For the archaeological site, see Nazca Lines. For the culture it belonged to, see Nazca culture.
For other uses of Nazca, see Nazca (disambiguation).
Nazca (sometimes spelled Nasca) is the name of a system of valleys on the southern coast of Peru, and the name of the region's largest existing town. It is also the name applied to the Nazca culture that flourished in the area between 300 BC and AD 800. They were responsible for the Nazca Lines and the ceremonial city of Cahuachi; they also constructed an impressive system of underground aqueducts named Puquios, that still function today.
The town of Nazca has recently been dumping its trash on the pampa, destroying some of the Nazca lines in the process. Under President Alberto Ken'ya Fujimori's rule, Nazca received money to turn the irrigation canals into tourist attractions. President Alejandro Toledo, whose partner is an anthropologist, stopped the aid.
On 12 November 1996 at 11:59 a.m. local time a heavy earthquake of 6.4 (the center of the earthquake was 7.7 in the sea) destroyed the city of Nasca and its surroundings almost completely. Because it occurred during the day there were only 17 fatalities, but 1,500 people were injured and around 100,000 left homeless. Almost all old houses in bricks were destroyed, but within 12 years Nasca has been completely rebuilt in colored houses with columns, now often multi-storied houses, with a small boulevard in the center.
Since 1997, Nazca has been the location of a major Canadian gold mining operation. The people who were living on the land for the previous 2000 years did not have title to the land, so they were displaced without legal problems. Since then, there have been some attempts to legalize poor citizens' ownership of their land and their fixed property, in response to Hernando de Soto's research on the poor.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Nazca