Nasca Lines: Buried Secrets on NatGeo Channel
The premise appears to hinge on a discovery made by Archaeologist Christina Conlee in 2007 of a body that shows “gruesome evidence of decapitation.” (I love that description from Edge West’s website. What evidence of decapitation was there? His head was gone. Oh.).
The Expanded Academic ASAP database didn’t have the full text of her study: Decapitation and rebirth: A headless burial from Nasca, Peru (in Current Anthropology 48.3 June 2007), but you can read about the finding in Science Daily. The body Conlee discovered had a ceremonial jar in place of his head, one that she speculates was used in fertility rituals. According to her research, ritual battles used to take place before planting, and scalp cuts on found severed heads indicate that the blood may have been let in order to fertilize the earth. That combined with this ceremonially buried body’s headjar leads her to believe that there is a relationship between decapitation and rebirth in the beliefs of the ancient Nasca people
We would have entirely skipped the Nazca lines had Papa Kwak not been keen to see them back in December. (I wrote about Nazca on KnK Explore). While the town leaves something to be desired, the hyped-up mystery surrounding the lines has always piqued my interest, and I’d heartily classify the overflight as one over-hyped tourist activity that is worth the money.
I’m always skeptical about claims like “For the first time the secrets of these people will finally be unearthed,” but it looks like it could be an interesting show, and it’s coming at a good time for Peru’s bruised tourism industry. Somebody check it out and tell me what you think!