By way of an innovative drone survey, archeologists in Peru have found over 50 new forms of the Nazca lines which have been hiding in plain sight for centuries.
Researchers used low-flying UAVs with sophisticated imaging technology to detect the geoglyphs that were actually invisible on satellite images due to their small size, which was sometimes only inches across.
Intriguingly, many of the newly-discovered designs actually pre-date the creation of the famous Nazca lines and indicate that previous cultures in the area also created the expansive geoglyphs.
An official with the Peruvian Ministry of Culture observed to National Geographic that this realization "opens the door to new hypotheses" about the "function and meaning" of the enigmatic designs.
While academics debate these questions, preservationists hope that they can protect the newfound geoglyphs which are soon to be added to the proverbial map of Nazca designs.
And, thanks to the success of the drone project, archaeologists plan to perform additional surveys of the area to see what other surprises may be waiting to be found.
Source: National Geographic