During the 4500 years of South American pre-Columbian history, numerous civilizations emerged, mainly in the western coast and the Andean regions of South America, e.g., the Chavín, the Moche, the Nazca, and the Huari. Around 1530 AD, almost all of their former territories, people and knowledge formed part of the Inca Empire.
This pre-Hispanic state featured the largest extension in America, with a population of about 15 million inhabitants of different cultures and languages, including territories along the coast and the Andes of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina.
The Incas, who existed as an empire for approximately 100 years before the arrival of the Spanish, conquered or annexed almost every contemporary civilization in the Andes and adjacent coastal regions, and assimilated all knowledge they encountered, including hydraulic engineering technologies
The Cumbe Mayo archaeological site located near the Peruvian city of Cajamarca, features the ruins of a 9 km long Pre-Incan aqueduct, built around 1500 BC.
The aqueduct collected water from the Atlantic watershed and redirected it on its way to the Pacific Ocean. The channel was excavated in volcanic rock and is 35 to 50 cm wide and 30 to 65 cm deep . Locally the channel follows a zigzag course, possibly to diminish flow speed and prevent erosion.
Arguably, in order to be able to design and build a channel with such a precision, the master builder must have employed cutting and leveling instruments.