The Nazca desert, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to designs in the ground known as geoglyphs – created some 2,000 years ago.
A cat figure is believed to have been created by making depressions in the desert floor, leaving coloured earth exposed. The cat then went unnoticed until plans were recently drawn up for a new path leading to an observation platform.
Peru’s cultural ministry said, “The figure was scarcely visible and was about to disappear, because it’s situated on quite a steep slope that’s prone to the effects of natural erosion.” The cat, which is about 37m (120ft) long, has been cleaned and conserved over the past week. The cat, was actually from the late Paracas era, which was from 500 BC to 200 AD. “We know that from comparing iconographies,” he said. “Paracas textiles, for example, show birds, cats and people that are easily comparable to these geoglyphs.”