Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Peru Nazca Lines Craft

We came across Nazca lines in our reading book, Reading forGifted Children Grade 1, so we decided to dive in deeper and learn more about these fascination lines found in Peru, South America. Nazca lines were made by ancient people in the Nazca desert. The Nazca people lived from 400 to 650 AD. They made these lines removing the thin top layer of red brown pebbles to reveal a grayish tan colored dirt underneath. The lines form large complex figures such as monkeys, hummingbirds, and lizards that are best viewed from the air.
In the series, Solving History with Olly Steeds, Olly sets out to find out why the Nazca lines were made. In the show, he quickly debunks 3 hypotheses about the lines: the lines correspond to constellations, aliens made the lines, and the lines correspond to water. After interviewing a series of archeologists, locals, grave robbers, and after attempting to obtain the knowledge himself by visiting a shaman to go on a vision quest with the aid of the hallucinogenic cactus, San Pedro, comes to the hypothesis that the lines were formed by processionals during religious ceremonies. Along the lines anthropologists have found smashed pottery that reveals patterns of being smashed and not accidentally dropped. Additionally, shells from the Pacific Ocean were found along the lines. Furthermore, the lines reveal that the soil underneath is very compact meaning that people have been walking over and over along the same path. Taken together researchers hypothesize that these lines were simply processional paths used during religious ceremonies.

Since it is winter time outside and our ground is frozen, Little BBQ and I decided to do an indoor craft about Nazca lines. This is a very simple project used to represent Nazca lines on a very small scale.

  • Sheet of sand paper
  • 1 Crayon (preferably lighter in color than the sand paper)
  • Pictures of Nazca lines (see links below)

1.       Draw a Nazca lines on the sand paper keeping in mind that most Nazca lines were of animals found in Peru or complex geometric patterns. 

Reading for the Gifted Student Grade 1
Solving History with Olly Steeds season 1 episode 2 (available on Netflix)

Photos of Nazca Lines
Spider, Hummingbird, and Spirals
Map of Nazca Line Locations
Monkey and Short Video on Nazca Lines
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