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21 January 2011
New geoglyphs found on Peru's Nazca Plateau

A Japanese research team reported it has discovered two new geoglyphs on Peru's Nazca Plateau, which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its gigantic lines and geoglyphs. The team, led by Masato Sakai, professor in state-run Yamagata University's Faculty of Literature and Social Sciences, said the newly discovered geoglyphs appear to represent a human head and an animal. In 2006, the same team announced the discovery of about 100 new geoglyphs on the Nazca Plateau, many in the form of straight and triangular lines.
     Faculty chief Yoichi Watanabe said that the new geoglyphs were found about 10 km from northern Nazca where gigantic geoglyphs of animals, fish and insects are located. A temple is located near the site of the new discoveries. "It is unusual to find geoglyphs of living things in this part of the plateau," Watanabe said. He said the geoglyph of what appears to be a human head measures around 4.2 meters long and 3.1 meters wide and that the researchers confirmed parts that look like two eyes, a mouth and the right ear.
     An analysis of earthenware discovered near the site indicates that the geoglyph of the human head was created in the early Nazca civilization period or earlier. The Nazca civilization flourished between around 200 BCE and 600 CE.
The other geoglyph of what appears to be an animal measures about 2.7 meters long and 6.9 meters wide. It is not known when it was created.
The two new geoglyphs were probably not identified in aerial surveys because of their small size, Watanabe said. He also said the team has filed a report on the new discoveries with Peru's Culture Ministry and that it would look into the relations between the newly found geoglyphs and the nearby temple.

Edited from Japan Today (19 January 2011), The Japan Times, Living in Peru (20 January 2011)

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