Zaña Valley is an archaeological site in northern Peru, which contains the earliest known canals in South America. These were small preceramic stone-lined canals which drew water from uphill streams in the Andes Mountains region. Archaeologists believe that the canals were used 4,500 years ago and as early as 6,700 years ago. Accelerator Mass Spectrometer dating of aggregate flecks of charcoal from the oldest canal dated to 6705 + 75 14C. The canals were more or less u-shaped, symmetrical and shallow. Stones were found along the sides of the canals which are thought to have been used to protect against erosion. The placement and slope of the canals demonstrates engineering planning. The upkeep for these canals also reveal social organization of labor.
- Dillehay, Tom D.; Eling Jr., Herbert H., Rossen, Jack (2005). "Preceramic Irrigation Canals in the Peruvian Andes". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (National Academy of Sciences) 102 (47): 17241–44. doi:10.1073/pnas.0508583102. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 1288011. PMID 16284247.
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