged a Nasca drawing in 2014, as those charged with restoration used droned to get better aerial views of the drawings.
In February, another Nasca creation was damaged when a truck drove off the road and over the lines.