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Ancient spiral aqueducts in Nazca, Peru. Source: peterz / Adobe Stock.

The Ancient Aqueducts Keeping Peruvian Deserts Fertile (Video)


For over 1,700 years, the ancient aqueducts of Peru's Nazca region have sustained life in the desert. Built by the pre-Hispanic Nazca people since the fourth century AD, these aqueducts form an intricate network that provides water to the valleys, turning barren land into fertile oases. Their engineering brilliance showcases the advanced understanding the Nazca people had of hydrology and hydraulic systems. Beyond their agricultural benefits, these aqueducts played a vital role in supporting the flourishing Nazca civilization.

The fertile lands allowed them to cultivate crops like corn, beans, and cotton, contributing to their vibrant society and remarkable cultural achievements, such as the famous Nazca Lines etched into the desert floor. Recognizing their significance, UNESCO has considered declaring the Nazca aqueducts a World Heritage Site. Preserving these ancient structures is crucial to maintain a link to our past and learn from the wisdom of these ingenious engineers. The aqueducts stand as a timeless reminder of human innovation and adaptation, showing how sustainable environments can be created even in the most challenging landscapes.

Top image: Ancient spiral aqueducts in Nazca, Peru. Source: peterz / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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