Andean Rock Art Pointed to Festival Sites in 300 B.C.
Human-made rock formations in Peru are older than famed Nasca lines.
Ancient residents of Peru laid down lines of rocks in the coastal desert that may have pointed to the sites of trade fairs, a new study suggests. The features date to around 300 B.C., centuries ahead of the famed Nasca lines. (Related: "Spirits in the Sands.")
The Paracas people of southern Peru were some of the earliest settled villagers on the Andean coast. They're known for building two striking features: ceremonial mounds near their homes on the coast and lines of piled rock, or geoglyphs, in the overlooking highlands. Some of the lines stretch for more than 1.9 miles (3 kilometers).
Other ancient Andean cultures, most famously the Nasca farther south, also built sizable geoglyphs. The Proceedings of the