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Ecuador’s Ancient City Network Under Threat from Development

Roads In The Amazon Rainforest
Shielded by the jungle for hundreds of years, the remains of a massive 2,500-year-old network of Ecuadoran cities are being threatened by road and farm encroachment just as its long-held secrets are being revealed, researchers say.

These sites, including over 7,400 human-made mounds, hold massive historical and cultural significance.

Despite efforts by archaeologists and Ecuador’s National Institute of Cultural Heritage, risks from erosion, deforestation, and mining continue to threaten the historic site.

Some have already been damaged—wrongly thought by road developers to be natural formations that they could break through.

“There is an urgent need… for a protection plan,” said Spanish archaeologist Alejandra Sanchez, who has been studying the site for a decade.