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Posted on Friday, July 23 - 2004

Peru's ancient spiral-tailed monkey is losing its tail. Extensive high-resolution aerial photos of the famed Nazca Lines taken by Peru's air force showed destruction Thursday that conservationists have long feared. Tire tracks and disregard for the site are irreparably scarring the mysterious lines and animal figures that a pre-Columbian civilization etched into a 56-kilometre stretch of Peru's southern desert centuries ago. In the first comprehensiveaerial photos taken by Peru's government since 1973, one of the most famous animal figures, the monkey, was crisscrossed by tire tracks nearly obliterating the top of its tail.

The fish and spider lines showed similar scars in the 180 photos taken last month and published in local newspapers. Denouncing the damage, Congressman Luis Gonzales said he would urge legislators to take urgent action to protect the site, which was added to the United Nations World Heritage list in 1994. "This is extremely grave," he said. "When the photographs are presented to theinternational community, it will unleash a scandal because it involves human patrimony." Some of the worst damage has occurred since the death in 1998 of German mathematician Maria Reich, who at 95, had devoted five decades of her life guarding the 450-square-kilometre protected zone.

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Archaeologist finds ancient Nasca iron ore mine

A purdue university archaeologist discovered an intact ancient iron ore mine in South America that shows how civilizations before the Inca Empire were mining this valuable ore. "Archaeologists know people in the Old and New worlds have mined minerals for thousands and thousands of years," said Kevin J. Vaughn, an assistant professor of anthropology who studies the Nasca civilization, which existed from A.D. 1 to A.D. 750. "Iron mining in the Old World, specifically in Africa, goes back 40,000 ye...

Japanese researchers find new giant picture on Peru's Nazca Plateau

A new giant picture on the Nazca Plateau in Peru, which is famous for giant patterns that can be seen from the air, has been discovered by a team of Japanese researchers.The image is 65 meters long, and appears to be an animal with horns. It is thought to have been drawn as a symbol of hopes for good crops, but there are no similar patterns elsewhere, and the type of the animal remains unclear. The discovery marks the first time since the 1980s that a picture other than a geometrical...

Peru's Nazca lines under threat

A tiny, hand-painted sign mounted on a flimsy barbed wire fence warns visitors to Peru's Nazca lines: "No entry. Area off-limits." It's not much of a deterrent. The latest threat to the vast U.N. World Heritage site where the enigmatic shapes and lines, stylized figures of birds and animals were etched in the desert some 2,000 years ago, is a camp of around 30 shacks that appeared in August. The rudimentary straw-matting huts are pitched in the dry earth on the fringe of a prot...

New Nazca line picture discovered

A new giant picture on the Nazca Plateau in Peru, which is famous for giant patterns that can be seen from the air, has been discovered by a team of Japanese researchers. The image is 65 meters long, and appears to be an animal with horns. It is thought to have been drawn as a symbol of hopes for good crops, but there are no similar patterns elsewhere, and the type of the animal remains unclear.The discovery marks the first time since the 1980s that a picture other than a geometrical pattern has...

Peru's Nasca Lines Under Threat

They don't look much from the ground. But these are the Nasca Lines: one of Peru's top tourist attractions. These giant figures that are etched in the desert are so large they can only fully be appreciated from the sky. Every year around 80,000 people fly over them, marvelling at images like the monkey with its curly tail or the delicately-carvedhummingbird. Nobody knows exactly why the Nasca people carved hundreds of lines and dozens of figures over 1,000 years ago, but there has been ...

Heavy rains alter Peru's famed Nazca Lines

Copyright AFPHeavy rains in recent days in Peru have affected the famed Nazca Lines, the two-millennia-old giant outlines thatare one of the country's top tourist attractions, officials said Tuesday. The precipitation left a layer of white clay on parts of twoof the geoglyphs, "giving another color to the figures," archeologist Mario Olaechea of the National Institute of Culture told AFP.But the changes were "reversible," he added. . The Nazca Lines are conside...

Two new geoglyphs found in Nazca

Scientists have identified two new geoglpyhs of a human head and an animal in Nazca, Peru.Situated close to the Nazca Lines the new geoglyphs are thought to have been missed previously due to their small sizes of between three and four metres in length. The team had previously uncovered almost one hundred glyphs carved in to thedesert in 2006. The newgeoglyphs depict a human head and an animal figure that the researchers have yet to identify, state news agency Andina reported. . ...

Nazca photographs deepen mystery

The Nazca Lines have been a source of mystery and dispute since their discovery in southern Peru nearly a century ago. So why should the latest find be any different? Japanese enthusiasts recently released new aerial photographs of figures etched in the ground of the Nazca region, adding a fresh dollop of wonder to the giant geometric patterns and animal drawings that scientists say the Nazca Indians created as many as 2,000 years ago. Peruvian officials expressed excitement about the announceme...

Priests may have designed Nazca lines

High priests at an ancient religious compound in southern Peru may have designed the mysterious Nazca lines, a set of huge geometric patterns, animal figures and long lines etched in the desert, the area's top archaeologist said. Researchers say the Cahua-chi compound, built in 400 B.C., is just across the Nazca Valley from the lines, one of Peru's most popular tourist attractions and a U.N. World Heritage site. "It islogical to think that the Nazca people's religious beliefs or...

Priests may have designed Nazca lines, expert says

Copyright www.azstarnet.comHigh priests at an ancient religious compound in southern Peru may have designed the mysterious Nazca lines, a set of huge geometric patterns, animal figures and long lines etched in the desert, the area's top archaeologist said. Researchers say the Cahua-chi compound, built in 400 B.C., is just across the Nazca Valley from the lines, one of Peru's most popular tourist attractions and a U.N. World Heritage site.It is logical to think that the Nazca peopl...


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