‘Deep Scars’ as Trucker Drives Across Peru’s 2,000-Year-Old Nazca Lines ~ NYT


The condor geoglyph in the Nazca Lines south of Lima. Credit Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press

A 2,000-year-old United Nations World Heritage Site in Peru was damaged this week when a trucker intentionally drove his tractor-trailer off a roadway that runs through the protected historic area, the authorities said.

The site, the famed Nazca Lines, is a sprawling series of images scratched into the surface of a coastal plain about 225 miles south of Lima, the capital. The site was created between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, and is the world’s best-known example of geoglyphs — large designs created by arranging rocks or altering the landscape — that depict animals, plants and other figures.

The truck driver, Jainer Jesús Flores Vigo, was arrested and is expected to be charged with an “attack against cultural heritage,” according to the government-owned news outlet Andina.

The Nazca Lines, created by a pre-Inca civilization, are believed to have been used for religious and ceremonial gatherings for hundreds of years. From the ground, the lines are nearly impossible to identify; their true splendor is best viewed from above.

The Pan-American Highway, which runs through the protected site, has left it increasingly vulnerable to human actions, according to the United Nations.

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