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Posted on Monday, November 14 - 2005

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 protected area that covers 111,200 acres -- roughly2-1/2 times the size of Washington, D.C.

Directly below them is an ancient burial site still pitted by long-ago scars of tomb raiders hunting for priceless textiles, pottery or jewels to steal. The lines -- one of Peru's top tourist attractions and only properly visible from the air -- were made by clearing away surface shale or piling it up onto other stones when the Roman Empire still existed. But there are signs modern vandals have been at work. One giant trapezoid, which is not on the usual tourist aerial overview, has graffiti scrawled all over it. Nearby, someone has also drawn a penis -- a recent addition, judging by how the newly disturbedearth stands out brightly against the gray of the plain. "Everyone thinks we're exaggerating when we say the lines are being irreparably damaged, but I'd like them to see the amount of graffiti on these lines," said Eduardo Herran, chief pilot at Aerocondor, who flies over Nazca almost daily.

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Aerial photos show damage to Peru's Nazca Lines

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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...

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...

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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

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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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