Irrigation and Society: The Puquios of Nasca looks at the legendary puquios of Nasca, the underground aqueduct system built by Incans which is arguably responsible for this desert region's strange abundance of water. Authors Katharina Schreiber and Josu- Lancho explore the puqios, their probable means of construction and their function in ancient society to address the larger issue of the role of large scale irrigation in the emergence of soci-political complexity.
This worthy and meticulous study of a precolumbian irrigation system on the desert south coast of Peru is most especially notable for two reasons that transcend its particular geo-cultural focus. First, the book should receive widespread praise for its focus on "irrigation and society." It is healthy for the profession to be reminded of the fundamental fact that 'human populations require food' and that 'agriculture requires a detailed knowledge of the natural environment.' Second, the equitable collaboration of a U.S. academic archaeologist with a local intellectual sets a high ethical standard for the conduct of research and career management that should be emulated.--Helaine Silverman
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