Nazca, PERU - I never thought a bunch of rocks could capture my imagination so thoroughly. But then, I never thought I would see 20,000 extraordinary rocks intricately carved by some ancient civilization either.
All it took was one quick inside the door of Dr. Cabrera’s Stone Museum in Ica, Peru for me to want more. My curiosity had been piqued – what were all those carved stones anyway?
Click here to see a slide show of the stone museum
Fortunately, Dr. Cabrera’s daughter, Eugenio, willingly opened the museum to us and agreed to show us around. And what a tour it was! I will readily admit to having been ignorant on all matters surrounding the southern Peruvian mystery, so I hung onto her every word. Now I’m hooked – and will, no doubt, be spending the next month or so researching all the unknowns from this area.
The small, private museum is located on the Plaza de Armas in Ica, Peru – about four hours south of Lima. It was started by Dr. Cabrera as an attempt to safeguard the many mysterious carved rocks found in the area. Dr. Cabrera died a few years ago, but his daughter now maintains the museum and passes on some her father’s wisdom.
It is reported that more than 50,000 carved stones have been found in the desert surrounding Ica. About 20,000 of them are in the museum.
The first thing one notices about the stones is that they are much heavier than normal. They are actually created with two layers – a black basalt in the center and a shiny black stone as an outside layer. They come in all sizes – from small enough to fit in your palm to one meter high. All of them are intricately carved on all sides with great precision.
The carvings depict a huge variety of topics – all of them of normal events in life. The most spectacular carvings (and the most mysterious) show advanced medical knowledge. They depict performing a heart transplant in great detail, as well as taking a brain out of a patient and hooking it up to some sort of apparatus to keep it alive.
What Does It Mean?
Dr. Cabrera’s theory is that of some sort of super-intelligent species lived in this area. They were a very highly advanced society with complex knowledge of astronomy, physics, and medicine. They also knew that some sort of cataclysmic event was about to occur which would destroy nearly everything on earth.
In their desperation to save their knowledge and pass it on to future generations, the people of the society carved rocks. Rocks, being durable and virtually indestructible, would be able to survive the cataclysmic event. They placed the rocks in one location, but they have since been scattered around by being washed away in rivers or by other natural processes.
Theories abound about how and why these rocks were carved. What do you think? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!
Dr. Cabrera’s Stone Museum is open by appointment only. The number is posted on the door, and Eugenio is available most days to show you around.
Nancy Sathre-Vogel is currently cycling from Alaska to Argentina with her husband and twin sons. She is documenting their journey for Guinness World Records at www.familyonbikes.org and also has a regular column on the Communities to the Washington Times. She is the World Bike Touring Examiner as well.