University of Texas Press The Nasca Lines are one of the world’s great enigmas. Who etched the more than 1,000 animal, human, and geometric figures that cover 400 square miles of barren pampa in southern Peru? How did the makers create lifelike images of monkeys, birds, and spiders without an aerial vantage point from which to view these giant figures that stretch across thousands of square yards? Most puzzling of all, why did the ancient Nasca lay out these lines and images in the desert? These are the questions that pioneering archaeoastronomer Anthony Aveni seeks to answer in this book. Writing for a wide public audience, Aveni begins by establishing the Nasca Lines as a true wonder of the ancient world. He describes how viewers across the centuries have tried to interpret the lines and debunks the wilder theories. Then he vividly recounts his own years of exploration at Nasca in collaboration with other investigators and the discoveries that have answered many of the riddles about who made the Nasca Lines, when, and for what purposes. This fascinating overview of what the leading expert and his colleagues currently understand about the lines is required reading for everyone intrigued by ancient mysteries.