13 November 2017
A fire at the Ventarrón archaeological complex in northern Peru destroyed a a mural dating back to 2000BC. The fire is said to have been caused by farm workers at a nearby burning sugar cane field. The mural is one of the oldest documented in the Americas and it suffered smoke damage.
The mural shows a deer caught in a net and was discovered in 2007. The mural adorns the wall of a temple in the Lambayeque region of Peru. Reports say that 95% of the archaeological complex was damaged in the fire which spread rapidly across the site.
Local residents attempted to extinguish the firs but could not save the artifacts, some of which were damaged by melting plastic. Archaeologists believe that the temple complex predated that of pre-colombian cultures who lived on the northern coast lands of Peru from the first to the seventh century.