For many years, local inhabitants and diverse travelers that passed through the San José Plains in Nazca, were aware of the existence of some mysterious lines that were called “Inca trails,” assuming that they were the remains of the old and forgotten Inca walkways.
Although it was in 1926 that the first archaeological investigation about these lines or “Inca trails” was published, they did not reach fame until 1941, when they were “discovered” by the American professor Paul Kosok. In the afternoon of the 21st of June of that year, on the day of the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere, Kosok, while measuring one the “Inca trails,” noticed that the sun was shining exactly upon one of the lines he was observing. Immediately, he deduced that it must have been a solstice line, drawn in order to indicate this important date in the agricultural calendar of the ancient societies.
Maria Reiche is associated to the Nasca Lines, due to the dedication, over more than 50 years, to the study, measurement and preservation of what she considered to be the biggest astronomical calendar of the world.