In the northern-most area of Chile, stretching six hundred miles down the coast of South America and expanding more than forty thousand square miles into Bolivia, Peru and Argentina lies the Atacama Desert. This massive, barren landscape consists of expansive salt flats, out of which towering volcanoes extend, reaching twenty thousand feet into the sky. The Atacama Desert is known to be the driest desert in the world, with a landscape resembling that of Mars (Vesilind 2003). Despite this extreme and often harsh environment, the Atacama Desert has been home to a diverse population since as early as 10,000 B.P.. Emerging out of a transfusion of The Late Formative Period and the Period of Regional Developments (between 1000 and 1450 A.D.), a new tradition began (Briones 2006) that involved indigenous peoples branding the earth over which they traveled and these impressions remain today. These structures are called “geoglyphs” and embody the most fundamental aspects of archaeological landscape, including feelings of deep attachment to the earth, means of survival, and religious vestiges.
"The Geoglyphs of the Atacama Desert: A Bond of Landscape and Mobility,"
Spectrum: Vol. 2
, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholars.unh.edu/spectrum/vol2/iss1/3