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An entrance to the Puquios, near Nazca, Peru

The Puquios are an old system of aqueducts near the city of Nazca, Peru. Out of 36 Puquios, most are still functioning [1] and relied upon to bring fresh water into the arid desert. The Puquios have never been fully mapped, nor have any been excavated.[2]

Debate about age

There is conflicting research regarding when the aqueducts were actually built. Many archaeologists contend that they were built by Pre-Columbian Nazca architects around A.D. 540 in response to two prolonged droughts during that time. There is a general lack of historical reference both after and prior to the Spanish Empire. The first historical writing of their existence was in 1605 by Reginaldo de Lizárraga, which some contend may indicate that they were built by the Spanish.[3] There, however, is yet no evidence from Spanish texts that mentions a project to build the Puquios.[4]

In their book Irrigation and Society in the Peruvian Desert, Katharina Schreiber and Josue Lancho Rojas explore puquios and show evidence that puquios were constructed by a pre-Hispanic civilization.

Relation to Nazca Lines

Another controversy regarding the Puquios, is an assertion made by David Johnson that the Nazca Lines depict maps and pointers to the subterranean aquifers that feed the Puquios system.[5]


  • Barnes, M (1992). "Dating of Nazca aqueducts", Nature, vol. 359.
  • Proulx, D (1999). "Nasca Puquios and Aqueducts"
  • Johnson, D. "The Water Lines of Nazca"
  1. ^ Proulx 1999, p. 6.
  2. ^ Barnes 1992, p. 111.
  3. ^ Proulx 1999, p. 7.
  4. ^ Proulx 1999, p. 8.
  5. ^ Johnson

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