Science: Nazca Balloonists?

Scientists have long wondered how the ancient Nazcas were able to draw the giant designs and figures that stretch for miles across Peru's bleak Nazca plains. They have been particularly fascinated by the fact that although there are no nearby mountains, the designs are recognizable only from a high elevation.

Maria Reiche, a German researcher, speculates that the Nazca artists executed the drawings by first sketching them on small plots of land, then used a complex system of strings and central piles of rock to make large-sized "blowups" (TIME, March 25, 1974). Members of...

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