She was born in Dresden, Germany, where she attended Dresden Technical University studying mathematics, astronomy, geography and foreign languages. After graduation, she moved to Peru to work as a nanny and teacher for the children of the German consul in Cuzco. Once her position there ended, she stayed in Cuzco, working as a teacher as well as a technical translator. (She spoke five languages!)
As increased development began to damage the lines (a highway was built right through one of the images), she turned her attention to education and preservation efforts. She even went so far as to hire private security to protect the lines, until the Peruvian government finally agreed to limit public access to these important heritage sites.
The image at the top is from the fantastic Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (Amazon/Library) by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo, with the illustration by Gaia Stella. I was fortunate enough to be able to interview Elena and Francesca while they were running their Kickstarter for this excellent book.
Read more about her life and work in the excellent obituary in the Independent
Check out this biography, Maria Reiche by Wilfredo Gameros
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