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La República is a Spanish-language newspaper based in Lima, Peru. Based in Lima, it is one of the two main national dailies sold all over the country since its founding in 1981.
Peruvian Farmers Plough Through 3,000-Year-Old Mural
Alidad Vassigh

Peruvian Farmers Plough Through 3,000-Year-Old Mural

First, the good news: A major archeological find has been discovered in the north of Peru. A ceremonial mound or temple that's thought to date back some 3,200 years, the site also contains a mural with a vaguely visible image of a giant spider and, for reasons yet unknown, a spoon. Cool, right?

This is a story that comes, however, with a caveat, because unfortunately, the precious, pre-Hispanic structure is partially destroyed — and not just due to the passage of time.

The problem, it turns out, is that the find was first unearthed, inadvertently, by local laborers looking to extend the cropland where the ancient huaca (burial site) is located, smack dab in the middle of what's now an avocado grove, on one side, and a sugarcane field on the other, the Peruvian news agency Andina reports.

Using heavy machinery, the workers caused extensive damage to the site before realizing, finally, that they'd stumbled across something really quite remarkable.

Better late than never, the discovery is now, finally, being protected. Archeologists attribute the remains to the early phases of the Cupisnique culture, which flourished between 1,500 and 500 BC, according to daily La República. The structure may have been a temple to local water deities.

The Cupisnique culture belonged to Peru's Initial or Formative Period (1,800 to 200 BC) with sites in Virú and the Lambayeque region. Feren Castillo, a lecturer at the Trujillo National University, cites this as one of 400 such sites that farmers or land grabbers have spoiled or vandalized.

An excavator attempts to free the front end of the Ever Given, the container ship which is currently blocking the Suez Canal

The Latest: UK-China Clash, Remorseless Macron, Chilly World Record

Welcome to Friday, where the UK-China diplomatic clash escalates, Ethiopian refugee camps have been razed to the ground and French President Macron has no regrets (really?). We also have an exclusive Le Monde reportage on a secret global outfit that's infiltrating the data of jihadists.

• China-UK diplomatic dispute:China has issued sanctions on nine British individuals and four entities after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson voiced support for a British lawmaker who denounced China's "gross human rights violations."

• Norway remains AstraZeneca skeptic, U.S. vaccinations accelerate: Norway's public health institute announced it will continue to suspend the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine by up to three weeks. Other European countries have resumed the use of the vaccine after it's safety was confirmed by the chief EU health body. Meanwhile, in his first press conference as president, Joe Biden doubles down on the impressively rapid U.S. vaccine rollout.

• Refugee camps in Ethiopia destroyed: An international aid team gained access to the Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps, home to about 20,000 refugees, in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, only to find them completely destroyed, many burnt to the ground, and all "humanitarian facilities looted and vandalised."

• Projectile attack on oil terminal in Saudi Arabia: A drone attack sparked fire at an oil terminal in southern Saudi Arabia, following a recent increase in attacks by Yemen rebels in the long-simmering war in the region.

• Massive U.S. university sex abuse settlement: The University of Southern California has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to the 710 former students who were patients of the school gynecologist. George Tyndall is still awaiting trial on dozens of charges of sexual abuse.

• Freediver world record swim under ice: French freediver Arthur Guerin-Boeri set a world record for longest distance travelled under a sheet of ice, swimming 120 meters in Finland's Lake Sonnanen.

• Georgia man gets final paycheck in pennies: After leaving his job in November, a Georgia man's boss finally delivered the paycheck, in the form of 90,000 pennies covered in oil on his driveway and an explicit note atop the pile.

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