Japanese team finds mystery lines in Peru

From: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/features/culture/20060421TDY03001.htm


The Yomiuri Shimbun

A team of Japanese researchers have discovered a set of strange lines on the ground on a plateau in Peru.

The series of about 100 lines--some straight and some curving--form patterns and pictures hundreds of meters across that seem to represent humans and animals. The patterns were discovered on the Nazca Plateau in Peru by a research group from Yamagata University, the team announced Wednesday. The plateau is a World Heritage Site for other similar patterns known as the Nazca Lines.

The Cultural Affairs Agency said it would be the first time for Japanese researchers to discover new Nazca Lines.

The Yamagata University researchers, led by assistant Prof. Masato Sakai of the Faculty of Literature and Social Sciences began mapping the Nazca Lines in autumn 2004 to preserve them and to try to determine their purpose.

Sakai analyzed photos taken by a U.S. commercial satellite and found images in the southwestern part of the plateau. The group visited the site in December 2004 and March this year, and confirmed the presence of the previously undiscovered lines.

The plateau stretches 20 kilometers from east to west and 15 kilometers from south to north. About 700 lines depicting animals, plants and geometric patterns have been found.

( Apr. 21, 2006 )