Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Intaglios and Geoglyphs: Drawings Upon the Earth

Intaglios and geoglyphs are gigantic purposeful drawings on the landscape that really can't be appreciated except from above. So, why do they exist? Let's look at some ancient desert carvings that have held up over time - 


Nazca, Peru has some of the most world-famous geoglyphs. These were created around 500 BCE (before common era). The carvings are done by digging about 6 inches into the earth to expose the under bright earth tones. In this unbelievably arid place, they have managed to stay around for about 2500 years. 

Another Nazca carving in the earth


Interestingly, in Blythe, California there are intaglios, one of which is a spiral shape like Nazca. And there are also figures like those in Nazca. They have widely ranged them from 400 years ago to 2000 years ago. 

There are over 200 intaglios in the Mojave Desert in California. One human figure is about 171 feet long! 

Big foot, huh? 

Some folks in Riverside decided they were sick of people flying overhead to look at the ground, so they gave them a message (above). 

Arizona has some intaglios too. Here is the fisherman, not far from California (below). 

Topock Mystery Maze

The Topock Mystery Maze Site is near Needles, California (above)

The Old Ones

Both curvilinear figures associated with the Mystic Maze are similar to other ground figures on terraces along the lower Colorado River. However, no other examples of parallel windrows of proven aboriginal origin are known (Haenszel, 1978). The use of Mohave Indian labor to scrape desert pavement gravel into rows to be collected for construction of bridge abutments, berms, and road grade is well documented (Haenszel, 1978). Interviews with Mohave Indians indicate that the maze (windrows) was not used by the Mohave tribe, but was made by the “Old Ones” (Thompson, 1929; Haenszel, 1978). Haenszel (1978) notes that windrows were probably made by scraping or raking desert pavement. However, she presents documentation from observers that the maze was present in 1886, prior to construction of the Red Rock cantilever bridge. Haenszel relies heavily on Mohave statements that the maze was in place prior to their arrival (A. D. 1200), although used for religious purposes by the Mohaves.


The Fisherman


White Horse Hill, England

Long Man of Wilmington


Atacama Desert, Chile



Who were these people around the world who felt compelled to leave their marks that only the heavens could see? Were they the Native People of those lands as recognized by today's history lessons or were they an entirely different branch of humanity that came earlier? Did we learn from them? Adopt their leftovers, interpreting what we thought they meant? 

Reminds one of the pyramids, eh? 

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. The one in the spiral form is like our milky way galaxy. How did they receive that knowledge? Time will tell but as for now, let us presume that this knowledge was passed over by some intelligent extraterrestrial life beyond our solar system.