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Wed Nov 29, 2017, 09:25 AM

2,000-Year-Old Killer Whale Geoglyph Found in Peru Desert

By Tom Metcalfe, Live Science Contributor | November 28, 2017 08:37am ET

- click for image -


Archaeologists rediscovered a giant geoglyph of a killer whale, etched into a desert hillside in the remote Palpa region of southern Peru, after it had been lost to science for more than 50 years.

The 230-foot-long (70 meters) figure of an orca — considered a powerful, semimythical creature in ancient Peruvian lore — may be more than 2,000 years old, according to the researchers.

They said it may be one the oldest geoglyphs in the Palpa region, and older than those in the nearby Nazca region, which is famous for its vast collection of ancient ground markings — the Nazca Lines — that include animal figures, straight lines and geometrical shapes. [See Photos of the Orca Geoglyph of Peruvian Lore]

Archaeologist Johny Isla, the head of Peru's Ministry of Culture in Ica province, which includes the Palpa and Nazca valleys, explained that he saw a single photograph of the orca pattern for the first time about four years ago. He'd seen it while researching studies of geoglyphs at the German Archaeological Institute in Bonn.


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Reply 2,000-Year-Old Killer Whale Geoglyph Found in Peru Desert (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 2017 OP
Judi Lynn Dec 2017 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:21 AM

1. Lost Orca Geoglyphs Rediscovered in Peru

By Chris Jasurek
December 7, 2017 6:15 pm Last Updated: December 7, 2017 6:15 pm

Archeologists who based their search on a 50-year-old photo rediscovered a more than 2,000-year-old geoglyph of a killer whale in a remote region of Peru.

Johny Isla, the head of Peru’s Ministry of Culture in Ica province, was searching old records of geoglyph expeditions in the German Archaeological Institute in Bonn sometime around 2013. He saw a single photo of an orca geoglyph taken by a German expedition in the 1960’s.

The German expedition was searching the Nazca and Palpa valleys, where ancient geoglyphs abound. The location of the specific geoglyph was listed—but it turned out the location listed was incorrect.

Isla had uncovered about one thousand geoglyphs in the Nazca region in the 1990’s, but had never seen one like this. It is not one of the biggest—the orca image is only about 200 feet long, while some of the Nazca figures are over 1,300 feet long—but it is one of the oldest—and is the only orca carving yet discovered.


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