Advanced Hydraulic Engineering From 1500 Years Ago


South America is a land of ancient and advanced civilizations. The Nazca were an ancient civilization made famous by their mysterious Nazca lines. The Nazca people formed a civilization in southwest Peru in approximately 100 BCE.

This civilization resulted in impressive pottery, textiles, and geoglyphs etched into the earth’s surface known as the Nazca Lines. The Nazca people had only very narrow, rocky valleys to live and grow their crops. This environment prompted the Nazca people to come up with creative solutions for acquiring and storing water.

About 1,500 years ago, the ancient people made between 30 and 50 underground channels. They dug the channels and lined them with stones and wood and then reburied them. These channels carry water from rivers upstream from the valleys and mountain springs to their crops and cities.

The hydraulic system includes 17 wells that have paths that spiral into the earth. A really ingenious way to collect running water!

Finally, a big thanks to the Nazca’s remarkable engineering skills. The river valleys in the Nazca are just as green today as they were about 1,500 years ago.

Now, take a brief moment to marvel at their creations:

Created 1500 Years Ago But Still In Use!

A photo posted by Jissé (@au_gnomonde) on

Ancient Engineering At Its Best

Spiraling Wells, Easy To Enter

A photo posted by Lou (@louzrock) on

Visiting Peru, Don’t Forget The City of Nazca

A View From Within The Well