Welcome to my page on geoglyphs.
Geoglyphs are drawings on the surface of the Earth. Sometimes, they can be seen by means of satellite imagery.
On September 2010, I was investigating the possibility to see with Google Maps the "raised fields" near the Lake Titicaca. These fields are creating a huge network of earthworks, covering a total of 120,000 hectares of the land near the lake. This network is the result of an almost unimaginable agricultural effort of ancient Andean people. Terraced hills and earthworks are the remains of an extensive ancient agricultural system built and used by Andean populations centuries ago, throughout the vast high plain surrounding the Lake Titicaca. This system improved soil conditions, the temperature and moisture conditions for crops. These remains of the prehistoric agricultural system are providing evidence of the impressive engineering abilities of the people who lived there in pre-Columbian times.
Google satellite imagery shows the slopes of hills criss-crossed with the walls of terraced fields and the surfaces of the plains densely covered with earthworks. In fact, some man-made landforms are geoglyphs, representing animals, where ponds are their eyes. Other geoglyphs are geometric drawings. These landforms are huge, and therefore the satellite imagery is the best imaging method to record them. The following image is an example.
As you can imagine, these old geoglyphs are subjected to the destiny to be widened and flattened as a consequence of natural degradation processes.
But, in this case, they are also subjected to the action of the modern agricultural methods. I am then searching for all the structures on the Peruvian part of the region near Titicaca.
You can find further readings:
A.C. Sparavigna, Geoglyphs of Titicaca as an ancient example of graphic design, http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.4602
Other images at http://staff.polito.it/amelia.sparavigna/ARCHEO/Symbolic-landforms-b.htm and in the book freely downloadable from the web at the address http://www.scribd.com/doc/39011733/Book-Geoglyphs-Titicaca-Sparavigna
Notizia in italiano: Redazione Archaeogate, 08-10-2010, Ricercatrice del Politecnico di Torino individua nuovi geoglifi in Perù elaborando immagini di Google Maps,
News and translations (Spanish), from ConNuestroPeru, Lima, Peru.
Amelia Carolina Sparavigna
Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Another AMAZING area is near the shore of the lake, please visit
The muzzle of a llama
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