Ancient Nazca Lines damaged after truck plows into archaeological site

The ancient Nazca Lines, an archaeologically sensitive and sacred site in Peru, was damaged when a truck driver ignored the warning signs and plowed his cargo truck into it, officials said.

The Peruvian Ministry of Culture said Tuesday that the truck driver “left deep prints in an area approximately 100 meters long,” and damaged parts of “three straight lined geoglyphs.”

The Nazca Lines, considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, has enormous drawings of animals and plants that were etched in the desert ground some 2,000 years ago by a pre-Inca civilization.

MYSTERIOUS NAZCA LINE GEOGLYPHS FORMED ANCIENT PILGRIMAGE ROUTE

The drawings are best viewed from the sky and entering the area is strictly prohibited due to the fragility of the soil around the lines.

The geoglyph of a monkey is seen on the plains of the Nazca desert in southern Peru in this handout from June 2009. A Greek cemetery, a British bus station, stone drawings in Peru and a New York box-shaped building are among the world's most at-risk cultural heritage sites, a monuments fund said on Wednesday. Poorly managed tourism is threatening the ancient Nasca lines and geoglyphs in the desert of southern Peru. The giant figures, which were drawn between 500 BC and 500 AD, were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, the fund said. 
REUTERS/Carolina Castellanos/World Monuments Fund/Handout  (GREECE - Tags: TRAVEL SOCIETY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - GM1E7A605T501

The Nazca Lines, considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, are enormous drawings of animals and plants that were etched in the desert ground some 2,000 years ago by a pre-Inca civilization.  (REUTERS)

According to the National Geographic, the lines are in a region just over 200 miles southeast of Lima, near the modern town of Nasca. In total, there are over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 animals and plant designs.

Some of the straight lines run up to 30 miles, while the animal and plant designs range from 50 to 1,200 feet – as large as New York City’s Empire State Building.

It is believed that the majority of the lines were made by the Nasca people, who lived around A.D. 1 to 700.

Officials said the truck driver, identified as Janier Jesus Flores Vigo, was arrested and he’s expected to face charges.

PERU INVESTIGATING GREENPEACE ACTIVIST'S ROLE IN PR STUNT ALLEGED TO HAVE DAMAGED NAZCA LINES

This is not the first time the Nazca lines have been damaged in recent years.

In September 2015, a man was detained after he entered the site and wrote his name on one of the geoglyphs.

Greenpeace activists stand next  to massive letters delivering the message "Time for Change: The Future is Renewable" next to the hummingbird geoglyph in Nazca in Peru, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Greenpeace activists from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Spain, Germany, Italy and Austria displayed the message, which can be viewed from the sky, during the climate talks in Peru, to honor the Nazca people, whose ancient geoglyphs are one of the country's cultural landmarks. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

In December 2014, Greenpeace activists set up large letters beside one of the designs that read: “Time for Change! The future is renewable.”  (AP)

In December 2014, Greenpeace activists set up large letters beside one of the designs that read: “Time for Change! The future is renewable.”

Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang