(drawings on the ground by arranging stones, gravel, or earth)

Rock and earth art works

A geoglyph is a drawing on the ground, or a large motif, (generally bigger than four meters) or a design produced on the ground, either by arranging clasts (stones, stone fragments, gravel or earth) to create a positive geoglyph (stone arrangement or alignment, petroform, earth mound) or by removing patinated clasts to expose unpatinated ground (negative geoglyph).

Some of the most famous negative geoglyphs are the Nazca Lines in Peru. Other areas with geoglyphs include Western Australia. Hill figures, turf mazes and the stone-lined labyrinths of Scandinavia, Iceland, Lappland, and the former Soviet Union are all types of geoglyphs. The biggest geoglyph is the Marree Man in South Australia

Nasca lines or Nazca Lines are synonyms of "geoglyph" and they refer to the Peruvian desert or Nasca region of the southern coast, and are geometric and geomorphic patterns created by the removal of surface stones to reveal the pale earth beneath. The lines were made by clearing the surface of small red or brown stones and exposing the lighter-colored soil underneath.

The straight lines radiate to points in small hills and suggest a ceremonial function. The straight lines date to the Early Intermediate as well as to later periods.

Some researchers believe that the figures represent constellations and the straight lines have astronomical significance. Others believe the lines pointed toward sacred places. The Nasca lines are virtually indecipherable from ground level, but are plainly visible from the air. The lines have been preserved by the extreme dryness of the climate of the region.

More about glyph- words.