Mystery of ancient Nazca spiral wells solved
May 5, 2016 | 12 comments
One of the original Nazca spiral funnels. Image Credit: Ab5602 - Public Domain
Researchers have managed to solve two mysteries pertaining to Peru's enigmatic Nazca civilization.
Best known for creating the mysterious Nazca Lines, the ancient people of the Nazca culture have also been attributed with the construction of an impressive system of underground canals as well as a series of unusual spiral-shaped wells that bore deep in to the soil.
Built over 2,000 years ago, the purpose of these peculiar funnels ( or Puquios ) had long remained something of a mystery, but now researchers in Italy may have finally pieced together exactly what they were used for and also how the Nazca people managed to thrive in such an arid environment.
The key is thought to lie in their network of subterranean aqueducts which would have been used to carry water from underground reservoirs to where it was needed by the local people.
Ingeniously, the spiral funnels are believed to have channelled strong winds down in to the tunnels where they would have helped to distribute the water throughout the system.
"The puquios were a sophisticated hydraulic system constructed to retrieve water from underground aquifers," said Rosa Lasaponara of the Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis.
"[They] were the most ambitious hydraulic project in the Nazca area and made water available for the whole year, not only for agriculture and irrigation but also for domestic needs."
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