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Archaeologists Use Drones To Discover Ancient Drawings In Peru

REUTERS/Carolina Castellanos/World Monuments Fund/Handout

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Ancient desert drawings called Nasca lines were found in Peru after archeologists used low-flying drones in their search, the National Geographic revealed.

Nasca lines, 2,000-year-old geoglyphic drawings in Peru were found by a group of Peruvian archaeologists, according to a report by the National Geographic on Thursday. The geoglyphic artwork, which means “ground drawings,” belong to the Nasca civilization, which ruled from 200 to 700 A.D. in Peru. Previous research uncovered thousands of these geoglyphic drawings. Archaeologists recently uncovered at least 50 more due to the use of low-flying drones since most are too faded to be seen on foot.

“The [drone camera] resolution is incredibly high,” Luis Jaime Castillo Butters, an archaeologist and professor at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, told the National Geographic.

“Many of the discoveries antedate the Nasca lines.  Complex Peruvian societies in these regions go back thousands of years,” Larry Coben, the executive director of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Archaeologists speculate that the Paracas and Topará cultures also crafted some of the Nasca lines from 500 B.C. to 200 A.D. Many of the lines also feature human drawings while previous Nasca lines focused on linear designs.

“New discoveries mean new challenges to protect the lines…the Sustainable Preservation Initiative will be heading up these efforts with its partners.  Local communities will be key to our efforts here,” Coben added. Greenpeace previously staged a protest by the Nasca lines in 2014, resulting in damage in the surrounding area.

The discoveries were assisted by a variety of organizations including National Geographic, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture and Global Explorer. However, the Sustainable Preservation Initiative worked primarily with the drones and local communities near the Nasca lines, Coben also noted.

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