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marzo 10, 2024

Discover the mysteries of ancient Nazca culture, and delve into the life of the Nazca people. This theocratic and military society left a cultural legacy that endures to this day. Explore their exceptional cultural representations such as ceramics, ingenious aqueducts, and awe-inspiring ceremonial centers. Here are 5 reasons to visit Nazca, a place that should be at the top of your Peru’s bucket list destination. By the way, we make a special blog for the Nazca Lines.

5 Reasons to Visit Nazca

1. Pre-hispanic Nazca Culture

2. Nazca Exceptional Ceramics

3. Nazca Aqueducts, the life in the desert

4. Cahuachi, the Giant Nazca’s Ceremonial Center

5. Chauchilla, Open Graveyard Museum

1. Pre-hispanic Nazca Culture

The Nazca culture developed between 200 AD and 700 AD in the Department of Ica along the basin of the Grande River, encompassing the Pisco, Ica, Grande, and Acarí rivers. They had a theocratic military society, and among their customs, the collection of trophy heads stood out. These were believed to be related to warfare to demonstrate virility; however, they are also associated with fertility rites or water offerings. For the Nazca, spilling blood on the land was seen as reciprocity with life, much like water is to plants. The Nazcas practiced agriculture (irrigated or intensive), fishing, and traded with another Peruvian culture called «Huarpa,» located in Ayacucho (in the Andes of Peru), who exchanged wool and potatoes for fish and cotton from the Nasca (Coast of Peru).

Pre-hispanic Nazca Culture. 5 reasons to visit Nazca

2. Nazca Exceptional Ceramics

It’s important to remember that Nazca had the finest polychrome and pictorial ceramics, but it was also sculptural. The elite was represented with a falcon face. They used up to 11 colors and achieved 190 shades. They didn’t use blue or green out of respect for the deified sea and the god KON. Nazca employed the pre-cooking technique and used the mineral kaolin to glaze the ceramics. It exhibits «Horror Vacui,» meaning they left no space on their pottery unpainted. Nazca people painted and adorned the entire ceramic with abstract gods, and its body is globular, has a bridge handle, and two separate spouts.

Nazca Exceptional Ceramics. 5 reasons to visit Nazca
Nazca God KON. 5 reasons to visit Nazca

3. Nazca Aqueducts, The Life in the Desert

From where do Nazca people get water? The Nazca people extracted water from the underground by digging down to the water table. Through filtering galleries or underground aqueducts, the water would rise to the «puquios» or springs. Examples of these aqueducts include Cantalloc, Bisambra, Orcona, Majoro, Aja, etc. Many of them are still in working order and essential in irrigating the surrounding fields.

Nazca Aqueducts, The Life in the Desert
5 reasons to visit Nazca, Nazca Aqueducts, the life in the desert

4. Cahuachi, the Giant Nazca’s Ceremonial Center

Their architecture, the Nazca built with adobe and «quincha» (cane and mud). Among the most notable monuments is Cahuachi, studied by the Italian Giuseppe Orife, who argues that Cahuachi is a massive ceremonial center. Others claim it was an urban settlement with streets, squares, canals, pyramids, a graveyard and a enigmatic site called “Estaquería”. A walled enclosure separated the pyramid, but there were no houses or artisan workshops to make it a city. What exists are trophy heads, mummies, offerings, and textiles with images of Nasca mythology.

Cahuachi, the Giant Nazca’s Ceremonial Center

5. Chauchilla, Open Graveyard Museum in Nazca

This cemetery is in the remote desert plains near the famous Nazca Lines. It is an open-air cemetery that housed hundreds of mummies in its heyday, but only a few now remain due to the numerous thefts it suffered before becoming an official archaeological site. Nevertheless, the remaining corpses are incredibly well preserved, and some even retain every last strand of hair on their scalp. It’s because the dry climate of the Peruvian desert made possible the magnificent preservation of the corpses. Likewise, the burial practices also contributed to their preservation. Full-body mummies were covered with cotton, painted with resin, and then placed in tombs made of mud bricks. Chauchilla Cemetery is the only place in Peru where you can see the Ancient Peruvian mummies in their actual burial place.

Chauchilla, Open Graveyard Museum in Nazca. 5 reasons to visit Nazca

Intrigued? Join us on an adventure to Nazca and immerse yourself in the ancient wonders of this remarkable ancient Peruvian culture. Discover the secrets of the Nazca lines, explore the vibrant ceramics, marvel at the ingenious aqueducts, and uncover the mysteries of Cahuachi and Chauchilla. Don’t miss the chance to experience the ancient Peruvian culture of Nazca – a journey into the past that will leave you awe-struck and inspired.

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