Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994, the Nazca Lines encompass hundreds of drawings spread across an area 31 miles long and 3.1 miles wide, primarily consisting of lines and geometric shapes. The most famous, however, include around thirty figures of animals (like the hummingbird, spider, monkey, whale, and condor), plants (such as the cactus and flower),, and anthropomorphic designs (like the man-bird or astronaut and hands), some stretching up to 613 feet in length.
Discovered by the Spanish conquistador Pedro Cieza de León in 1547, their modern archaeological interest began in the 1930s with Peruvians Julio César Tello and Toribio Mejía. American researcher Paul Kosok and German mathematician María Reiche, who dedicated decades to their study in the mid-20th century, concluded that they constituted a vast astronomical calendar linked to agricultural cycles, created from smaller-scale sketches.
Among more recent interpretations, American archaeologist Johan Reinhard argues that their purpose was to invoke water through fertility rituals.