Police were sent in to the Toro Muerto archaeological site in Arequipa at the end of last week, to recover some 3.5 hectares that had been taken over by land invaders.
The invaders were preparing the land for commercial fruit trees and had already built a small water reservoir and installed irrigation pipes. According to the Ministry of Culture, the invaders were unable to prove ownership of the land and left without protest when they were shown documents that proved the area is a cultural heritage site.
Toro Muerto, near the Majes river in the province of Castilla, is the site of thousands of petroglyphs. The prehispanic drawings of animals and geometric shapes are believed to date to the Wari civilization, between AD 500 and 1000, and are carved into hillsides and on thousands of volcanic rocks found in the arid valley.
The Ministry has now installed an information panel at the entrance to the valley.