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A 2,000-year-old cat was discovered carved on a hillside among Peru’s Nazca Lines

The geoglyph is believed to be the oldest image discovered at the Nazca Lines site

SHARE A 2,000-year-old cat was discovered carved on a hillside among Peru’s Nazca Lines
This handout photo provided by Peru’s Ministry of Culture-Nasca-Palpa shows the figure of a feline on a hillside in Nazca, Peru, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Peruvian archaeologists carrying out maintenance work in the renowned Nazca Lines geoglyphs site have discovered the figure of a feline which was barely discernible and almost completely erased, the Ministry of Culture reported on Friday, Oct. 16.

This handout photo provided by Peru’s Ministry of Culture-Nasca-Palpa shows the figure of a feline on a hillside in Nazca, Peru, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Peruvian archaeologists carrying out maintenance work in the renowned Nazca Lines geoglyphs site have discovered the figure of a feline which was barely discernible and almost completely erased, the Ministry of Culture reported on Friday, Oct. 16.

AP

A massive, 2,000 year-old image of a cat has been uncovered by archaeologists on a hillside in Peru, The New York Times reported on Monday.

The new discovery is part of the Nazca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site south of Lima, Peru, where hundreds of similar geoglyphs have previously been discovered, according to CNN.

The cat — which was discovered while archaeologists were remodeling at the site — is believed to be the oldest geoglyph that has been discovered at the site, and likely dates to 200 B.C. to 100 B.C., according to the Times.

Driver Gerard De Rooy, of Netherlands, and co-drivers Darek Rodewald, of Poland, and Moises Torrallardona, of Spain, drive their Iveco truck along the Nazca Lines geoglyphs in Nazca, Peru, after finishing second in the second stage of the Dakar Rally between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.

Driver Gerard De Rooy, of Netherlands, and co-drivers Darek Rodewald, of Poland, and Moises Torrallardona, of Spain, drive their Iveco truck along the Nazca Lines geoglyphs in Nazca, Peru, after finishing second in the second stage of the Dakar Rally between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.

Ricardo Mazalan, Associated Press

“The figure was barely visible and was about to disappear as a result of its location on a fairly steep slope and the effects of natural erosion,” Peru’s Ministry of Culture said in a press release, according to CNN.

The cat is formed of lines etched into the hillside that are between 12 to 16 inches wide, and the image is 121 feet long in total, according to USA Today.

First discovered in 1927, the Nazca Lines cover an area of 174 square miles and are located in a plateau 250 miles south of Lima, according to CNN. Art at the site includes geoglyphs of other animals like hummingbirds and pelicans, as well as geometric shapes like spirals and triangles.

The Nazca Lines became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, and UNESCO’s websitesays of the site, “They are the most outstanding group of geoglyphs anywhere in the world and are unmatched in its extent, magnitude, quantity, size, diversity and ancient tradition to any similar work in the world.”