Ancient, Giant Images Found Carved Into Peru Desert

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"We searched some tombs and in each we found funeral shrouds, vessels, shells, and necklaces made of semi-precious stones, but more importantly we found gold objects" similar to the giant whale figures etched in the desert, Islas said.

"The valleys of the south are not like those in the north. The south was a very dry region, almost an oasis. They only had water in the summer, and the accumulation of wealth was difficult," he explained.

"But the Nasca managed to organize a society and take advantage of resources from the ocean and the mountains. They were truly an advanced society," he added.

The tombs, located in two sites that were large administrative centers during the first four centuries of the Christian era, have revealed important information about the environment, lifestyle, and religion of the Nasca.

Each tomb is composed of several rectangular chambers with a labyrinthine structure of walls and passageways dedicated to the cult of the dead, where people left offerings and prepared food to sustain the deceased in the afterlife.

The buildings were adapted to the topography of the region, creating a large complex of terraces.

Copyright 2002 Efe

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