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Peru: Heavy machinery destroys Nazca lines

A group of ancient lines in the archaeological zone of Buenos Aires, in Nazca, have been destroyed by heavy machinery, El Comercio reported.
According to the daily, the machinery belongs to a firm that is removing limestone from the area.

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New light on the Nazca Lines

The first findings of the most detailed study yet by two British archaeologists into the Nazca Lines - enigmatic drawings created between 2,100 and 1,300 years ago in the Peruvian desert - have been published in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity.
As part of a five-year investigation, Dr Nicholas Saunders of the University of Bristol's Department of Archaeology and Anthropology and Professor Clive Ruggles of the University of Leicester walked 1,500 km of desert in southern Peru, tracing the lines and geometric figures created by the Nasca people between 100 BC and AD 700.

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Scientists claim new geoglyph find in Nazca, Peru

Two scientists from Yamagata University in Japan reported finding two new geoglyphs in southern Peru's Nazca province, Andina reported.
The new geoglyphs depict a human head and an animal figure that the researchers have yet to identify, state news agency Andina reported. According to the archaeology faculty chief at Yamagata, Yoichi Watanabe, the drawing of the human head is 4.2 meters long and 3.1 m wide. The geoglyphs have most probably not been identified in aerial surveys before because of their small size, Watanabe said.

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One of the many well known wonders of Peru are the famous Nasca lines located on the Nasca plains in the southern part of Peru. The Nasca were one of many ancient cultures that reached great heights in this amazing country. The Nasca flourished from 200 BC to 700 AD and left behind not only a remarkable city with at least 17 temples, which are just being excavated, as well as a very advanced aqueduct system, but they also left these remarkable designs in the desert.
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The National Institute of Culture (INC) of Peru is currently preparing a preservation project to prevent damaged caused by weather on the enigmatic Nazca Lines, (Ica region) reported Mario Olaechea, resident archaeologist of this organisation in Nasca.

"It's a project that will serve the whole area in general, to avoid events such like the one last January, when rainwater accumulated and drained, covering with layers of clay the geoglyph called La Mano (The Hand).  Only 1% of the geoglyph was covered by the clay layer, and will be withdrawn very soon...The most important part of this project is the preventive stage" - Mario Olaechea.

Heavy rains have affected the region during the first quarter, but without causing serious consequences.

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Heavy rains have damaged part of Peru's famed Nazca lines, depositing desert clay and sand on top of three fingers of a geoglyph shaped like a pair of hands, an archaeologist said Monday.
Mario Olaechea of Peru's National Culture Institute told The Associated Press that water from the unusually heavy rains
washed off the nearby Pan-American highway and pushed sand and clay onto part of the site Sunday.

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The mystery of why ancient South American peoples who created the mysterious Nazca Lines also collected human heads as trophies has long puzzled scholars who theorise the heads may have been used in fertility rites, taken from enemies in battle or associated with ancestor veneration.
A recent study using specimens from Chicago's Field Museum throws new light on the matter by establishing that trophy heads came from people who lived in the same place and were part of the same culture as those who collected them. These people lived 2,000 to 1,500 years ago.

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Indiana Jones may be flying over the Nazca Lines in Peru in his latest Hollywood adventure, but two British archaeologists have been investigating the enigmatic desert drawings for several years.
Dr Nick Saunders from Bristol University and Professor Clive Ruggles from the University of Leicester are locating and measuring the lines with high-precision GPS, photographing the distribution of 1,500-year old pottery, and painstakingly working out the chronological sequence of overlying lines and designs.

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Credit Yamagata University

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A team of Japanese researchers have discovered a set of strange lines on the ground on a plateau in Peru.

The series of about 100 lines--some straight and some curving--form patterns and pictures hundreds of meters across that seem to represent humans and animals. The patterns were discovered on the Nazca Plateau in Peru by a research group from Yamagata University. The plateau is a World Heritage Site for other similar patterns known as the Nazca Lines.
The Cultural Affairs Agency said it would be the first time for Japanese researchers to discover new Nazca Lines.
The Yamagata University researchers, led by assistant Prof. Masato Sakai of the Faculty of Literature and Social Sciences began mapping the Nazca Lines in autumn 2004 to preserve them and to try to determine their purpose.

Sakai analysed photos taken by a U.S. commercial satellite and found images in the southwestern part of the plateau. The group visited the site in December 2004 and March this year, and confirmed the presence of the previously undiscovered lines.

The plateau stretches 20 kilometres from east to west and 15 kilometres from south to north. About 700 lines depicting animals, plants and geometric patterns have been found.

Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun

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