Peru has many secrets, and most of them are hidden in plain sight.
The famous Nazca lines are just some of the many intricate mysteries that Peru is home to.
Not far from Nazca we find Pampa de las Salinas, a massive archaeological site located in the Chao Valley.
While these strange geoglyphs may not be as famous as the Nazca lines, they do hide a fascinating secret as a team of archaeologists has just unraveled a fascinating mystery about them.
The geoglyphs are much simpler than their counterparts in Nazca.
The geoglyphs at Chao Valley are circular heaps of stones arranged hundreds of meters from each other on the ground.
The difference, in this case, is that each of these points shows around the remains of what was apparently a stone structure with a square shape, with around fifty meters on each side.
On the sides of the square structures, archaeologists have found the remains of stone porticos that allowed the ancient civilization that built them access to its interior.
Excavations in more than 20 archaeological sites continue, but researchers are convinced that the geoglyphs represent constellations in the southern sky.
One of them clearly represents the Southern Cross, a constellation between Alpha and Beta Centauri.
Everything indicates that other geoglyphs also represent constellations, although we will still have to wait for archaeologists to finalize their investigation to get an entire picture of what the ancients built, and what the structures represent.
It still remains a mystery who exactly lived in this region. However, archaeologists were left stumped by the fact that this ancient civilization was able to develop the astronomical and engineering knowledge to carry out the construction and precise alignment of these structures.
Apart from the geoglyphs themselves, no artifacts have been found that allow us to know more about this ancient civilization, nor is it known what the structures around the geoglyphs were built for.
“Our research indicates that the oldest phases of Los Morteros are related to the formation of a mound through the accumulation of organic refuse — marine fauna and plant remains — in spaces with clay surfaces and stone hearths, probably household spaces,” Mauricio said, according to LiveScience.
“Later, adobe brick architecture and then stone architecture, both with monumental and ceremonial characteristics, were built at Los Morteros.”
Although it is believed to be some kind of sacred or cult site.
The only thing that is known is that Pampa de las Salinas was inhabited for about 6,000 years and that its inhabitants lived there around 3,000, after which they disappeared without leaving any trace other than their structures on the ground.
And while excavations continue, archeologists are surrounded by a massive mystery that needs solving.
Unless further excavations reveal more than just stone structures and geoglyphs, archaeologists will have a hard time understanding who were the people that managed to create such sophisticated, astronomically aligned geoglyphs, thousands of years ago.