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(both: näs`kä), ancient culture of the Nazca, Pisco, and Ica river valleys on the desert coast of S Peru. Flourishing during the first millennium A.D., the Nazca culture seems to have developed out of the ParacasParacas
, Native American culture of ancient Peru. Named after the Paracas peninsula on the south coast, where their remains were first found, the Paracas produced resin-painted pottery and textiles, but little is known of their way of life.
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 culture, and after 900 it was apparently under TiahuanacoTiahuanaco
, ancient native ruin, W Bolivia, 34 mi (55 km) S of Lake Titicaca on the Tiahuanaco R. in the S central Andes, near the Peruvian border; also called Tiwanaku or Tiahuanacu.
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 influence until the Inca conquered the region in the 15th cent. The Nazca excelled in the production of beautiful ceramics and textiles. Highly polished, expertly designed, and with polychrome painting, Nazca pottery is unlike that of other Peruvian cultures. Textiles show a multitude of weaving techniques and extraordinary skill in dyeing with several shades of the same color; both coastal cotton and highland alpaca wool were used. Aerial exploration of the arid tableland surrounding the Palpa valley has revealed a remarkable network of lines and trapezoids interspersed with giant animal figures of unmistakable Nazca origin; the animals were probably built to be seen by sky gods, and the lines are believed to be related to observations in astronomy.


See J. A. Mason, The Ancient Civilizations of Peru (1957, rev. ed. 1964); G. H. S. Bushnell, Peru (1956, rev. ed. 1963); E. P. Lanning, Peru before the Incas (1967); E. Hadingham, Lines to the Mountain Gods: Nazca and the Mysteries of Peru (1988).

References in periodicals archive ?
Here, the Nazca plate plunges beneath the South American plate, forming a subduction zone.
The complexity and the exceptional preservation of the Nazca lines combine to make them one of the most intriguing legacies of pre-Columbian South America.
Carlos Carbo, CEO of Nazca Capital, said: "Fritta represents our first exit in Nazca Fund III with excellent returns to our investors.
The Nazca geoglyphs are thought to have been created between 400 and 650 AD and extend for more than 50 miles between the towns of Nazca and Palpa.
In the December Antiquity, Ruggles and archaeologist Nicholas Saunders of the University of Bristol in England describe and map what they regard as a carefully planned labyrinth from the ancient Nazca (sometimes spelled Nasca) culture.
Similar claims have been made about the Mayan pyramids in Central America and the giant drawings in the Nazca desert of Peru; archaeologists and other scientists have long since discredited Von Daniken's theories.
Non-breeding Nazca Boobies (Sula granti) show social and sexual interest in chicks: behavioural and ecological aspects.
Grandeur of Peru includes a flight-seeing excursion over the Nazca Lines and a cruise to the wildlife-rich Ballestas Islands.
Her wanderlust took her across the globe, arming her with insight on the obscure (The Nazca Lines of Peru) to the beautiful (the dive sites of the Cayman Islands).
The nazca booby (Sula granti), a colonial seabird, provides a nonhuman model in which maltreatment of nonfamilial young is widespread under normal living conditions.
He continued, "Rockets, the Great Wall of China, and the Nazca Lines were created from sketches based on someone's imagination.