Site Prediction |
The Nasca lines and geoglyphs - on the way to a multimedia GIS
Christiane Richter, Bernd Teichert and Hochschule für Technik,
Wirtschaft Dresden (FH)
University of Applied Sciences
Department of Surveying and Cartography
D-01069 Dresden Germany
One of the best known about 2000 years old archaeological sites in South America consists of large figures and lines drawn on the deserts surface near the town of Nasca. In 1995 the UNESCO added this area to the World Heritage List. The question that historically has roused the most attention is: "Why and when were they build?".
About 20 theories are around the scientists and pseudo- scientists but even today nobody is able to give an approved answer. One of the major theories deals with astronomical phenomena. In order to prove this theory a special research project was started by the department of geodesy and cartography of the University of Applied Sciences in Dresden (Germany). The most helpful tool for these investigations is definitely a GIS.
In a very first step we developed a special datamodel and created a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Inside the relational database (Informix) we already stored:
In September 2000 we started the photogrammetric data processing of the Nasca block (about 150 images). This includes the aerial triangulation, the DEM- generation, the extraction of lines and geoglyphs and maybe the generation of ortho- images. Parallel to that we also started the development of an archaeo- astronomical approach.
- vector data: field measurements (GPS and tacheometric survey) of some famous geoglyphs, lines and line centres;
- raster data: scanned aerial pictures and ceramic prints;
shaded Digital Elevation Model of the whole area
- thematic data: description of the objects (name, age, kind and percentage of destruction, date and kind of measurement, etc.)
- animation:virtual flight over the Pampa of Nasca
The presentation includes theoretical as well as practical aspects. We report about the current stage of the project. Especially the datamodel and the astronomical concept will be explained in detail. In the practical part we will demonstrate some analyses and special animations using our GIS.
In co-operation with a similar project at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland (Prof. Armin Gruen) we also might help to protect and preserve these historical drawings of Nasca.
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