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13. The Nazca
The Nazca lines remain one of the greatest enigmas of ancient
times. The map below shows the general lay-out of the famous lines, the largest
of the figures over 200m long.
Figure 74. Nazca map [Morseski]
The purpose of these lines is hotly
debated, the general consensus being that they were drawn for some religious
purpose, to placate or bemuse the gods. If this was not the reason, it would
otherwise imply that the images were drawn to be visible from the sky, and
therefore that human beings could fly in ancient times. The lines are generally
believed to have been created during the last centuries before the Christian
era, but it could be much older, as generation after generation my have
preserved the lines for posterity.
The collection below displays
some important aspects of all these images, namely that they were drawn
continuously, starting at one point and ending at another, but more curiously,
that they all required a “touch-down” and a “take-off”, in a manner of speaking.
If these lines had been created by men manually clearing the lines in specific
shapes, there would have been no need for these ‘approach’ lines, or in fact for
any of the drawings to be continuous. Do these characteristics point to the use
of some kind of machinery (airborne?) to create the drawings?
Figure 75. Nazca collection [Herschel, The Hidden
Figure 76. Nazca spider
Figure 77. Maria Reiche, preserver of the Nazca Lines, at the
14. Megaliths – markers of the Gods?
Megaliths in the context of this
chapter refer to standing stones of enormous size found all over the world,
erected for purposes unknown to us. Opinion appears to be split between two
theories, one being that they were erected for religious purposes only, and the
other that they were erected for astronomical purposes or some other scientific
application. I have included some photographs of monoliths below, for the reader
to consider. Also included are some famous megalithic statues, many of which
must have been extremely difficult for the ancients to manufacture.
Figure 78. Stonehenge - one of the most famous.
in the Stonehenge weigh an estimated 50 tons. It would not have been an easy
task to construct in ancient times, why go to all that trouble?
“In April 1722 a Dutch expedition under Admiral
Jacob Roggeveen became the first Europeans to set foot on Rapa Nui. They named
it Easter Island as they landed on Easter Sunday. They spent one day there, and
reported that the natives worshipped huge statues with fires while prostrating
themselves to the rising sun.” [Prat, Easter Island: Land of Mystery.]
The reference to
‘fires’ may link this culture to Tierra del Fuego and the destruction of Terra
Australis Incognita as argued in Section 1.1.3 above.
Figure 79. Easter Island statues (Ahu-Akivi)
Figure 80. Easter Island statues (Ahu Tongariki)
Figure 81. Moai statues [Alford, Gods of the New
Millennium; Prat Easter Island: Land of Mystery]
Some of these
statues are 10m tall and have been estimated to weigh 82 tons. The largest
statue ever made, El Gigante, still lies unfinished at Rano Raraku. It is 21.6 m
(71.9 ft) long and has been estimated to weigh up to 270 tons. How did they plan
to raise this? The excavation shown in the photograph on the right revealed a
thick layer of compacted volcanic ash. When these ash deposits occurred is not
known, but if it could be determined, it should reveal the youngest age of these
Figure 82. Toltec
statues similar to those at Easter Island [Levy, The Atlas of Atlantis and other
Figure 83. Easter Island Sea Wall [Prat, Easter
Island: Land of Mystery]
Figure 84. Similar
masonry at Silustani, Lake Toticaca [Prat, Easter Island: Land of Mystery]
Does the similarity between the Easter Island and Toltec statues not
suggest that the natives who lived here were exposed to the same influences (of
an older and more advance civilization)? Likewise for the masonry found on
Easter Island as compared to that found at Lake Titicaca?
Several huge monoliths are to be found in New
Zealand. Are these natural rock formations, or could they be man-made
(erected)? If so, for what purpose? Solstice markers?
Figure 85. “The Old Man” and “Rangitata Sentinal” rocks in
New Zealand. [Pearson]
strictly speaking not ‘standing stones’, the Olmec heads are remarkable not only
for their size (3m high, weighing up to 50 tons), but also for their
African-like facial features. Could these rulers indeed have been Africans?
Figure 86. Olmec head No 1.
Europe has numerous megalithic sites, as indicated in the map shown
below. What were these used for?
Figure 87. Megalithic regions of
Europe [Mohen, Standing Stones]
Figure 88. 3m standing stones
Orkney Islands [Phillips, The End of Eden]
Figure 89. Callanish standing stones
(Hebrides Islands, Scotland)
Figure 90. Morbihan Locmariaquer (Brittany,
France), estimated mass 280-350 tons
Kerloas menhir (Brittany, France), 9.5m tall (150 tons)
Figure 92. Rudston Megalith (UK), 7.6m (40 tons) [Thornton]
Much has been speculated
about the origins of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins (Figure 93). Whoever had built
them seems to have been influenced by the same culture that erected standing
stones elsewhere in the world (Figure 94).
Figure 93. Ruins of Great Zimbabwe
Figure 94. Lone monolith at Hill Ruin in Great
Zimbabwe [Africa's Glorious Legacy]
Do these standing stones not
suggest the presence of an older, worldwide civilization?
Vitrified Hill Forts
The vitrified forts
of Scotland and certain parts of Europe pose somewhat of an enigma, although not
necessarily suggesting an ancient age.
fort is the name given to certain crude stone enclosures whose walls have
been subjected in a greater or less degree to the action of fire. They are
generally situated on hills offering strong defensive positions. Their form
seems to have been determined by the contour of the flat summits which they
enclose. The walls vary in size, a few being upwards of 12 feet high, and are so
broad that they present the appearance of embankments. Weak parts of the defence
are strengthened by double or triple walls, and occasionally vast lines of
ramparts, composed of large blocks of unhewn and unvitrified stones, envelop the
vitrified centre at some distance from it.
No lime or cement has been
found in any of these structures, all of them presenting the peculiarity of
being more or less consolidated by the fusion of the rocks of which they are
built. This fusion, which has been caused by the application of intense heat, is
not equally complete in the various forts, or even in the walls of the same
fort. In some cases the stones are only partially melted and calcined; in others
their adjoining edges are fused so that they are firmly cemented together; in
many instances pieces of rock are enveloped in a glassy enamel-like coating
which binds them into a uniform whole; and at times, though rarely, the entire
length of the wall presents one solid mass of vitreous substance.
Figure 95. Vitrified wall
at Sainte Suzanne, France.
It is not clear why the walls were subjected
to vitrification. Some antiquarians have argued that it was done to strengthen
the wall, but the heating actually weakens the structure. Battle damage is also
unlikely to be the cause, as the walls must have been subjected to carefully
maintained fires to ensure they were hot enough for vitrification to take place.
Currently, the most popular suggestion is that the process was a symbolic
demonstration of power, spectacularly removing the seats of a warrior
aristocracy. The dating of the construction of these forts varies from 700 BCE
to 900 AD.
It is not only the possible reason for the vitrification of
these walls that is puzzling, but also how the builders managed to apply such
intense heat over such large surface areas. A good overview of the process can
be found here.