There is a place in the high deserts of Peru, it has become known as the Nazca Lines. The unique geology of the area makes it so that figures that are carved out of the land will show up beautifully against the rest of the landscape. There is a small issue with this though. They can be seen from the mountains that surround the plains that contain the petroglyphs. While this may be true, to get the full effect, you need to see them from the air. They cover a very large area and some of the “etchings” are so large that if seen up close, you won't be able to make them out. It is from a height that is achieved from flight that you really get the big picture.
According to mainstream archeologists manned flight didn't happen until hundreds or thousands of years later. While it may be possible to make some of these objects with the technology that the Nazca culture had, the mystery doesn't stop there.
What is the purpose of all of these very strange feature in the high desert in Peru? To mainstream archeologists? Some say that they serve a religious purpose. The priest would have walked the designs for various religious reasons. This is possible, but there are also other theories that don't fall under “mainstream archeology”.
The Nazca people supposedly made these between the years of 400 and 650 A.D. Since the images are carved in very shallow earth, the topsoil is oxidized and the the sand underneath is a whitish color, you only have to dig down a maximum of an inch or so to make a picture that is clearly seen. The weather in the desert has kept them unchanged for hundreds of years. There is almost no wind and rain is almost non existence. The biggest threat is human intervention. There are several roads that cut through the area, and tourists have taken there toll. It has been named a world heritage site to help protect it.
As stated earlier, you may be able to see some of them from the surrounding mountings but to truly appreciate the size and scope, you really need to see them from an aircraft.
This is one of those weird events that most people (of the non mainstream scientific community) believe that the petroglyps serve a different purpose completely. They believe that you do need to be flying to appreciate the size and scope of all the pictures. This is not the only issue. The actual pictures themselves raise some serious questions.
There are hundreds of of pictures that are just geometric shapes. These could fall under the idea that they were made for religious purposes. The other 70 or so don't fall into these categories. These are pictures of animals and well as pictures of mankind.
This may not seem odd at first glance but it the actual animals and the size that they are made that makes them unique. The sheer size makes them much easier to see when you are flying above them. The animals that are pictured are not necessarily found in the area in which the petroglyphs are found. These are things like monkeys, sharks, spiders, whales, and hummingbirds. There is also a giant figure of a humanoid picture carved in the side of a hill.
Another strange thing is the placement of these pictures is Nazca itself. You can get a “cliff notes” of the planet in this area. Most of the valuable resources can be found in this area. Many of the minerals that are found on planet Earth are found in the desert of Nazca. On top of this, the pictures show the various fauna that is found all over the world. Including those creatures that are found on other continents and under the ocean. How would a culture that lived hundreds of years ago know about these things.
One of the most interesting things is the strait lines. If you look at them from above, the resemble a very modern airport. Mountains were leveled to make landing strips that are long enough for a modern space shuttle to land on. Between the animal and the minerals found on the location, all of this put together give you a landing strip and a kind of billboard to what to expect on this planet.
It actually gets stranger than that. Some of the “runways” are cut out of mountains. If you look at them from above they actually resemble a modern airport's very long runways and even taxiways. They go off in different directions the way that an airport does so a landing craft could always land in the wind. Another strange part is that the “runways” are completely flat, but there is no rubble from where they were leveled. All the surrounding peaks are jagged except the ones in question. They are perfectly smooth, straight and have no evidence of the excess material that would have been left over if we had done such a task with modern machines. It really makes you wonder how a culture from several hundred years ago would be capable of doing such a feat with out some kind of help.
With out further information, the Nazca lines will continue to be a debate from scientists from several disciplines. Will we ever know the answer? That is the big question. Until an alien aircraft lands on the “runways” (or not) we may never know the answer to this riddle. All we can really do is guess.
Theories run wild. Some make sense and some are way out there. The various disciplines of science will have to sit down at a table, put all their information out there and come up with an answer. As we stand, we really don't know what the lines are actually used for.
Traditional archeologists think that they were made for religious uses. People would walk the lines as part of a religion like meditation. Non traditionalist scientists that believe in the Ancient Alien Theory think that they were made as a landing field that gave a quick guide sign to some of the animals that could be found on the planet. Along with the amounts of minerals that can be found in abundance in the area lead some credence to this theory. Both of these ideas are just that, theories. As we stand today, there is no real proof.
Until we can get scientists from many disciplines together and have intellectual discussions, there will never be any kind of answers that make everyone happy. The best that can be done at the present is for you to look at the evidence and see which theory works for you. Both sides have good arguments. I fall on one side of the argument but it is really up to you to make your decision.
One thing that may help you is to use Google Earth and look at the petroglyps from the air. It may change your opinion compared to the mainstream archeologists.