Incan Empire

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Incan Empire: 

Incan Empire Development Culture Cities Spanish Conquest

Inca Development: 

Inca Development The beginning of the Inca rule started with the conquest of the Chimu Culture in Peru. The original Inca tribe was a minor Andean tribe whose expansion began with a successful campaign against its more powerful neighbours, the Chancas, in the 1440s.


Pachacuti Leading them was Pachacuti a military strategist, statesman, and diplomat of enormous skill. Armies under Pachacuti and his son and successor, Topa Inca, conquered the entire mountainous area from Quito south past Lake Titicaca.  Topa Inca also subjugated the coastal kingdom of Chimor, and extended the Inca domain farther south, as well as east to the fringes of Amazonia. 

Inca Empire: 

Inca Empire

Incan People: 

Incan People The nobility of Quechua-speaking tribes assimilated into the empire were absorbed into the ruling Inca aristocracy. The Inca were warriors with a strong and powerful army. Because of the fierceness of their army and their hierarchical organization, they became the largest Native American society.

The Incas: 

The Incas The term 'Incas' (or Inkas) is often used to refer to the people of the empire as a whole, whereas strictly it refers to the ruling aristocracy. The position of Inca, the supreme ruler of the empire, was a more or less hereditary position, although strict precedence was often waived in favour of superior political or military ability.


Incas Between 1200 and 1535 AD, the Inca population lived in the part of South America extending from the Equator to the Pacific coast of Chile. The Incas subsequently established an empire that, by the time of the Spanish invasion, stretched from southern Columbia to central Chile, a distance of some three thousand miles.

Social Structure: 

Social Structure The Incas had a very clear social structure. The ruler, the Sapa Inca, and his wives, the Coyas, had supreme control over the empire. The High Priest and the Army Commander in Chief were next.

Social Structure: 

Social Structure Military Then came the Four Apus, the regional army commanders. Next came temple priests, architects, administrators and army generals. Merchants and Middle Class Next were artisans, musicians, army captains and the quipucamayoc, the Incan "accountants." At the bottom were sorcerers, farmers, herding families and conscripts.

Khipu (Quipu): 

Khipu (Quipu) A khipu consists, minimally, of a main cord from which pendant cords hang. (Pendants of pendants are called subsidiaries.) Knots tied in the pendant cords and other modifications of the pendant are the commonest data-bearing or significant features. Inka functionaries used cord records for censuses, inventories, tribute records, and documents about transactions; Spanish courts also accepted them as documents of record in early colonial times.

“The Inca”: 

“The Inca” The Sapa Inca was formally married to his sister, the Coya, but had legal access to a large group of "Chosen Women." Some of these were devoted to the church and celibate, but other were effectively other wives of the Sapa Inca. A son was chosen from among the offspring of the Coya or from any of the 200 or so concubines. Thus brother and sister, King and Queen in the Incas could be developed from a large group of half-brothers and half-sisters.


Architecture The dominant stylistic form in Inca architecture is a simple, but elegantly proportioned trapezoid, which serves the dual ends of functionality and severely restrained decoration. Trapezoidal doorways, windows, and wall niches are found in Inca constructions of all types, from the most finely wrought temples to crudely built walls in unimportant buildings. The doorways and windows are obviously functional, and the niches probably served a variety of functions as yet unidentified by the archeologists. Placement of these trapezoidal openings was primarily functional, but occasionally, esthetic arrangements might dominate the placement of the trapezoids, if there was no conflict with functionality.

Stone Work: 

Stone Work

Mountain Top Forts: 

Mountain Top Forts


Agriculture The comprehension of how irrigation can benefit agriculture is evident by the expansion into the highland areas. They developed drainage systems and canals to expand their crop resources. Potatoes, tomatoes, cotton, peanuts and coca were among the many crops grown by the Inca. Llama were used for meat and transportation. There was more than enough resources available for everyone.

Cuzco : 

Cuzco The ancient Inca capital is said to have been founded around 1100 AD. The Incas conceived their capital in the shape of a Puma with the river serving as the spine, Sacsayhuaman the head, and the main city center the body. Almost every central street has remains of Inca walls, arches and doorways. Many streets are lined with Inca stonework, now serving as foundations for more modern buildings.



Machu Picchu : 

Machu Picchu The site of Machu Picchu was not discovered by the Spanish during the Conquest. In fact, it wasn't known to the outside world until 1911 when an American Archeologist, Hiram Bingham, made the steep climb to a lofty saddle high above the Urubamba river. The city is clearly laid out in sections. There is a "royal" section where the stone work is the finest, the rooms are largest and running baths are nearby. The bulk of the food for the inhabitants was grown on the agricultural terraces of the city.

Sacred Section: 

Sacred Section There is a sacred section that occupies the highest point within the city proper. In this section are finely constructed buildings, altars, sculptures and the Intiwatana--the sun stone. This was the center of the priestly activities and involved rituals at the winter solstice that "brought back" the sun.

Machu Picchu: 

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu: 

Machu Picchu

Inca Trail: 

Inca Trail The real Inca Trail is a walking route that leads through the mountains above the Urubamba river, following (at least partly) the course of an old Inca roadway leading to the city of Machu Picchu. The empire was connected with an elaborate system of "roads" which are really trails as the Incas had no wheeled vehicles. They consisted of well paved and maintained paths that can accommodate 2 people abreast. Much of the system is now in disuse or lost, but enough trails do remain to understand the early descriptions and provide excellent hiking in the realm.

Trail Stations: 

Trail Stations There are stations along the trails, between 2 and 5 miles apart, that served as living quarters for the "runners." This was a special class of young men who conducted the business on the trails. Typically there were 2 men at each station. A runner with a message (oral) or an item (food, fertilizer or such) would call out upon approach to one of these stations. One of the occupants would run out to meet the incoming runner, receive the message or item, and then continue to the next station. The original messenger would rest and then return to their own station. In this way, it was said that the Inca (who resided in Cuzco) ate fresh fish from the ocean and could send and retrieve information throughout the 2,000 mile empire in a matter of a few days.

Capacocha Sacrifices: 

Capacocha Sacrifices Children sacrificed to the mountain gods.

Burials: Mummy Bundles: 

Burials: Mummy Bundles

Inca Dynasty: 

Inca Dynasty About 1438, the ninth Inca, Pachacuti, set forth to conquer on a scale never before attempted in aboriginal America. Pachacuti and his son, Tupac Inca, the tenth Inca, forged an empire nearly as far reaching and well organized as Caesar's Rome. They Called it Tahuantinsuyu, Quechua for the " Four Quarters of the World ".  Huayna Capac - Valiant Youth - surely visited Machu Picchu after he succeeded Tupac Inca in 1493, for he devoted years to a grand tour of his inherited Four Quarters of the World.


Dynasty Huayna Capac settled down in Ecuador with his hundreds of wives and concubines, occupying a sumptuous palace of which no trace remains. Today natives, reminders of the brief lnca occupation of Ecuador are Quechua-speaking Indian communities of diverse tribal origins-some from distant Bolivia- found along the Pan American Highway. The emperor's warrior son, Atahuallpa, became a favorite of the battle-tested armies that carried on the northern border campaigns. Meanwhile premonitions of doom haunted Huayna Capac. About 1525 Huayna Capac was stricken possibly by smallpox introduced into the continent by Europeans probing its coastline. Before he could choose, he died. In Cuzco the high priest conferred the royal fringe on Huascar, a son of Huayna Capac and his sister wife the queen. But Atahuallpa, Huascar's half brother, governor of Quito, reportedly refused to accompany his father's mummy to Cuzco and render homage. His generals, veterans of Ecuadorean wars, backed his insurgency, and civil war flared.


Dynasty Huascar sent a huge inexperienced army against Atahuallpa, but it perished in battle near Ambato, Ecuador. The chronicler Cieza, who saw the skeleton-strewn battlefield twenty years later, wrote that the body count of 25 or 26 thousand was an underestimate. Huascar conscripted army after army, including peasants from as far away as Argentina. Thousands who had escaped the plague now fell under the northerner's onslaughts. Perhaps 200,000 men fought in the final battle near Cuzco. The unthinkable occurred: Atahuallpa's generals tumbled Huascar from his golden litter. Cuzco's defenders fled in terror. The Son of the Sun had fallen. The generals dressed the emperor in women's clothes. They forced him to eat excrement in Cuzco's streets and watch the extermination of his multitudinous family and courtiers.


Atahuallpa ATAHUALLPA had left Quito to make triumphal entry into Cuzco when he got word of his generals' victory. But at this moment coastal chiefs warned him of Pizarro's approach. A mere 62 cavalrymen and 106 foot soldiers, armed with Toledo blades and a few guns and crossbows, were winding slowly into the mountains of northern Peru. Pizarro sent an interpreter and 15 riders under Hernando de Soto (who later discovered the Mississippi River) to offer his services in arms and to ask the emperor to dine next day. The seated Inca offered ceremonial chicha, accepted the invitation, and told his guests to occupy the town plaza. Pizarro set a trap that the Inca had unwittingly provided him. In the great triangular plaza, with an entrance at its apex, he laid an ambush. He hid his forces inside buildings that had doorways, high enough for horse and rider, facing into the walled plaza.

Atahuallpa and Pizzaro: 

Atahuallpa and Pizzaro On Saturday, November 16, 1532, the Inca delayed his social call until sundown, supposing horses to be of no use after dark, and bemused by reports that the bearded men were hiding in fear. Then be capped his spate of bad decisions by going unarmed to sup and spend the night in town. The Spaniards captured Atahuallpa and he ruled for eight months from a prison compound in the triangular plaza, keeping his lordly mien, his authority unquestioned by any subject of the empire.  To secure his release, Atahuallpa decreed that the realm be ransacked to fill a 18-by-22-foot room once with gold, as high as he could reach, and twice with silver. Totally unaware that Pizarro's men spearheaded a massive European invasion of the Tahuantinsuyu, he presumed the bearded ones would go away once they had received their booty.


By July 1533 more than 24 tons of exquisite treasure had been collected: idols and chalices, necklaces and nuggets, accumulated through centuries of placer mining. Though this was only a fraction of the plunder that awaited the Spaniards elsewhere in the Four Quarters of the World, Atahuallpa's ransom, as duly recorded in the Spanish archives, was worth at least 267 million dollars at today's bullion values for gold ($315 ounce-Nov/02/1997-) and silver.


But instead of freeing the Inca, they tried him for treason, and was sentenced to death for treason against the strangers within his own realm.  To avoid the horror of being burned alive as a heretic and thus deprived of mummification, Atahuallpa accepted Christian baptism and took Pizarro's Christian name: Francisco- Then the Spaniards garroted Francisco Atahuallpa, thirteenth Inca, and marched down the royal road to Cuzco. Treason

Final Battle: 

Final Battle The 40,000 member army of the Inca was destroyed by a 180 member Spanish conquistador army, which was commanded by Francisco Pizarro. The warriors of the Inca were no match for the Spanish guns. By 1535, the Inca society was completely overthrown.

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