From a stylistic point of view, one can distinguish three large complexes in the concentration of lines and geoglyphs. The first is known as Chavin (500-300 B.C.) and it is represented by a figure constructed by the piling up of stones. It depicts a large bird with its wings extended - ready to fly. This era was very important in the cultural development of the Andes. Apart from the geoglyph mentioned we also have the famous printed cloth of the Karwas. In both cases there is clear evidence of the strong Northern influence of the Late-Middle Formative Period in the Ica zone.
The second complex corresponds to the development known as Paracas (400 B.C. - 200 A.D.). Which began with a strong influence from the Northern cultures who were expanding. Paracas was a community which adapted its economy to a difficult and arid environment, developing highly advanced artistry as noted in the exquisite cloth and embroideries, which were part of the Paracas-Nasca tradition, renowned through out the world. This complex has a number of important representations of stylised cats and anthropormophic figures with sophisticated hair pieces, carrying canes and head trophies as well as knives in their hands. Most of them are to be found in the low-lying slopes of the hills.
Most of the figures represented in the third complex are particular to the Nasca culture (200 B.C. - 500 A.D.). Nasca is one of the communities which characterises the great diversities of cultures developed over time in the Central Andes. They established a successful economy in a difficult area due to its dryness and mountainous geography - based on the Paracas cultural development. All of this was accompanied by a huge mystical-religious system particular to the Andean region. Together with the Moche people of the Northern coast of Peru they were known for their exceptional handicrafts, particularly evident in their pottery as well as their textiles.
Most of the geoglyphs were made by sweeping the pebbles from the surface to form lines and to define areas. The lines form huge naturalistic schematic figures, such as monkeys, spiders, plants, hummingbirds, pelicans and other types of birds, as well as complex geometric designs like spirals and broken or very long unbroken lines. The defined areas contain huge rectangular and trapezoidal figures and these, together with the lines, create fascinating sets of monumental proportions. Many of these are found near to populated areas of that time, as in the case of Quebada del Fraile, Cahuachi and other less important sites as in Palpa and Ingenio.
These large geoglyphs are not only found in concentrations but are also found dispersed over a larger area which include the river basins of Santa Cruz, Rio Grande, Palpa, Ingenio and Nasca.
National interest in the geoglyphes began in 1939 with the 27th Congress of Americanists. At this event Mejia Xeespe introduced various theories about their origin and use, where the deep mystical-religious system had to have an important role in their conception and construction.
Foreing researchers have also tried to discover their origin and function, including Paul Kosok, who since 1941 has been interested in this problem. Through him, Maria Reiche, a German, became fascinated with the lines and since this time has carried out significant work; as much in conservation as in investigation. She has made complex mathematical calculations to deduce how the figures were conceived and created.