TOKYO (AFP) ― A Japanese university will open a research centre near Peru’s Nazca Lines to study the ancient geoglyphs which are designated a UNESCO world heritage site, Kyodo news agency said Wednesday.
The new facility set up by Yamagata University will operate for 15 years to study the large designs etched into the ground in Peru’s southern plains, with Japanese and local researchers expected to take part in the project.
The research lab is scheduled to open in September, Kyodo said.
“It’s not known why those geoglyphs were created and we also know little about the lifestyle of the people (who created them),” Masato Sakai, a professor heading the university’s research team, was quoted as saying.
“We hope to conduct scientific analyses (on these matters) by opening the research centre.”
Located about 400 kilometers south of Lima, the designs include depictions of plants and animals and were believed to have been drawn between B.C. 500 and A.D. 500, UNESCO said on its website.
“(They are) among archaeology’s greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity,” the U.N. agency said.