Geoglyphs

Overview

Introduction

Covering hillsides throughout the Atacama Desert, geoglyphs, giant geometrical and figurative designs, derive from dark surfaces scraped clear to reveal lighter material beneath them. Some are identifiable as fish, birds and llamas, and others are more abstract. Some are more than 1,000 years old.

One of the largest concentrations of geoglyphs, the Pintados group (60 mi/95 km southeast of Iquique) contains nearly 1,000 figures. About 65 mi/105 km northeast of Iquique, the slopes of Cerro Unita feature the Giant of the Atacama, a 282-ft-/87-m-high, 128-ft-/39-m-wide representation of a human figure.

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