Fancy new geoglyphs discovered in Peru

Those thousands of drawings in the desert of southern Peru that we call the Nazca Lines? They're so yesterday. According to National Geographic, all of the cool kids know that the geoglyphs worth paying attention to are those new ground etchings that archaeologists recently grokked in Peru's Palpa province.

Through the use of drones and satellite imagery, 50 new examples of geoglyphs were discovered by archeologists. Many of the ground drawings were so fine or well hidden that they are almost too obscure to see with the human eye:

From National Geographic:

Some of the newfound lines belong to the Nasca culture, which held sway in the area from 200 to 700 A.D. However, archaeologists suspect that the earlier Paracas and Toparácultures carved many of the newfound images between 500 B.C. and 200 A.D.

Unlike the iconic Nasca lines—most of which are only visible from overhead—the older Paracas glyphs were laid down on hillsides, making them visible to villages below. The two cultures also pursued different artistic subjects: Nasca lines most often consist of lines or polygons, but many of the newfound Paracas figures depict humans.

More likely than not, the new geoglyphs might not have been found at all, were it not for the fact that the nearby Nasca lines are currently undergoing restoration to sort out the damage caused by a Greenpeace publicity stunt in 2014 and this guy, earlier this year. While mapping out the damaged areas of the lines, volunteers from GlobalXplorer noted the previously undiscovered line work. Read the rest

Driver trucks up Peru's ancient Nazca Lines

We can't have nice, ancient things.

Peru's Nazca Lines have so much historical and cultural significance that the United Nations declared the Peruvian coastal plains where they're located to be a World Heritage Site back in 1994. Created somewhere between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D., they're one of the finest examples of  ancient geoglyphs still intact today. Depicting plants, animals, culturally significant figures and yes, maybe space aliens, the drawings, which take up 425 square kilometers of space, are so massive that they can only be fully appreciated when seen from the air. They're a beautiful mystery, carved into the face of the earth generations ago; an echo of a vibrant past.

So of course, someone drove a semi-truck through them.

According to Andina, a news outlet owned by the Peruvian government, the driver of the truck, Jainer Jesús Flores Vigo, left a nearby highway, steering his rig 50 to 100 meters into a nearby section of the geoglyph and left deep wheel ruts in it before coming to a stop. The New York Times says that Vigo faces a criminal charge of "attack against cultural heritage" for his off-road adventure. Thankfully, only a small section of the Nazca Lines was damaged, and the Peruvian Government says that they'll be stepping up surveillance efforts in the area in an attempt to maintain the integrity of the site.

Why anyone would decide to build a highway through such a priceless link to our past, making incidents like this possible, is anyone's guess. Read the rest