Discoveries in Peru

South America is an area abundant in archeological sites, which make it one of the most attractive places for both travelers and scientists. The number of artifacts left by prehistoric and antique civilizations increases every year and new discoveries are announced for public attention frequently. One of the Latin-American countries, marked with the biggest and the most incredible sites, is Peru. Certainly, its historical heritage is much associated with Machu Picchu and Nazca Lines, left by Maya and other prehistoric civilizations. However, the archeological investigation of Peruvian lands is not satisfied with what has already been achieved and upcoming discoveries do not make us wait long.

Nazca Lines, usually called geoglyphs, is giant figures site, which covers Nazca plateau in southern Peru.In 1994 it was added to UNESCO World Heritage list regardless the discovery in 1939. One may answer why these giant paintings was not revealed before; the thing is that they were noticed during flight performance over the area, which became possible only in 1930s thanks to technological progress. In fact, the discovery of Nazca Lines has led to more questions, which nowadays bother world scientists: who and why created these figures?

One of the recent findings is related to a new road to Machu Picchu. The alternative path is 4 km long with a width of 1,7 meters. Alike most of the leading ways, it takes place on the altitude of 3,6 km in Andes mountains. The relation to Machu Picchu and, therefore, culture of indigenous Indians is non-doubtful, as far as its infrastructure is full of constructions performed in their style. Specifically, it is reflected by a rock tunnel with 28 steps, numerous drainage channels, observation posts and retaining walls 10 meters high. Practically, 70 per cent of the road remains in its original state.

Americans has made a major discovery too. Specifically, they have found a cemetery, where most of the graves belong to children under 3 years. Scientists conclude that it is a place of sacrifices, which is also confirmed by intricate ceramic paintings, assigned to Colla culture of the 13-15 th century. There are also lots of buried tributes to gods and, in addition, children were buried in special baskets. Earlier such rituals were common for Incas culture, but Americans proved its distribution over other civilizations. To date 7 similar sites were revealed.

A new archeological site was found in Peru recently, which is located in Cajamarca region. The significance of this place is preconditioned by existence of two ritual constructions. Previous estimations assume that it can be the oldest architect remains found in Peru, as far as their age reaches nearly 4 thousand years. There are also revealed places of sacrifice cults. The site is likely to be untouched by invaders, which contributes to its scientific value.

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Despite public awareness of gorillas’ species, their discovery occurred about one century ago, in 1902. There are lots of controversies and ideas concerning their reveal, but the key fact is that gorillas are vivid examples of how valuable and magnificent African animal world is.

Less people know that the first one to encounter with giant gorilla was German officer Oscar von Beringe in Eastern Africa. By that time locals knew that small gorillas’ habitat embraced certain parts on the west, and discovery of gorillas in rainforests of German East Africa was an obvious surprise. In particular, von Beringe shot giant gorilla thousands kilometers away from their natural habitat. Scientists and zoologists neglected this fact because Oscar von Beringe had no scientific or even specific educational background. However, their opinion changed rapidly as they received the skeleton of murdered animal. A new species was called mountain gorilla, insomuch as it was much bigger than common ones, which were renamed into western lowland gorillas (due to natural environment).

The next stage in gorillas’ study occurred several decades later; it is associated with the name of Carl Akeley. Despite his fame of devoted conservationist and animal rights’ defender, his work in Africa started with killing these giant primates. In particular, while working at American Museum of Natural History he received an assignment to kill five gorillas for scientific research. After accomplishment of the task, Akeley returned to Africa, but in face of passionate environmentalist.

To be more prĂ©cised, he put all his efforts in gorillas’ protection, alerting an attention of press and international society. One of his biggest achievements was an establishment of Alberta National Park in 1925 (Virunga National Park to date). The idea was to protect mountain gorillas’ population in their essential environment, which is why Akeley needed the permission of Belgian authorities to start the conservation. Eastern Africa was one of the Belgian colonies at the moment. Without exact population estimates Carl Akeley convinced King Albert I of Belgium in person that a national reserve would be the most effective solution of the problem. It is the story how the first biosphere reserve emerged in Africa. This park is also a place where famous scientist was buried; unfortunately, he died during the first expedition aimed to study gorillas’ living habits.

 There are at least two confirmed facts familiar to people: first, gorillas are on the verge of extinction due to massive hunting and poaching; second, these primates are pretty peaceful and calm animals. The last one was proved due to numerous scientific investigations, as far as several zoologists managed to live within gorillas’ band. This merit is assigned to Dian Fossey and George Schaller. The last one succeeded to live a whole year with gorillas, armored with camera and binocular. His deed was honored with international recognition and glory.

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