Thursday, May 28, 2009

Aqueducts for Life (Nazca, Peru)

There is little doubt that Nazca would be little more than a dusty remote Peruvian town were it not for the world-famous mysterious lines and images that cover the desert. If travellers venture this far to explore the Nazca Lines, then there are two more travel wonders to discover.

The advanced culture that etched the lines in the hash desert also constructed an extraordinary aqueduct system that continues to be utilised today by local farmers. Called puquios, the Nazcans constructed a complex of stone-lined canals and reservoirs (partly underground and partly on the surface) run from mountain springs to provide water for living and irrigating crops in the dry desert plains. These canals are S-curved to slow the water flow and contain stone rampways to provide access to the underground streams and an entrance to clean out the canals if blocked. The water is surprisingly warm, fresh-tasting and crystal clear – very refreshing in the unrelenting heat of the Peruvian day.

Some scientists believe that Nazca Lines are drawn to indicate the sources of water in the surrounding mountains with site guides describing this fact. Undoubtedly, water was the source of life in this stark environment and it remains a wonder that the ingenuity to tap the mountain’s water functions so successfully that it outlived the Nazcan culture itself.

The second travel wonder is extraordinary tombs of Chauchilla in the Nazcan desert, but that is a story for another day.

5 comments:

Stuart said...

Great post!

Debo Hobo said...

These have always fascinated me. Such a feat of engineering.

Trotter said...

Hi Mark! Great shots of Nazca. Look forward to seeing the rest!!

Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter, now showing Kaunas. Never heard about it? ;) Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Mark H said...

@stuart: Thanks

@debo hobo: Long standing feats of engineering amaze and fascinate me too.

@trotter: Thanks

Mark H said...

@stuart: Thanks

@debo hobo: Long standing feats of engineering amaze and fascinate me too.

@trotter: Thanks

 
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