THE MARIA REICHE MUSEUM
About Maria Reiche
Maria Reiche was born in Dresden as the eldest of three children of district Court Felix Reiche-Grosse and his wife Elisabeth. After attending the Städtische Studienanstalt für Mädchen in Dresden, she studied mathematics, physics and geography at the Dresden University of Technology and graduated in 1928 with a state examination. In 1932 she accepted a position as a private tutor at the german Consul in Cusco, Peru. Before the contract period expired, she went to the capital, Lima. There she lived on odd jobs, language lessons and translations.
Since 1937 she helped to restore historical fabrics at the National Museum Lima. In 1939 she first heard of the so-called Nasca Lines, discovered in 1924, by US scientist Paul Kosok. He asked her to take some measurements for him. In 1946 she began alone and without support to investigate the enigmatic drawings in the desert floor near Nasca. Reiche was convinced: “… if we succeed in translating all measurements in time, we can read in the Pampa as in a huge history book.”
At the age of 52, Maria Reiche got tied up outside the pulpit on the skids of a helicopter to take better aerial photos of the giant pictures. The close-ups made her world famous. In 1960, Maria Reiche met 21-year-old Yonah Ibn Aharon. He lived in the US and had founded a committee in New York to protect the Nasca Lines. Between 1962 and 1964 he helped on the Pampa. He brought in countless ideas in Reich’s work, among other things, he developed a card index system in which the lines were entered with their measuring points and peculiarities. Until the 1960s Maria Reiche had measured an area of about 150 square kilometers on foot. She lived Spartan in a small hut on the edge of the Pampa Colorada or together with her friend and partner Amy Meredith in a house in Lima. Even the wheelchair did not prevent her from continuing her studies into old age.
Tomb of Maria Reiche in Nasca
In the early 1970s, the Nasca Lines became a tourist attraction. Maria Reiche was committed to the protection and preservation of the drawings, and in 1994 made the inclusion of the lines and floor drawings of Nasca and Pampa de Jumana in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Maria Reiche never married. On June 8th, 1998, she died at the age of 95. The memorial ceremony took place on June 10th, 1998 in the National Museum Lima. Rich was buried in Nazca, where she lived for over 25 years in a hut without water and electricity and where today is a museum. For more than 40 years, Maria Reiche had studied the mystery of lines and floor drawings in Peru.
The museum contains information on studies of the lines and figures of Nasca, by Dr. med. María Reiche Newman as well as maps, plans, photos, archaeological material and a didactic model of their designs. In this place she lived and conducted her main studies in her little hut.
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Daily departures at a time we go to arrange with you.
Depends on your schedule.