Dotting the landscape through the dry valleys of southern Peru, near the city of Nazca, an area famous for the mysterious Nazca lines, large spiral holes are found, surrounded by rocks that lead to an underground network of ancient aqueducts. These aqueducts are part of a sophisticated hydraulic system that contains trenches, tunnels and wells (collectively known as puquios) that carry water from underground aquifers to the surface, for domestic and agricultural use. Despite his age, his origins are still disputed, since it is believed that the puquios may have been built by the same people who created the Nazca geoglyphs. Many of these puquios are still used by the inhabitants of the valley.
The most visible part of the system is the spiral, funnel-shaped holes. On the surface of the earth, the hole opening can be as wide as 15 meters wide. At the bottom, they are about a meter or two wide. In addition to providing access to water, it also serve as entrances to cleaning and maintenance tunnelsa task that continues to this day.
The lower end of the puquio systems consist of open ditches that emerge from the tunnels and allow public access to water for drinking, bathing and washing clothes., as well as a means of channeling water for agricultural purposes. These ditches or aqueducts are V-shaped, and often lined with stones to prevent the ground from collapsing. Some of these trenches are 10 meters wide at the top, and up to a kilometer long.. Many of the open ditches serve as wells and as distribution points.
The existence and purpose of these aqueducts have been known to archaeologists for a long time, but his age has been a mystery. Because these pits were made from the same materials as the surrounding terrain, an exact date is impossible to know.
Puquios first appeared in historical texts in 1605, in the writings of a Spanish Catholic priest, something that led some to believe that these aqueducts and wells were built by the Spanish. However, there is no evidence from Spanish texts to support this theory. Some archaeologists believe that the aqueducts were built by pre-Columbian peoples around 540 AD in response to two prolonged droughts. during those times, but there is also no historical evidence to support this. There is no mention in the history of its construction, either with or without a Spanish presence.
The aqueducts could perhaps be as old as 3,000 years or as recent as 1,250 years.