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Ancient Irrigators

Irrigation canals dating back to the year 1200 B.C. were discovered in Arizona this year, answering a long-asked question about how natives were able to farm the arid land.
December 13, 2009, 1pm PST | Nate Berg
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The discovery is included in Archaeology magazine's list of the Top 10 Discoveries of 2009.

"For years, archaeologists in the American Southwest have wrestled with a frustrating puzzle: How did ancient farmers grow corn in the cactus-studded Sonoran Desert as early as 2000 B.C.? Some form of irrigation was clearly necessary, but until 2009 no one had ever seen evidence for one of these primeval watering systems. Now at the site of Las Capas outside Tucson, archaeologist James Vint of Desert Archaeology Inc. and his colleagues have excavated an enormous network of canals and fields stretching over as many as 100 acres and dating to 1200 B.C. It is the oldest documented irrigation system in North America."

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Published on Friday, December 11, 2009 in Archaeology
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