In what could be termed as one of the most unintentional archaeological findings, a carving of a large cat has been discovered on the side of a steep hill slope at the Nazca Lines, a UNESCO heritage site in Peru; and is believed to be over 2,000 years old. By Amitha Ameen

It was during a routine maintenance work at the UNESCO Heritage Site in Peru, when the archaeologists discovered a new geoglyph — a large drawing of a cat — that would have gone unnoticed if it was not for the recent plans to create a new path nearby, that will lead to an observation platform. The cat geoglyph which is around 37 meters long, and is believed to be more than 2,000 years old, was later conserved and cleaned by authorities in the past week.

“The figure was scarcely visible and was about to disappear because it’s situated on quite a steep slope that’s prone to the effects of natural erosion,” a statement from Peru’s culture ministry read. According to Peru’s chief archaeologist for the Nazca lines, Johny Isla, the cat belongs to the late Paracas era which pre-dates the Nazca period and was likely done sometime from 500 BC to 200 AD. (As reported by BBC)

 

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Geoglyphs are usually created by making depressions on the earth’s surface using tools like wood, stones, or gavel. While there are many different kinds of geoglyphs, the common themes that are found, usually revolve around animals and plants. The lines were first discovered in 1927 and declared a UNESCO site in 1994.

The Nazca Lines are a UNESCO heritage site in Peru and one of the top tourist places in the country. They are made of a group of geoglyphs, which are basically large designs on the ground. They are believed to be the greatest known archaeological phenomena and also one of Peru’s greatest mysteries simply because of their sheer size. Sometimes, one has to even fly over them to get a complete view.

Related: Peru Goes Green To Protect Its UNESCO World Heritage Site — Machu Picchu!