Photo: Drones in Peru
Written by Contributor Jonathan Stroshine
Perú is known around the world for its cultural treasures like Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Now, the preservation of such sites is getting a boost from an unlikely source: drones.
Archaeologists are using the unmanned aircraft, mostly associated with warfare, to map and monitor the country’s cultural areas.
Peru’s economy has exploded over the past ten years, growing at an average rate of over six percent. With that growth has come a craving of natural resources, which can conflict with historical preservation.
As companies clamor to use untouched land, Peru’s government has decreased the amount of time scientists have to determine if such areas need to be preserved. Drones can help cut down the time needed to make that decision.
“With this technology, I was able to do in a few days what had taken me years to do,” said Peruvian archaeologist Luis Jaime Castillo according to Reuters. “We have always wanted to have a bird’s-eye view of where we are working.”
Drones provide a low-cost solution for Peru’s perplexing problem of exploring vast expanses land with the limited budget of its cultural ministry. A drone can typically be bought for between $1,000 and $2,000.
“We see them as a vital tool for conservation,” said Peru Ministry of Culture archaeologist Ana Maria Hoyle.