Water Management in Ancient Peru

  • Charles R. Ortloff
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3934-5_9458-2
Water management in ancient Peru began in the north coast Zaña Valley (Fig. 1). Here a 2.5 km-long canal dating to 4705 BCE was sourced by the Rio Nanchoc and supplied water to a small field system (Dillehay et al. 1997). Upon excavation, two additional, earlier canal profiles lay bedded below the topmost canal profile. Apparently the earliest, bottommost canal was covered by a soil deposition episode requiring construction of a higher level canal; this canal was covered by a later deposition event and the uppermost canal built. Starting from the deepest canal, each successive higher canal had a shallower slope built over the depositional layer covering the previous canal. The cross-sectional area of successive canal profiles increased from the bottommost to the highest level canal. In essence, the ancients discovered a basic tenet of fluid mechanics: to maintain the same flow rate for all canal phases, the canal cross-sectional area must increase as the slope decreases. From these...


Vulnerability Index Archaeological Record Field System Coastal River Agricultural Sustainability 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CFD Consultants InternationalLos GatosUSA