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Treasures in the Desert
Walking through the sand of the Nazca desert, a little stone gets into my sandal. I look down and see it’s not a stone: it’s a piece of ceramic.
Walking through the sand of the Nazca desert, a little stone gets into my sandal. I look down and see it’s not a stone: it’s a piece of ceramic. I bend down and find myself surrounded by pieces of funerary ceramics from hundreds or thousands of years ago. Some even have paint on them; this is amazing! Our guide explains that we can watch and enjoy the moment, but not take out any piece. That is not allowed. “Of course not”, we said. Quite obvious not to take any archaeological remains out. But just to be here and stand in between those pieces of ancient ceramics, instantly transported me back into the time of the Nazca.
Just a while before, I had another one of those time traveling moments. My girlfriend Agnes is walking into one of the puquios, entrance holes, leading towards the underground water channel at Cantayoc. I take a picture of her walking the spiral path down and then follow here in. All the way down, all you see is stone, sand and water; no signs of modernity. I climb into the little hole and feel the water; freshly coming out of the mountains hundreds of kilometers away. And realize that possibly, 1500 years ago, a Nazca person was sitting on this same stone, touching the fresh water with his hands, probably washing his face and drinking it before taking some out for domestic use. What a crazy sensation!
It’s simply mind-blowing that up to today these Cantayoc aqueducts still bring water from the Andes mountains into the coastal desert. Back in the days, the Nazca civilization was able to grow all kinds of crops (beans, corn, potatoes and also cotton) in the desert thanks to these water channels. I love this place!
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