Water control and land use on the arid north coast of Peru : prehispanic agricultural systems in the Chicama Valley



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This study is an investigation of late prehistoric irrigation agriculture in North Coastal Peru. There has been much debate over the significance of irrigated agriculture to the development of indigenous civilization on the North Coast of Peru. Yet, in spite of the many references to prehistoric North Coast irrigation, only recently is information regarding the technology and functioning of the prehistoric systems becoming available. Little, however, is yet known about the extent of the prehistoric irrigation systems preserved on the North Coast. It is the intent of this study to present a summary of our present knowledge regarding these aspects of North Coast irrigation agriculture, to suggest methods and avenues for continued research, and to propose several specific hypotheses with regard to late prehistoric agricultural technology and environmental exploitation.