An ancient mystery of Peru could be revealed thanks to an Italian scientist. These particular spiral formations , called Puquios , would have helped the population during periods of severe drought.
Through the use of satellites , a team of scientists led by Rosa Lasaponara of Cnr, studied and dated the remains of the ancient Peruvian civilizations that lived in the Nazca area, also famous for the famous lines (the geoglyphs traced on the sand by the homonymous civilization).
In the region, researchers have long been studying the spiraling holes that line the arid valleys, what remains of ancient civilization. Through the images captured from space, it was possible to better understand how the population of the time managed to survive in a region subject to frequent and severe periods of drought.
The puquios were a complex hydraulic system built to recover water from underground aquifers. These were real aqueducts used to bring water into the desert. Some of them are still in operation.
There are many doubts about their construction. According to some archaeologists, they were built during the pre-Columbian era, in 540, in response to two prolonged periods of drought. This hypothesis, however, does not make everyone agree, given that the first historical evidence dates back to 1605 and associates these systems with the Spaniards.
According to the last hypothesis, carried out by Italian scientists, the Puquios system dates back to the 6th century and at the time must have been much more developed than it appears today. Using satellite imagery, the team also better understood its distribution throughout the Nazca region.
“By exploiting an inexhaustible supply of water throughout the year, the Puquios system has contributed to an intensive agriculture of the valleys in one of the driest places in the world”
explained Dr. Lasaponara.
A series of canals carried water, trapped underground, to areas where it was needed. To facilitate its path, holes were dug above the funnel-shaped channels. Just these funnels let the wind enter the channels, pushing the water through the system.
Their existence tells us something remarkable about the population that lived in the region in the 6th century AD
“The construction of the puquios involved the use of particularly specialized technologies” explains Lasaponara. The builders had a deep understanding of the area’s geology and annual variations in water availability.
Some of them still work today and that makes them even more special.
Source : BBC