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In a shocking example of destruction of a fragile archaeological site, a truck driver has been charged with careless driving and entering a prohibited zone after he accidentally drove his truck over the world-renowned Nazca lines in Peru.
The NAZCA lines are a UNESCO World Heritage site and are surrounded by warning signs that clearly prohibit people from entering the area and causing damage to the ancient site. However, AFP reports that the driver ignored the warnings and drove his truck straight over the top of three geoglyphs causing deep track marks that ran for 100 meters. The geoglyphs are so fragile that special shoes must be worn when walking around them to prevent damage to the landscape. The track marks from the truck are on a different scale of destruction altogether.
- 5,000-Year-Old Rock Carving Depicting Skier in Norway Destroyed by Youths
- Sacred Roads, Spirit Animals or Water Sources? The Perplexing Purpose of the Nazca Lines
- Ancient Runways and Flying Fish: Did the Nazca Culture Take Flight?
Parrot geoglyph at Nazca. Source: BigStockPhotos
Located in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, some 400 km south of Lima, the geoglyphs of Nazca cover an incredible 450 km2. They are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. The geoglyphs depict living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures several kilometers long. The Nazca lines number in their thousands and the vast majority of them date from 200 BC to 500 AD, to a time when a people referred to as the Nazca inhabited the region. Despite a plethora of research on these amazing creations, the purpose of the lines has eluded researchers ever since their discovery in 1927.
The images are fragile as they are made by moving the black rocks to reveal the white sand underneath. Further movement of the rocks is detrimental to the images. ( CC BY 2.0 )
This is not the first time that the geoglyphs in Nazca have been damaged by human interference. In 2014, Greenpeace activists walked all over the ancient lines to place a huge message reading ‘Time for Change! The Future is Renewable’ – quite ironic that they were petitioning for consideration of our future while trampling all over our ancient past.
The non-profit organisation came under fire for their careless and irresponsible actions and Peruvian authorities charged the activists for damaging an archaeological monument of national significance. “They are absolutely fragile. They are black rocks on a white background. You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years,” Peruvian deputy culture minister Luis Jaime Castillo told The Guardian at the time.
- Millennia-Old Quarry Site for Stonehenge Stones Damaged and Looted
- Peru claims Greenpeace damaged ancient Nazca Lines
- Twenty Four more Ancient Geoglyphs Discovered in Nazca, Peru
Greenpeace message on the landscape at Nazca next to an ancient geoglyph. ( CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 )
In 2015, a second case of vandalism involved a man writing ‘Artist: Luis Tadeo’ above a pelican geoglyph. The perpetrator has been sought after by officials for 6 years as it is not the first time he has written his name in the prohibited zone of the Nazca lines.
Despite a plethora of research on these amazing creations, scientists have not been able agree on the purpose of the lines ever since their discovery in 1927. Some scientists maintain they are linked to the heavens with some representing constellations in the night sky. Other experts believe the lines are connected with water, something vital to life, yet hard to get in the desert, and may have played a part in water-based rituals. Still others have said they were intended as ‘messages to the gods’, or were created along ancient pilgrimage routes.
Hopefully the real purpose of this incredible ancient creation will one day come to light, but we have very little chance of discovering its secrets if the precious archaeological site cannot be protected from deteriorating forces such as this.
Top image: Image shows the level of damage caused by the truck driving into the protected archaeological site. (Image: Peruvian Ministry of Culture)
Thanks to Arthur Shippee, Dave Sowdon, Edward Rockstein, Kurt Theis,
John McMahon, Barnea Selavan, Joseph Lauer, Mike Ruggeri, Hernan Astudillo,
Barbara Saylor Rodgers, Rick Heli, Robert White, Trevor Ogden, Bob Heuman,
Richard C. Griffiths, and Ross W. Sargent for headses upses this week
(as always hoping I have left no one out).
A study is making connections between cave art and the development of language:
And hot on the heels of that suggestion that Neanderthals’ lack of artistic ability contributed to their demise:
… comes major attention on redating of some cave art in Spain suggesting Neanderthals were artists:
Giant handaxes suggest multiple human lineages in Europe some 200 000 – 300 000 years bp:
On the evolution of human brain size:
I think we mentioned these 700 000 years bp child footprints from Gombore:
More on those stone tools from India and their implications:
ANCIENT NEAR EAST AND EGYPT
Plenty of coverage of the find of eight 26th Dynasty tombs with plenty of burial goods at Tuna el-Gebel near Cairo:
Latest theory on how the pyramids at Giza were aligned:
On the sun alignment at Abu Simbel:
Review of Joyce Tyldesley, *Nefertiti’s Face*:
… and a piece by Dr Tyldesley on how Nefertiti’s bust ended up in Germany:
Inscriptions in looters’ tunnels revealed after the destruction of the tomb of Jonah in Nineveh:
Plenty of coverage of the a seal find purporting to be the prophet Isaiah’s ‘signature’:
Honours for Gabriel Wasserman:
Maybe the Hanging Gardens were in Nineveh:
More on the DSS priestly calendar:
Gobeklitepe is open to the public again:
What Claudia Glatz is up to:
Concerns for the Great Mosque of Samarra:
Interesting item on saving manuscripts from ISIL:
Remains of a Roman barracks block from Chester:
Latest finds from the Thessaloniki metro construction (including a headless Aphrodite statue):
A section of 1st century mosaic from the bathing complex at Bath:
A possible Roman origin for a Reedham church:
Interesting study of how the ‘Gates of Hell’ at Hierapolis killed sacrificial animals:
Philip II’s palace at Aigai is opening to the public soon:
Putting Megacles on trial:
In case you missed the phallic parade in Athens:
… or just want a feature on erotic art of Greece and Rome:
Crossword help for ‘nemean’:
Feature on ‘Brancaster’ rings:
Analogies between Russian meddling and Troy:
What Gloria Pinney is up to:
What Albert Ammerman is up to:
What Lynn Kozak is up to (performing the Iliad):
Interviewish/reviewish with Richard Thomas about his Dylan book:
Review of Daniel Mendelsohn, *An Odyssey*:
Review of Emily Wilson’s *Odyssey* translation:
Interview with Nick Hodgson on the effect of Hadrian’s Wall on the locals:
Review of Patricia Vidgerman, *Real Life of the Parthenon*:
Feature on Yourcenar’s *Memoirs of Hadrian*:
They’re already pondering a sequel to Troy: Fall of a City:
… and the casting decisions continue to be brought up:
More on Caesar’s landing place in Britain:
Bronze Age finds from school construction in Wichelstowe:
Inscriptions found on a medieval spindle whorl found in Poland some 60 years ago:
Overviewish thing on finds from a dig at St Albans Cathedral:
Excavating 20 burials from Copenhagen dating to 1000 years bp or so:
Bones found because of a ‘vision’ on Paphos date from the 14th century:
Medieval remains found during school renovations in Turku:
Because of ‘waterlogged ground’, Avebury henge and environs have been temporarily closed:
Some Iron Age Viking finds were apparently melted down as scrap (? I’m hoping Google is mistranslating):
More on those skulls on stakes from a Swedish lake (pardon the rhyme):
More on that Viking mass grave:
A 1500 years bp tomb with armour from Shibushi:
A pair of 232 years bp cannon show up during excavations at Fort Cornwallis (Penang):
Excavating a 19th century Ottoman shipwreck off Japan:
Feature on archaeology in Cambodia:
Fire at a Tibetan monastery in Lhasa:
Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog:
New Zealand Archaeology eNews:
Protecting petroglyphs on Lake Mountain (Utah):
On a cemetery built on a Native American mound in Mississippi:
Rejecting the Solutrean hypothesis (recently revived in a Canadian documentary):
On early white interpretations of assorted mound cultures:
Mayan finds from the largest underwater cave (Yucatan):
… and concerns for the Sac Actun cave system in general:
… and there are plans to make a 3d copy of the cave:
… and INAH has published an underwater archaeology catalog:
LiDAR has revealed a major city near Morelia, Mexico:
More on what LiDAR revealed in Guatemala:
It apparently took a while for dogs and humans to get along:
Conservation of the oldest Christian panel painting from the Americas:
Arguing about the Portrait of Omai:
On the spread of Proto Indo European:
Interesting early same-sex marriage in Spain:
Making the Bible into a ‘novel’ (sort of):
Victor Nuovo is looking at Diderot this week:
Interesting feature on David Fairchild:
Feature on Klimt and Schiele:
On Rembrandt’s self portraits:
Feature on W.E.B. Du Bois at 150:
More on rabbit domestication:
More on the archaeology of wealth inequality:
Review of Iliffe, *Priest of Nature*:
Archaeology Podcast Network:
Insurance is expensive when Tut goes on tour:
On the Green Family’s ‘other collection’:
Michael Bennett is leaving the Cleveland MoA:
Feature on conservation techniques at UPenn’s Museum of Archaeology:
Studying Neanderthal molars using three-dimensional geometric morphometry:
DNA is settling some controversy about the spread of the Bell Beaker folks from Europe to Britain:
This seems to be a different study of migrations in Europe:
DNA also suggests that Taino DNA is still present in Caribbean populations:
They’re going to test those human remains from the Whydah to see if theres a connection to Samuel Bellamy:
Over the past eight years, genome research has expanded to 1300+ human genomes:
Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog:
anonymous swiss collector:
Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues:
Illicit Cultural Property:
REPATRIATION AND RECOVERY
The US Supreme court has ruled that terrorist victims cannot seize Iranian antiquities on loan in the US:
A different sort of repatriation issue … an Israeli collector claiming title to a statue of Cybele in Turkey:
Even more different, a Degas stolen in 2009 turns up on a bus near Paris:
This seems also to be the category to mention that the US and Libya have signed an MoU on looting:
Followup to that coins-in-a-piano story from a while back:
… and the one which should appear later today:
Taygete Atlantis excavations blogs aggregator:
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Google and Aramco in Talks to Build a "Tech Hub" in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Aramco and Alphabet/Google may cooperate on a "technology hub" within Saudi Arabia, or at least build some data centers:
Saudi Aramco, the world's largest energy company, and Google parent Alphabet have entered discussions to create a technology hub in Saudi Arabia, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The kingdom is embarking upon an ambitious plan, led by the 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to diversify the nation's oil-dependent economy. The foundation of the effort is a plan to create a huge sovereign wealth fund, underwritten by selling shares in the state-owned Aramco.
The initial public offering, which could happen this year, is expected to be the world's biggest-ever share sale. Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser recently told CNBC his company is ready for the IPO this year, but is waiting on the government to choose an international list venue.
Alphabet and Aramco have discussed forming a joint venture that would build data centers around the kingdom, sources familiar with the matter tell the Journal. It remains to be seen which customers the data centers would serve and how large the joint venture would be, but it could be listed in the Saudi stock exchange, the sources said.
Data centers are just a "tangible" area of cooperation, not necessarily the entire purpose of the joint venture. Saudi Arabia has talked about building a $500+ billion "megacity" that would be technology-focused.
Meanwhile, slightly-less-of-a-billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been put back to work:
Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is back on the job as chairman of global investment firm Kingdom Holding after being released from detention in an anti-corruption campaign, the company said on Thursday.
Prince Alwaleed, one of the country's top international investors, was freed on Saturday, nearly three months after being taken into custody along with dozens of senior officials and businessmen on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Most detainees have been released, after settlements secured just over $100 billion from members of the elite, the attorney general has said, without providing details.
Watch the video: Οι Γραμμές της Νάζκα - Nazca Lines