Approximately 450 km south of Peruís capital of Lima,a desolate road leads into the vast terrain of the scant, desert-like highlands. In the midst of this almost lifeless world and surrounded by sandy mountains is the small airport of Nazca. Indeed, a single aircraft once made this region famous. One day while flying here in 1939, American Paul Kosok made an amazing discovery, long drawn-out lines that extend across the ground that are the traces of a mysterious pre-Columbian culture.
These strange hundred metre lines were created by the Nazca culture and according to archaeological research, date back to the 6th or 7th century BC. Since their discovery, they have created much controversy with regard to their origin, function and significance.
There are more than a hundred lines and figures within the surrounding plains and mountains. Most of the markings were revealed by the removal of the top layer of dark stones from the ground.
In recent years, one of the images known as the Astronaut has captured the imagination more than any other.
The proportions and geometric precision of the different images raise numerous questions. How could the Nazca people have created these gigantic designs? Recently, a further image of perfect proportions and measuring a hundred metres was also discovered.
But how were those who created these enormous images able to gain a true perspective of their work? Is it possible that a precursor of the hot-air balloon existed in those bygone times?
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.