The Nazca desert area has been inhabited for nearly 8,000 years. Most of the regions most interesting attractions were created approximately 2,000 years ago by the Nazca people. Little is known of the origin of the Nazca people other than they came from the mysterious Paracas Culture that seemingly appeared from no where around 900 BC.
The Nasca people created the Nazca Lines the giant drawings and figures that cover the desert near the town of Nazca. They were expert artisans creating fine woven fabrics of cotton and wool and are known for their pottery which is considered by many to be the finest example of pre-Colombian pottery. Many of the same designs used to create the Nazca Lines are echoed in Nasca Pottery.
The Nazca people were engineers and architects created the giant adobe pyramids of Cahuachi which covers over 150 acres as well as an aqueduct system which is still in use today. Most of what the Nazcas culture did was for religious purposes. Including brain surgery and the use of trophy heads.
A Necropolis society they had many rituals which involved the dead including the practice of mummification. Tombs of the Nazca people can be found throughout the region the best example of which is at the Chauchilla Cemetery.
It was the prosperity of the Nazca people which led to their downfall of their society. The Nazca people did not fully understand the delicate balance of the environment. As their population grew the Nazcas began cutting down huarango trees to make room for more farmlands. With uncertain climate and more droughts became more common. When the rains finally came without the huarango to anchor the soils the floods became more devastating. Around 500 AD El Nino arrive and the consequences were disastrous for the Nazca culture. Their fields and canals were washed away and much of Cahuachi was destroyed. The Nasca culture began to rebuild their city but they were then hit by a large earthquake which divided the city in two and killed many who lived there. The Nazca Civilization came to an end around 600 AD. The Nazcas remain one of the most important and most evolved of the pre Colombian cultures.