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Reiche, Maria

Born: 1903 AD
Died: 1998 AD
Nationality: German
Categories: Mathematicians

1903 – Born on May 15th in Dresden. German-born Peruvian mathematician and archaeologist, was the self-appointed keeper of the Nazca Lines, a series of Peruvian ground drawings more than 1,000 years old.

1932 – She emigrated to Peru.

1941 – She escape the political situation in Germany, became fascinated with the mysterious lines after visiting the site.

1946 – She had moved to the desert and begun mapping and measuring the figures.

1949 – Her work, the first serious study of the lines, led to the publication of The Mystery on the Desert, in which she concluded that they represented an astronomical calendar; later experts, however, have suggested a ceremonial or community-building purpose.

         – Reiche also funded several research projects and, as the region became a major tourist attraction, hired security guards to protect the drawings.

1995 – UNESCO declared the Nazca Lines a World Heritage site and awarded Reiche a special medal for her work.

1998 – Died of ovarian cancer on June 8th in Lima.