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Geoglyphs

Ancient World Wide Landscape Art

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The Atacama Giant: Geoglyph of Cerro Unita, commune of Pozo Almonte, Chile.

The Atacama Giant: Geoglyph of Cerro Unita, commune of Pozo Almonte, Chile.

Luis Briones (c) 2006

Geoglyphs are works of art that were made from moving or arranging stones or earth or other objects within a landscape. The Nazca Lines, which were created by moving turning over sun-baked stones to reveal the unburnt side are arguably the most famous of this type of archaeological site type, and indeed perhaps one of the most famous sites on the planet.

Geoglyphs also can be carved into a hillside exposing bedrock; these types of geoglyphs, like the Uffington Horse and the Cerne Abbas Giant, are called chalk giants. You could, by stretching the definition a bit, consider crop circles and corn mazes as examples of modern geoglyphs.

A mound could be considered a type of geoglyph that involves raising the elevation of a piece of ground, perhaps but not necessarily over a burial.

Examples of Geoglyphs

Source and Further Information

This glossary entry is a part of the About.com Guide to Archaeology Site Types and part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

 

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