Satellite observations may have unraveled a mystery surrounding a series of unique and ancient structures in southern Peru.
The desert area of Nazca is most famous for giant representations of humans, animals and plants - as well as 900 geometric shapes - carved into the ground: the so-called Nazca lines. But the lines are not the only artifacts of the Nazca civilization, which flourished in the area between 200 BC and 600 AD. The region also contains spiraling, rock-lined holes, known as puquios. Long understood to be a series of underground aqueducts, little else is known about them.
But now, Rosa Lasaponara and a team from the Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis in Italy believe they have some answers. Using satellite imagery, they were able to better understand how the puquios were distributed across the Nazca region.
Peru's Nazca Lines Reveal Mysterious New Animal Images
By considering their positioning relative to water resources and to settlements, they were able to piece together a picture of just how extraordinarily advanced the puquio system was. The corkscrew-shaped tunnels, Lasaponara concluded, funneled wind into a series of underground canals, forcing water to places in the arid region where it was needed.