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Article

Engineering Resilience to Water Stress in the Late Prehispanic North-Central Andean Highlands (~600–1200 BP)

CONICET-UBA-IDECU (Instituto de las Culturas), Moreno 350, Buenos Aires CABA 1091, Argentina
Academic Editors: Ognjen Bonacci and Jihn-Sung Lai
Water 2021, 13(24), 3544; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243544
Received: 30 September 2021 / Revised: 9 November 2021 / Accepted: 24 November 2021 / Published: 11 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Engineering in Ancient Societies)
The Andes are defined by human struggles to provide for, and control, water. Nowhere is this challenge more apparent than in the unglaciated western mountain range Cordillera Negra of the Andes where rain runoff provides the only natural source of water for herding and farming economies. Based on over 20 years of systematic field surveys and taking a political ecology and resilience theory focus, this article evaluates how the Prehispanic North-Central highlands Huaylas ethnic group transformed the landscape of the Andes through the largescale construction of complex hydraulic engineering works in the Cordillera Negra of the Ancash Province, North-Central Peru. It is likely that construction of these engineered landscapes commenced during the Middle Horizon (AD 600–1000), reaching their apogee under the Late Intermediate Period (Huaylas group, AD 1000–1450) and Inca (AD 1450–1532) period, before falling into disuse during the early Spanish colony (AD 1532–1615) through a combination of disease, depopulation, and disruption. Persistent water stress in the western Pacific-facing Andean cordillera was ameliorated through the construction of interlinked dams and reservoirs controlling the water, soil, and wetlands. The modern study of these systems provides useful case-studies for infrastructure rehabilitation potentially providing low-cost, though technologically complex, solutions to modern water security. View Full-Text
Keywords: central-Andes; engineered landscapes; political ecology; Prehispanic; resilience; water security; wetland management central-Andes; engineered landscapes; political ecology; Prehispanic; resilience; water security; wetland management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lane, K. Engineering Resilience to Water Stress in the Late Prehispanic North-Central Andean Highlands (~600–1200 BP). Water 2021, 13, 3544. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243544

AMA Style

Lane K. Engineering Resilience to Water Stress in the Late Prehispanic North-Central Andean Highlands (~600–1200 BP). Water. 2021; 13(24):3544. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243544

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lane, Kevin. 2021. "Engineering Resilience to Water Stress in the Late Prehispanic North-Central Andean Highlands (~600–1200 BP)" Water 13, no. 24: 3544. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243544

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