To understand the Nazca lines we should consider the surroundings. In the desert terrain between northern Chile and southern Peru, there are rough tablelands carved by deep, lush gorges that connect the Andes with the coast. One of these gorges was home to the Nazca people 1,500-2,000 years ago. In between the valley strips lie elevated dry plains called "pampas"-deserts where there is little wind and it only rains once every several years, conditions ideal for preserving the huge line drawings. The "Nazca lines" is the name given to the huge lines, trapezoids and animal figures that are etched into kilometer after kilometer of this plain. The pampa was originally covered with black, wind-smoothed rock--the lines were created by removing these black-colored rock fragments and topsoil to reveal the light-colored sand underneath.