The Petroglyphs of Chichictara, Palpa, Peru

Documentation and interpretation using terrestrial laser scanning and image-based 3D modeling

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  • Peter Fux [Autor/in]


Thousands of petroglyphs can be found in the Nasca-Palpa region. Many of them bear a high resemblance to the recently discovered geoglyphs dated to the Paracas Period (800–200 B. C.), obviously the forerunners of the famous geoglyphs of the subsequent Nasca Period (200 B. C.–650 A. D.). While the Nasca geoglyphs are at the focus of numerous scientifi c works, petroglyphs and Paracas geoglyphs have not yet been the object of investigation.
Chichictara is the largest petroglyph site in the Nasca-Palpa region. With the objective of discovering the site’s original social function as well as enhancing new documentation technologies, the petroglyphs of Chichictara were measured with digital 3D technologies, using terrestrial laser scanning and photogrammetry. In doing so, not only a precise documentation of the pictures was developed, but also landscape became an integral part of the analysis. The integration of the data into a Geographic Information System enables a contextualization of the site and its pictures with archaeological evidence of the Nasca-Palpa region. The results of conducted analysis indicate that petroglyph sites in this area were ancient resting places on longdistance trade routes which connected the coastal region with the highlands and probably even the Amazon region. In this context, new light is shed on the petroglyphs for iconographic interpretations.

The article will be available as a PDF in the near future.


Peru, petroglyphs, Paracas, Nasca, trade route, photogrammetry, laser scanning, 3D technologies



Bibliographische Daten & Rezensionen

Citation Formats

Fux, P. (2023) „The Petroglyphs of Chichictara, Palpa, Peru: Documentation and interpretation using terrestrial laser scanning and image-based 3D modeling“, Zeitschrift für Archäologie Außereuropäischer Kulturen, 4, S. 127–205. doi: 10.34780/e4vn-447c.