The researchers studied the layers of superimposed designs, and the associated Nazca pottery, combining the experience gained by walking the lines with scientific data from satellite digital mapping.
First discovered by Ruggles when he spent a few days on the Nazca desert back in 1984, the labyrinth lies in the midst of the study area.
"Factors beyond my control brought the 1984 expedition to an abrupt halt. It was only 20 years later that I eventually had the opportunity to return to Nazca, relocate the figure and study it fully," Ruggles said.
He added that the only way to become aware of the labyrinth is to walk its 2.7-mile length through a disorienting twisting path.
Indeed, the labyrinth features 15 corners that would bring the walker away from and towards a large hill before turning into a spiral passageway. Walking the entire path would have probably taken about an hour.
"I was almost certainly the first person to have recognized it for what it was," Ruggles said.
The labyrinth's well-preserved edges suggest it was walked by a few people in single line.