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Informal miners slowly destroying ruins in Peru

By Emily Culver

The walls of the Yanamarca archaeological complex were damaged by illegal mining activities

Informal miners slowly destroying ruins in Peru

El Comercio

These pre-Incan ruins have been considered National Cultural Patrimony since the 1990s. The complex belonged to the Chanca culture and the buildings reach up to an impressive three floors.

The Chanca culture was peacefully incorporated into the Incas. They are estimated to have been from the Late Intermediate Period (1400 B.C.E.). They are characterized as farmers and populated spread out villages rather than cities.

Inhabitants of a nearby village confirmed to El Comercio that people have been trespassing onto the ruins to extract quartz. They have been extracting from the hills that the walls of the archaeological complex are built into for five years now. The community insisted they have permission for these activities but refused to reveal the identity of the miners.

An archaeologist from the Directory of Culture of Junín, Joel Mendoza, visited the ruins to assess the damage that had been done. He confirmed evidence of illegal mining activities and noted that some of the walls were close to collapse. Because of the sensitivity of the area, he declared that no activities should be taking place in or near the ruins.

Officials of Junín have spoken out against the activity and are searching for the identities of the miners in order to go through with the appropriate sanctions.

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