Every now and then, archaeologists make important discoveries. They unearth lost civilizations, find significant artifacts, or discover the remains of important historical figures. Most of the time, though, these remarkable finds are clouded in mystery. For various reasons, such as a lack of written historical records, many of these archaeological mysteries remain unresolved.
Thankfully, science and technology are continually advancing. With the help of these two valuable tools, archaeologists are able to conduct thorough examinations and better studies, enabling them to paint a better picture of the past. Slowly but surely, archaeologists are unraveling the many mysteries that have puzzled and fascinated people for centuries.
10 The Puquios Of Peru
Puquios are spiral, rock-lined holes located in the Nazca region of Southern Peru, the same area where the famous Nazca Lines are found. For decades, scientists were baffled over the origin and purpose of these mysterious structures. Carbon dating can’t be applied on the puquios, since the materials that were used to build them are identical to the surrounding terrain. Also, just like many South American civilizations, the Nazca didn’t have any written historical records.
In 2016, a team of Italian scientists from the Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis finally unraveled the mystery of the puquios. After analyzing numerous satellite images, researcher Rosa Lasaponara and her colleagues found that these spiral, rock-lined structures were “part of a vast hydraulic system that carried water in underground canals to where it was needed—either to water crops or into populated areas as drinking water.” According to the researchers, the spiral holes served as ancient water pumps which provided water to the Nazca all year round. The Nazca lived in an area considered to be one of the most arid places on Earth, where droughts can last for years. They were able to survive and flourish in this harsh place by using the puquios for their water supply.
In addition, Lasaponara’s research also showed that the people who built the puquios were “extremely well organized” and “highly technically advanced.” These spiral, rock-lined holes were so meticulously constructed that several of them can still function today.