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10 11 paThwayS TO ThE gOdS Nasca lines, Inca ceques and Bolivian tracks Real physical evidence for the old straight track is abundant in South America. The most well known straight landscape lines can be seen at Nasca in Peru. Dozens of straight lines are laid out across the desert. Their true purpose remains a mystery. Elsewhere in the Peruvian desert other straight lines made from small heaps of stones link low mounds with prominent hills. Near Lima straight lines radiate from a central space like the spokes of a wheel. They are not roads, but link together ancient sacred places called wakas. 17th century Jesuit texts record the onetime existence of invisible lines radiating out from the centre of the ancient Inca city of Cuzco. These lines are known as ceques and were believed to be sacred pathways. Today they are only visible as alignments of shrines and churches exactly in the manner of English leys. In Bolivia long straight tracks can be found running for miles across the undulating Andean altiplano from hills and piles of stones to white painted chapels on the summits of low hills. The lines and tracks have a sacred and religious significance. Opposite EtchaSketch, Peruvian style. A section of the Nazca pampa, covered in straight lines, trapezoids and zoomorphic images. For an idea of scale, the condor has a wingspan of over 350 feet. 11
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