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A team of researchers working in the Andean foothills of Peru has unearthed solid evidence of canals confirmed to be at least 5,400 years old. The find is the oldest of its kind anywhere in South America.
Led by anthropologist Tom Dillehay of Vanderbilt University, the scientists' work in Peru's northern Zana Valley exposed four canals almost certainly used for irrigation agriculture. While their location was originally discovered by Dillehay and his team in 1989, only in the most recent field season did the importance of the canals become apparent.
The canals range in size from 0.6-2.5 miles (1-4 kilometers) in length and were designed to slope downwards, relying on gravity to send water from an upper stream to the crop fields below. The layout essentially created artificial garden plots with fertile earth suitable for intensive agriculture.
It is this more concentrated form of cultivation that allowed societies to flourish, according to Dillehay.
"The construction and maintenance of the canals on an annual basis, along with the planting, weeding and harvesting [by] groups, all required a steady communal or corporate effort," Dillehay told LiveScience. "These sorts of activities can be carried out by consensus among households, all of which is social development."
Originally posted by Hanslune
You're say geoglyph but it looks more like a phytoglyph - from a distance at least
Any up close images
Originally posted by fltcui
reply to post by Trueman
I had the same question Trueman...so I did a little bit of research and this is what I came up with
Geoglyph is created by arranging rocks or earth to create a figure
Phytoglyph is created by using botanical elements to create a figure
edit on 4/28/2013 by fltcui because: (no reason given)