Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

The killer whales of the Peruvian desert

2 Comments

I’ve talked about books about ancient mysteries and how I used to read them when I was a kid, and how I sometimes still use them as sources of inspiration for stories and games.
Easter Island, lost continents, ancient astronauts, spirits of ancient Egypt… and of course the Nazca Lines.

nascawhaleI went back to the Nazca Lines because the first chapter of Livyatan, my new book currently in the very early stages of development, opens in somewhere between around 500 BC, when we first catch a glimpse of the monster.
I remembered the obsession of the Andine Cultures for the killer whale, that they portrayed in a number of statuettes, and that was probably a deity/nature spirit for them. And I also remembered there is a killer whale among the famous Nazca geoglyphs.
So, I wanted to use this as a hook for my story.

And doing a bit of research, I found out that another killer whale geoglyph, possibly older than the one I had read about as a kid, was discovered in 2013.

The geoglyph is approximately 200 feet long. There are roughly 1,500 others in the region, most of them dating from 200 B.C. to 600 A.D. In addition to its potential to be even older, the orca raises several immediate questions, like why a sea mammal was being depicted in the middle of the Peruvian desert. The geoglyph also featured mysterious symbols and a “trophy head,” which archaeologists theorize might mean the image had a religious purpose.

 

Screenshot from 2018-04-27 17-11-42.png

And of course, the Peruvian desert, where the Nazca lines are, is the place where the first remains of Livyatan melvillei were found. Which is quite nice.

I love it when the pieces fall in the right place like this. Because of course in my story that design does represent a killer whale… only it’s not Orcinus orca.
Boy but I love this writing business!

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “The killer whales of the Peruvian desert

  1. It’s like the planets align sometimes isn’t it? I love a good “win”.

    Like

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