Ruins at risk: Peru’s urban growth threatens to erase pre-colonial sites

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Ruins at risk: Peru’s urban growth threatens to erase pre-colonial sites

The pre-Columbian archaeological site La Luz is flanked by a private soccer field in Lima, Peru. Many people in modern-day Peru are raised among the Incan ruins built before the Spanish colonized South America.
Homes in the Lurin district stand near the pre-Columbian archaeological site Pachacamac in Lima, Peru. Many people in modern-day Peru recall treasure hunting at ruins as children, hiding away pieces of ceramic pots, textile scraps and even human bones.
A municipal basketball court that was built near the pre-Columbian archaeological site Limatambo in Lima, Peru. Thousands of historic sites are being crowded out or destroyed as roads, universities, stadiums and neighborhoods are built to meet the population’s growing demands.
The pre-Columbian archaeological site Pucllana is surrounded by urban sprawl in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru. An estimated 46,000 pre-colonial sites mark the country’s landscape, and about 400 of those are located in Lima, which has the largest number of pre-colonial archaeological zones in South America.
The pre-Columbian archaeological site Pucllana is divided by Independence Street in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru. “Since the founding of Lima, there has been no relationship between the people and the huacas beyond seeing them as mounds of earth or places to search for treasures,” said Lima-based archaeologist Hector Walde.
Residents play soccer inside the pre-Columbian archaeological site Puruchuco in the Ate district, where there are few recreational spaces open to the public in Lima, Peru. Peru spends enough to protect just 1 percent of its pre-colonial archaeological sites, according to official data, leaving hundreds of ruins abandoned.
High-rise apartment buildings surround the Huantinamarca pre-Columbian archaeological site, along Pacifico Avenue in Lima, Peru. A small group of archaeologists and officials are stepping up efforts to preserve the sites being squeezed by urban sprawl.
A highway passes the pre-Columbian archaeological site Puruchuco in the Ate district of Lima, Peru. Lima’s first urban explosion began in the 20th century, accompanied by the large-scale destruction of pre-colonial sites.
The pre-Columbian archaeological site Huantille, right, is hugged by apartments a market in the Cercado de Lima area of Lima, Peru. Many residents of Peru’s capital live among remnants of the vast Inca empire that flourished here more than six centuries ago.
Tourists walk the trails of the pre-Columbian archaeological site Pucllana, surrounded by modern high-rises in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru. Peruvians have lived their entire lives alongside the “huacas,” an indigenous Quechua word meaning “oracle” or “sacred place.”

Ruins at risk: Peru’s urban growth threatens to erase pre-colonial sites

The pre-Columbian archaeological site La Luz is flanked by a private soccer field in Lima, Peru. Many people in modern-day Peru are raised among the Incan ruins built before the Spanish colonized South America.
Homes in the Lurin district stand near the pre-Columbian archaeological site Pachacamac in Lima, Peru. Many people in modern-day Peru recall treasure hunting at ruins as children, hiding away pieces of ceramic pots, textile scraps and even human bones.
A municipal basketball court that was built near the pre-Columbian archaeological site Limatambo in Lima, Peru. Thousands of historic sites are being crowded out or destroyed as roads, universities, stadiums and neighborhoods are built to meet the population’s growing demands.
The pre-Columbian archaeological site Pucllana is surrounded by urban sprawl in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru. An estimated 46,000 pre-colonial sites mark the country’s landscape, and about 400 of those are located in Lima, which has the largest number of pre-colonial archaeological zones in South America.
The pre-Columbian archaeological site Pucllana is divided by Independence Street in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru. “Since the founding of Lima, there has been no relationship between the people and the huacas beyond seeing them as mounds of earth or places to search for treasures,” said Lima-based archaeologist Hector Walde.
Residents play soccer inside the pre-Columbian archaeological site Puruchuco in the Ate district, where there are few recreational spaces open to the public in Lima, Peru. Peru spends enough to protect just 1 percent of its pre-colonial archaeological sites, according to official data, leaving hundreds of ruins abandoned.
High-rise apartment buildings surround the Huantinamarca pre-Columbian archaeological site, along Pacifico Avenue in Lima, Peru. A small group of archaeologists and officials are stepping up efforts to preserve the sites being squeezed by urban sprawl.
A highway passes the pre-Columbian archaeological site Puruchuco in the Ate district of Lima, Peru. Lima’s first urban explosion began in the 20th century, accompanied by the large-scale destruction of pre-colonial sites.
The pre-Columbian archaeological site Huantille, right, is hugged by apartments a market in the Cercado de Lima area of Lima, Peru. Many residents of Peru’s capital live among remnants of the vast Inca empire that flourished here more than six centuries ago.
Tourists walk the trails of the pre-Columbian archaeological site Pucllana, surrounded by modern high-rises in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru. Peruvians have lived their entire lives alongside the “huacas,” an indigenous Quechua word meaning “oracle” or “sacred place.”
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