The world’s largest prehistoric anthropomorphic geoglyph is the Atacama Giant.

at 119 meters (390 feet) high, it is the largest depiction of a human figure found in prehistory. It is situated roughly 800 kilometers (497 miles) south of the world’s most famous geoglyphs, the Nazca lines in Peru.

The driest non-polar desert on Earth, the Atacama Desert, is home to the Atacama Giant. The Chilean and Peruvian coasts are home to the nearly 1,000-mile-long desert plateau. These themes can be found next to llama caravan paths that pre-Hispanic cultures constructed, dispersed across the desert’s plains, hills, and valleys.

In reality, geoglyphs found around the Atacama region show llama caravans, indicating that the images had some sort of deep connection to the adjacent commerce lines.

Geometric patterns such stepped rhombuses, concentric circles, and arrows are among the geoglyphs. There are also representations of human-like (or possibly divine) figures engaged in other pursuits, like as hunting. There are also animals among the figures. Monkeys, lizards, and llamas are among the examples.

Academics suggest that certain animals—such as amphibians employed in water rituals—may be symbolic of holy rites. Drones and modern flight capabilities have made it possible to study and photograph these old works of art more closely and effectively worldwide.

In general, there are three sorts of geoglyphs. The first is additive, or positive, in which the desired shape is created by carefully piling rocks and other materials on top of the earth.

The second kind is regarded as negative, or extractive. In this instance, various elements, including topsoil, are scraped away to expose subsoil that is colored differently.

A hybrid of the two forms is the third category of geoglyphs. Despite the seeming transience of these old works of art, an astonishing amount have survived to the present day.

The dry weather in the Atacama desert is probably what kept the hundreds of prehistoric patterns that can still be seen today intact. However, geoglyphs like the Uffington Horse continue to exist in wetter climes like the United Kingdom.

Many cultures, notably the Inca, are thought to have contributed to the creation of the Atacama geoglyphs. But many of the photos’ purposes are still unknown. Some of them might have served as instructions for the llama caravans of antiquity. Others might have been utilized in religious rituals or dedicated to gods.

It has been assumed that the Atacama giant, which is famous for its size and steep location atop Cerro Unitas, is an astrological guide. The figure’s headdress may have been symbolized by the rays coming from it, but they also tell the time in a very useful way—they line up with the moon. The hill figure was created by ancient people between 1000 and 1400 CE, who used seasonal measurements to more accurately forecast the rainy season.

Given that hill figures are typically meant to be viewed from a distance, it’s possible that the giant was positioned with purpose.

The Nazca Lines, which are situated in Peru’s Nazca Desert, are another well-known collection of geoglyphs. About 500 BCE to 500 CE is when the Nazca Lines were created, which is earlier than the Atacama pictures. Their moniker comes from the extensive usage of lengthy, extractive-style lines.

These lines encircle or combine animals and shapes. In the arid earth are images of humans, hummingbirds, spiders, and other creatures. Numerous theories have been put forth by specialists to explain the geoglyphs over time. There have been theories regarding ritual use, constellation depictions, and other astronomical uses. Others, however, contend that the lines partially fulfilled a significant irrigation role.

The exact purpose of the Nazca Lines is still unknown, but the same is true of geoglyphs found all across the world. Research on the Atacama Giant and other sites of comparable significance is likely to continue for some time to come, given the sites’ evident significance and the attraction they have for contemporary audiences.

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