A Comprehensive Hydraulic Analysis of the 500-year-old Ancient Incan Water System at Saksaywaman, Peru

Jaquish, Kathryn, Civil Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Miksad, Richard, En-Civil & Env Engr, University of Virginia

The following thesis is a comprehensive hydraulic analysis of the 500-year-old ancient Incan water system at Saksaywaman, Peru. This water system, called the Muyuqmarka, was once used for ceremonial and agricultural purposes for the Inca elite. What remains of the Muyuqmarka water system results from natural wear and European colonization. This thesis analyzes and reassesses the Muyuqmarka stone channel segments from a hydraulic engineering perspective in order to support archeologists and other research in verifying the previous reconstruction of an original Incan structure. The analysis is achieved through hydraulic engineering theories and equations, detailed inventory of channel segments, and an in-the-field ArcGIS surveyed map of channel locations. The three takeaways from this investigation are as follows: the current condition of the Muyuqmarka water passages have channel segments that are visibly and hydraulically misplaced, compared to other sets of hydraulic data the half-full water channel calculations were the most efficient equations used to accurately analyze the data, and finally, the limestone and andesite stones had similar hydraulic radii possibly leading to the conclusion that the Incans may have mixed their stone channels. Through the data presented in this thesis it is evident that the current condition of the Muyuqmarka erroneously represents the original Incan structure. Not only can this data be used to prove the inaccuracy of its current reconstructed form, but it can also be used in support of restoring the channels to their original design.

MS (Master of Science)
Peru, Inca, Hydrology, Chezy-Manning
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