Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 29 March 2012 Time: 12:11 PM ET
Writing in the magazine Antiquity, Robert Benfer, a professor emeritus, describes a series of mounds, some more than 1,300 feet (400 meters) across, in coastal valleys in Peru. Archaeological evidence at the sites pegs some at more than 4,000 years old.
"It's going to shake everybody's views," Benfer told LiveScience. "The previous oldest animal figures were at Nazca and they're 2,000 years old."
The Nazca Lines are simple stone outlines of animals decorating the Nazca Desert in Peru. Like the newly discovered mounds, they may have had ritual significance. In addition, the shapes likely coincided with the constellations these ancient people saw in the Milky Way.