Either by interest or imposed forcedly, we were all once schooled in geometry driven with enormous interest in connecting dots into lines that they may construct as sensible shape on a two dimensional space. Or if you have taken it seriously and studied engineering, you might have constructed it on a futuristic four dimensional space.
But in Lineas de Nazca it’s different. How I wish the place was my classroom when I was studying geometry and I can imagine Dr. Maria Reiche would be my dedicated professor. There is so much to learn with all the 800 lines, approximately 300 geometric figures, and with at least 70 prominent designs of plants and animals like monkeys, tree, hummingbird, condor, astronaut or what they called as biomorphs.
A seven hour trip to Nazca via Cruz del Sur is something you will think twice. Well, obviously I didn’t bother the long trip for I knew a treasure trove is waiting to be found. And indeed I cannot contain my excitement the moment we traversed Pan-American Highway that slices through the high Nazca dessert. I told myself to stop complaining for my little effort, not to mention its for pleasurable sightseeing, pales in comparison to years and years of hardwork of the ancient Nazca people who left us with this incredible artwork.
Struggling to converse with my broken Spanish, I eagerly listened to Jorge, a local guide who drove me to Miradores, as we inched closer to at least three of the prominent figures. With loads of information he was giving me, I am convinced that early settlers in Nazca had a strong attachment with the natural physical environment and ultimately a civilization with a grounded understanding of geometry. It’s hard to imagine the kind of discipline, patience, imagination and intuition they had as a collective! That must be the time when politics, economics, mathematics, and religion are solidly entrenched. Maybe, just maybe.
The fiction and mystery beneath the lines left me astounded for the three hours that I stayed there. Eighty years of rigorous research since it was first systematically studied in 1927 have yielded theories that come from a mix of disciplines. And there seems to be a consensus that they are purposely drawn as sacred landscapes. Well that’s for now as theories are continually evolving. Regardless, I left the dessert with so much respect to the Nazca people for their engineering skills combined with a sense of art.