Nazca: Giant shapes in the desert and Necropoli filled with awesome ancient dead people
Nazca Travel Blog› entry 3 of 12 › view all entries
September 12th, 2008 – by: genkeeper
Kristi and I booked our Nazca lines flight the night before through the owner of our hotel. She said that the flight could leave as early as 7:30 or as late as 9:00 am depending on the weather. So, we were downstairs raring to see some giant shapes in the sand at 7:20 am. The hotel owner was no where to be seen. 7:40 am she scurried out in her pjs to tell us the flight was now 10:30 am due to high winds or some other bad weather. She promised that we were leaving at 10:30 am. So we decided to grab a little breakfast since it would be so long until we would leave for the airport that there wouldn't be too much fear of it coming back up.
The flight was a great way to get a birds eye view of Nazca, the desert and the massive desert mountains that border the valley. The Lines themselves were sadly small, disappointing and at times difficult to make out. No one knows why the ancient people at Nazca built the shapes in the sand, but what they do tell us is that these people had a good grasp of engineering and mathematics because the accuracy with which the shapes were created could have only been done through engineering.
Overall though, I would say the flight was not worth the $65 and the loads to time wasted waiting for the flight to take off.
The Chauchillan Cemetery dates to about 1000 AD. The Chauchillans existed between the Wari Culture and the Incans. Our first stop at the site was the small museum containing a few complete mummies (including skin, clothes and hair) from intact burials found at the necropolis.
The tombs at the cemetery were all family tombs with multiple people buried in each one. The tombs often had a male, female and child or infant. The infants were headless because the Chauchillans believed that to free the soul of the baby, the head had to be removed after death and used in a ceremony. The head was replaced with a small pumpkin and then baby and pumpkin were mummified and wrapped up with linen. Looks like the Chauchillans beat whoever came up with the headless horseman to the punch.
The surface of the Chauchillan necropolis is covered with human bone fragments and bits of pottery. This all comes from the disturbed burials. The cemetery is located out in the desert, about a 45 minute drive from town and is surrounded on 3 sides by giant desert mountains that really reminded me of the necropoli locations in Egypt.
I found the Chauchillan cemetery fascinating, but then again I'm a human remains kind of girl. The burials and traditional clothing and hair styles that the Chauchillans were buried with were really interesting! Also, the sheer number of intact individuals and how exposed they were for us to look at, made the site very unique.
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