In the Peruvian desert, these spiral openings over the system of aqueducts were a bit of a mystery. The Nazca civilization existed from 500 B.C. to 200 B.C. and is most famous for their lines that were carved into the desert floor. The lines were most likely to honor the mountains and local water sources, but no one can say for sure.
They also built these strange spiraled holes into the ground over the system…and no one knew why. They are gorgeous and expertly crafted above several openings, but it didn’t make sense.
Until Rosa Lasaponara and her team from the Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis in Italy viewed the system from space. They used satellite images to compare the locations of each opening across the entire region and analyzed them based on the locations of known settlements. What they discovered is that the pressure from the spiraled openings would actually push the water across the Nazca area just like hydraulics.
The systems effectively made sure that water was available all year-round to everyone in the region. They could use the water for irrigation and agriculture, and of course to use in their everyday routines.
The construction was so intricate and precise that their creation had to have been maintained by all of the villages and settlements that accessed them. It was a collaboration between all of the people in the area for the greater good.
Lasaponara also concluded that the people who build them must have had an impressive knowledge of the geology surrounding the aqueducts to know that it would work for everyone involved – especially considering the variations in annual rainfall.
This discovery is exciting, and it means that we are much closer to understanding the purpose of the mysterious carved lines, too!