Inca Empire

Inca Empire

Overview
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire (Quechua: Tawantinsuyu), was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco
Cusco
Cusco , often spelled Cuzco , is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cuzco Province. In 2007, the city had a population of 358,935 which was triple the figure of 20 years ago...

 in modern-day Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

. The Inca civilization
Inca civilization
The Andean civilizations made up a loose patchwork of different cultures that developed from the highlands of Colombia to the Atacama Desert. The Andean civilizations are mainly based on the cultures of Ancient Peru and some others such as Tiahuanaco. The Inca Empire was the last sovereign...

 arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century. From 1438 to 1533, the Incas used a variety of methods, from conquest to peaceful assimilation, to incorporate a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 mountain ranges, including, besides Peru, large parts of modern Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, western and south central Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, northwest Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, north and north-central Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and southern Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 into a state comparable to the historical empire
Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

s of Eurasia.

The official language of the empire was Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

, although hundreds of local languages and dialects of Quechua were spoken.
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Encyclopedia
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire (Quechua: Tawantinsuyu), was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco
Cusco
Cusco , often spelled Cuzco , is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cuzco Province. In 2007, the city had a population of 358,935 which was triple the figure of 20 years ago...

 in modern-day Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

. The Inca civilization
Inca civilization
The Andean civilizations made up a loose patchwork of different cultures that developed from the highlands of Colombia to the Atacama Desert. The Andean civilizations are mainly based on the cultures of Ancient Peru and some others such as Tiahuanaco. The Inca Empire was the last sovereign...

 arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century. From 1438 to 1533, the Incas used a variety of methods, from conquest to peaceful assimilation, to incorporate a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 mountain ranges, including, besides Peru, large parts of modern Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, western and south central Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, northwest Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, north and north-central Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and southern Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 into a state comparable to the historical empire
Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

s of Eurasia.

The official language of the empire was Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

, although hundreds of local languages and dialects of Quechua were spoken. The Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu which can be translated as The Four Regions or The Four United Provinces.

There were many local forms of worship, most of them concerning local sacred "Huaca
Huaca
In Quechua, a Native American language of South America, a huaca or waqa is an object that represents something revered, typically a monument of some kind. The term huaca can refer to natural locations, such as immense rocks. Some huacas have been associated with veneration and ritual...

s", but the Inca leadership encouraged the worship of Inti
Inti
According to the Inca mythology, Inti is the sun god, as well a patron deity of the Inca Empire. His exact origin is not known. The most common story says he is the son of Viracocha, the god of civilization.- Worship :...

—the sun god—and imposed its sovereignty above other cults such as that of Pachamama
Pachamama
Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. Pachamama is usually translated as Mother Earth, but a more literal translation would be "Mother world"...

. The Incas considered their King, the Sapa Inca, to be the "child of the sun."

Name


The Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu, "four parts together." In Quechua the term Tawantin is a group of four things (tawa "four" with the suffix -ntin which names a group). Suyu means "region" or "province". The empire was divided into four suyus, whose corners met at the capital, Cusco (Qosqo). The name Tawantinsuyu was, therefore, a descriptive term indicating a union of provinces. The Spanish transliterated the name as Tahuatinsuyo or Tahuatinsuyu which is often still used today.

The term Inka means ruler, or lord, in Quechua, and was used to refer to the ruling class or the ruling family in the empire. The Spanish adopted the term (transliterated as Inca in Spanish) as an ethnic term referring to all subjects of the empire rather than simply the ruling class. As such the name Imperio inca (Inca Empire) referred to the nation that they encountered, and subsequently conquered.

Origin


Incan oral history
Oral history
Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews...

 mentions three possible places of origin of their people: three caves near Pacariqtambo, a place 33 km (21 mi) away from Cuzco; Lake Titicaca; or a place known as Tambo.

Pacariqtambo, which means "the dawn tavern" or "the place of origin", was a place of three caves. The center cave, Tambo Tocco, was named for Capac Tocco. The other caves were Maras Tocco and Sutic Tocco. Four brothers and four sisters stepped out of the middle cave. They were: Ayar Manco, Ayar Cachi
Ayar Cachi
Ayar Cachi was one of the brothers of Manco Cápac, who emerged from the cave at Pacaritambo. He could shoot down hills with a single shot of his sling....

, Ayar Auca, Ayar Uchu, and Mama Ocllo, Mama Raua, Mama Huaca, Mama Cora. Out of the side caves came the people who were to be the ancestors of all the clans of the Inca people.

Ayar Manco carried a staff made of the finest gold. Where this staff landed, the people would all live there. They travelled for a very, very long time. On the way, Ayar Cachi went too far boasting about his great strength and power, and his siblings tricked him into returning to the cave to get a sacred llama. When he went into the cave, they trapped him inside.

Ayar Uchu decided to stay somewhere on the top to look over the Incan people. The minute he proclaimed that, he turned to stone. They built a shrine around the stone and it became a sacred object. Ayar Auca also grew tired of all these and decide to travel alone. Only Ayar Manco and his four sisters remained.

Finally, they reached Cuzco. The staff sank into the ground. Before they reached here, Mama Ocllo had already bore Ayar Manco a child, Sinchi Roca. The people who were already living in the valley fought hard to keep their land, but Mama Huaca was a good fighter. When the enemy attacked, she threw her bolas--several stones tied together that spun through the air when thrown--at a soldier, or gualla, and killed him instantly. Mama Huaca ripped out his lungs and squeezed them until they exploded. The other people were so scared, they ran away.

After that, Ayar Manco became known as Manco Cápac, the founder of the Inca. It is said that he and his sisters built the first Inca homes in the valley with their own hands.
When the time came, Manco Cápac turned to stone like his brothers before him. His son, Sinchi Roca, became the second emperor of the Inca.

Kingdom of Cuzco


The Inca people were a pastoral tribe in the Cuzco area around the 12th century. Under the leadership of Manco Cápac
Manco Capac
Manco Cápac was the legendary first Sapa Inca of the Kingdom of Cusco and a figure of Inca mythology. There are several versions of his origin story, which connect him to the foundation of Cusco.- Inti legend :In one myth, Manco Cápac was a son of the sun god Inti and Mama Quilla, and brother of...

, they formed the small city-state Kingdom of Cuzco (Quechua Qusqu'Qosqo). In 1438, they began a far-reaching expansion under the command of Sapa Inca (paramount leader) Pachacuti-Cusi Yupanqui, whose name literally meant "earth-shaker". The name of Pachacuti was given to him after conquering over the Tribe of Chancas (modern Apurímac
Apurímac
Apurímac is the name of:*Apurímac River - a river in the south-eastern parts of central Perú*Apurímac Region - a region in the south-eastern parts of central Perú*Apurimac - an album by the German cross-cultural new age band Cusco....

). During his reign, he and his son Tupac Yupanqui brought much of the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 mountains (roughly modern Peru and Ecuador) under Inca control.

Reorganization and formation


Pachacuti reorganized the kingdom of Cusco into the Tahuantinsuyu, which consisted of a central government with the Inca at its head and four provincial governments with strong leaders: Chinchasuyu (NW), Antisuyu (NE), Kuntisuyu (SW), and Qullasuyu (SE). Pachacuti is also thought to have built Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for...

, either as a family home or as a summer retreat, although there is speculation that Machu Picchu was constructed as an agricultural station.

Pachacuti sent spies to regions he wanted in his empire; they brought reports on the political organization, military might and wealth. He would then send messages to the leaders of these lands extolling the benefits of joining his empire, offering them presents of luxury goods such as high quality textiles, and promising that they would be materially richer as subject rulers of the Inca. Most accepted the rule of the Inca as a fait accompli and acquiesced peacefully. The ruler's children would then be brought to Cusco to be taught about Inca administration systems, then return to rule their native lands. This allowed the Inca to indoctrinate the former ruler's children into the Inca nobility, and, with luck, marry their daughters into families at various corners of the empire.

Expansion and consolidation


It was traditional for the Inca's son to lead the army; Pachacuti's son Túpac Inca Yupanqui
Tupac Inca Yupanqui
Topa Inca Yupanqui , translated as "noble Inca accountant," was the tenth Sapa Inca of the Inca Empire, and fifth of the Hanan dynasty. His father was Pachacuti, and his son was Huayna Capac. Topa Inca belonged to the Qhapaq panaca....

 began conquests to the north in 1463, and continued them as Inca after Pachucuti's death in 1471. His most important conquest was the Kingdom of Chimor
Chimor
Chimor was the political grouping of the Chimú culture that ruled the northern coast of Peru, beginning around 850 AD and ending around 1470 AD. Chimor was the largest kingdom in the Late Intermediate period, encompassing 1,000 km of coastline...

, the Inca's only serious rival for the coast of Peru. Túpac Inca's empire stretched north into modern day Ecuador and Colombia.

Túpac Inca's son Huayna Cápac
Huayna Capac
Huayna Capac was the eleventh Sapa Inca of the Inca Empire and sixth of the Hanan dynasty. He was the successor to Tupac Inca Yupanqui.-Name:In Quechua, his name is spelled Wayna Qhapaq, and in Southern Quechua, it is Vaina Ghapakh...

 added a small portion of land to the north in modern day Ecuador and in parts of Peru. At its height, the Inca Empire included Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 and Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, most of what is now Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, a large portion of what is today Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 north of Maule River
Maule river
The Maule river is one of the most important rivers of Chile and is inextricably linked to this country's pre-Hispanic times, the country's conquest, colonial period, wars of Independence, modern history, agriculture , culture , religion, economy and politics...

. The advance south halted after the Battle of the Maule
Battle of the Maule
The Battle of the Maule was fought between the Mapuche people and the Inca Empire in what is now Chile. The three-day battle, which is generally believed to have occurred in the reign of Tupac Inca Yupanqui , marked the end of the Incas' southward expansion.In a six-year campaign with an army that...

 where they met determined resistance by the Mapuche
Mapuche
The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. They constitute a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups who shared a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage. Their influence extended...

 tribes. The empire also extended into corners of Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

. However, most of the southern portion of the Inca empire, the portion denominated as Qullasuyu, was located in the Altiplano
Altiplano
The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...

.

The Inca Empire was a patchwork of languages, cultures and peoples. The components of the empire were not all uniformly loyal, nor were the local cultures all fully integrated. The Inca empire as a whole had an economy based on exchange and taxation of luxury goods and labour. The following quote reflects a method of taxation:
"For as is well known to all, not a single village of the highlands or the plains failed to pay the tribute levied on it by those who were in charge of these matters. There were even provinces where, when the natives alleged that they were unable to pay their tribute, the Inca ordered that each inhabitant should be obliged to turn in every four months a large quill full of live lice, which was the Inca's way of teaching and accustoming them to pay tribute".

Inca civil war and Spanish conquest


Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro González, Marquess was a Spanish conquistador, conqueror of the Incan Empire, and founder of Lima, the modern-day capital of the Republic of Peru.-Early life:...

 and his brothers explored south from what is today Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, reaching Inca territory by 1526. It was clear that they had reached a wealthy land with prospects of great treasure, and after one more expedition in 1529, Pizarro traveled to Spain and received royal approval to conquer the region and be its viceroy. This approval was received as detailed in the following quote: "In July 1529 the queen of Spain signed a charter allowing Pizarro to conquer the Incas. Pizarro was named governor and captain of all conquests in Peru, or New Castile, as the Spanish now called the land."

When they returned to Peru in 1532, a war of the two brothers
Inca Civil War
The Inca Civil War, the Inca Dynastic War, the Inca War of Succession, or, sometimes, the War of the Two Brothers was fought between two brothers, Huáscar and Atahualpa, sons of Huayna Capac, over the succession to the Inca throne. The war followed Huayna Capac's death in 1527, although it did not...

 between Huayna Capac's sons Huáscar
Huáscar
Huáscar Inca was Sapa Inca of the Inca empire from 1527 to 1532 AD, succeeding his father Huayna Capac and brother Ninan Cuyochi, both of whom died of smallpox while campaigning near Quito.After the conquest, the Spanish put forth the idea that Huayna Capac may have...

 and Atahualpa
Atahualpa
Atahualpa, Atahuallpa, Atabalipa, or Atawallpa , was the last Sapa Inca or sovereign emperor of the Tahuantinsuyu, or the Inca Empire, prior to the Spanish conquest of Peru...

 and unrest among newly conquered territories—and perhaps more importantly, smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

, which had spread from Central America—had considerably weakened the empire.
Pizarro did not have a formidable force; with just 168 men, 1 cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

 and 27 horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

s, he often needed to talk his way out of potential confrontations that could have easily wiped out his party. The Spanish horsemen, fully armored, had great technological superiority over the Inca forces. The traditional mode of battle in the Andes was a kind of siege warfare where large numbers of usually reluctant draftees
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 were sent to overwhelm opponents. The Spaniards had developed one of the finest military machines in the premodern world, tactics learned in their centuries' long fight against Moorish
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 kingdoms in Iberia
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

. Along with this tactical and material superiority, the Spaniards also had acquired tens of thousands of native allies who sought to end the Inca control of their territories.

Their first engagement was the Battle of Puná
Battle of Puná
The Battle of Puná, a peripheral engagement of Francisco Pizarro's conquest of Peru, was fought in April 1531 on the island of Puná in Ecuador. Pizarro's conquistadors, boasting superior weaponry and tactical skill, decisively defeated the island's indigenous inhabitants...

, near present-day Guayaquil
Guayaquil
Guayaquil , officially Santiago de Guayaquil , is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador,with about 2.3 million inhabitants in the city and nearly 3.1 million in the metropolitan area, as well as that nation's main port...

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, on the Pacific Coast; Pizarro then founded the city of Piura
Piura
Piura is a city in northwestern Peru. It is the capital of the Piura Region and the Piura Province. The population is 377,496.It was here that Spanish Conqueror Francisco Pizarro founded the third Spanish city in South America and first in Peru, San Miguel de Piura, in July 1532...

 in July 1532. Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto (explorer)
Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who, while leading the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, was the first European documented to have crossed the Mississippi River....

 was sent inland to explore the interior and returned with an invitation to meet the Inca, Atahualpa, who had defeated his brother in the civil war and was resting at Cajamarca
Cajamarca
Cajamarca may refer to:Colombia*Cajamarca, Tolima a town and municipality in Tolima DepartmentPeru* Cajamarca, city in Peru.* Cajamarca District, district in the Cajamarca province.* Cajamarca Province, province in the Cajamarca region....

 with his army of 80,000 troops.

Pizarro and some of his men, most notably a friar named Vincente de Valverde
Vincente de Valverde
Vincente de Valverde was a Spanish bishop. He was born in Oropesa , Spain about 1490 and most sources claim he died in Isla Puna, Ecuador, in 1543...

, met with the Inca, who had brought only a small retinue. Through an interpreter Friar Vincente read the "Requerimiento
Requerimiento
The Requerimiento "requirement" as in "demand") was a written declaration of sovereignty and war, read by Spanish military forces to assert their sovereignty over the Americas...

" that demanded that he and his empire accept the yoke of King Charles I of Spain and convert to Christianity. Because of the language barrier and perhaps poor interpretation, Atahualpa became somewhat puzzled by the friar's description of Christian faith and was said to have not fully understood the envoy's intentions. After Atahualpa attempted further enquiry into the doctrines of the Christian faith under which Pizarro's envoy served, the Spanish became frustrated and impatient, attacking the Inca's retinue
Battle of Cajamarca
The Battle of Cajamarca was a surprise attack on the Inca royal entourage orchestrated by Francisco Pizarro. Sprung on the evening of November 16, 1532, in the great plaza of Cajamarca, the ambush achieved the goal of capturing the Inca, Atahualpa, and claimed the lives of thousands of his...

 and capturing Atahualpa as hostage.

Atahualpa offered the Spaniards enough gold to fill the room he was imprisoned in, and twice that amount of silver. The Inca fulfilled this ransom, but Pizarro deceived them, refusing to release the Inca afterwards. During Atahualpa's imprisonment Huáscar was assassinated elsewhere. The Spaniards maintained that this was at Atahualpa's orders; this was used as one of the charges against Atahualpa when the Spaniards finally decided to put him to death, in August 1533.

Last Incas


The Spanish installed Atahualpa's brother Manco Inca Yupanqui
Manco Inca Yupanqui
Manco Inca Yupanqui was one of the Incas of Vilcabamba. He was also known as "Manco II" and "Manco Cápac II" . Born in 1516, he was one of the sons of Huayna Cápac and came from a lower class of the nobility.Túpac Huallpa, a puppet ruler crowned by conquistador Francisco Pizarro, died in 1533...

 in power; for some time Manco cooperated with the Spanish, while the Spanish fought to put down resistance in the north. Meanwhile an associate of Pizarro's, Diego de Almagro
Diego de Almagro
Diego de Almagro, , also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo , was a Spanish conquistador and a companion and later rival of Francisco Pizarro. He participated in the Spanish conquest of Peru and is credited as the first European discoverer of Chile.Almagro lost his left eye battling with coastal...

, attempted to claim Cusco for himself. Manco tried to use this intra-Spanish feud to his advantage, recapturing Cusco in 1536, but the Spanish retook the city afterwards. Manco Inca then retreated to the mountains of Vilcabamba, Peru
Vilcabamba, Peru
Vilcabamba was a city founded by Manco Inca in 1539 and was the last refuge of the Inca Empire until it fell to the Spaniards in 1572, signaling the end of Inca resistance to Spanish rule.- History :...

, where he and his successors ruled for another 36 years, sometimes raiding the Spanish or inciting revolts against them. In 1572 the last Inca stronghold was conquered, and the last ruler, Túpac Amaru
Túpac Amaru
Túpac Amaru, also called Thupa Amaro , was the last indigenous leader of the Inca state in Peru.-Accession:...

, Manco's son, was captured and executed. This ended resistance to the Spanish conquest under the political authority of the Inca state.

After the fall of the Inca Empire many aspects of Inca culture were systematically destroyed, including their sophisticated farming system, known as the vertical archipelago model of agriculture. The Spaniards used the Inca mita
Mita (Inca)
Mit'a was mandatory public service in the society of the Inca Empire. Historians use the hispanicized term mita to distinguish the system as it was modified by the Spanish, under whom it became a form of legal servitude which in practise bordered slavery.Mit'a was effectively a form of tribute to...

 (mandatory public service) system to literally work the people to death. One member of each family was forced to work in the gold and silver mines, the foremost of which was the titanic silver mine at Potosí
Potosí
Potosí is a city and the capital of the department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the highest cities in the world by elevation at a nominal . and it was the location of the Spanish colonial mint, now the National Mint of Bolivia...

. When a family member died, which would usually happen within a year or two, the family would be required to send a replacement.

The effects of smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 on the Inca empire were even more devastating. Beginning in Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, smallpox spread rapidly before the Spanish invaders first arrived in the empire. The spread was probably aided by the efficient Inca road system. Within a few years smallpox claimed between 60% and 94% of the Inca population, with other waves of European disease weakening them further. Smallpox was only the first epidemic.
Typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

 (probably) in 1546, influenza
Influenza
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae , that affects birds and mammals...

 and smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 together in 1558, smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 again in 1589, diphtheria
Diphtheria
Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae, a facultative anaerobic, Gram-positive bacterium. It is characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity...

 in 1614, measles
Measles
Measles, also known as rubeola or morbilli, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses...

 in 1618 - all ravaged the remains of Inca culture.

Population


There is some debate about the number of people inhabiting Tawantinsuyu at its peak, with estimates ranging from as few as 4 million people, to more than 37 million. The reason for these various estimates is that in spite of the fact that the Inca kept excellent census records using their quipu
Quipu
Quipus or khipus were recording devices used in the Inca Empire and its predecessor societies in the Andean region. A quipu usually consisted of colored, spun, and plied thread or strings from llama or alpaca hair. It could also be made of cotton cords...

, knowledge of how to read them has been lost, and almost all of them had been destroyed by the Spaniards in the course of their conquest.

Language



Since the Inca Empire lacked a written language, the empire's main form of communication and recording came from quipus, ceramics and spoken Quechua, the language the Incas imposed upon the peoples within the empire. The plethora of civilizations in the Andean region provided for a general disunity that the Incas needed to subdue in order to maintain control of the empire. While Quechua had been spoken in the Andean region, like central Peru, for several years prior to the expansion of the Inca civilization
Inca civilization
The Andean civilizations made up a loose patchwork of different cultures that developed from the highlands of Colombia to the Atacama Desert. The Andean civilizations are mainly based on the cultures of Ancient Peru and some others such as Tiahuanaco. The Inca Empire was the last sovereign...

, the type of Quechua the Incas imposed was an adaptation from the Kingdom of Cusco (an early form of "Southern Quechua" originally named Qhapaq Runasimi = The great language of the people) of what some historians define as "Proto-Quechua" or Cusco dialect (the original Quechua dialect).

The language imposed by the Incas further diverted from its original phonetic tone as some societies formed their own regional varieties, or slang
Slang
Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

. The diversity of Quechua at that point and even today does not come as a direct result from the Incas, who are just a part of the reason for Quechua's diversity. The civilizations within the empire that had previously spoken Quechua kept their own variety distinct to the Quechua the Incas spread. Although these dialects of Quechua have a similar linguistic structure, they differ according to the region in which they are spoken. Although most of the societies within the empire implemented Quechua into their lives, the Incas allowed several societies to keep their old languages such as Aymara
Aymara language
Aymara is an Aymaran language spoken by the Aymara people of the Andes. It is one of only a handful of Native American languages with over three million speakers. Aymara, along with Quechua and Spanish, is an official language of Peru and Bolivia...

, which still remains a spoken language in contemporary Bolivia where it is the primary indigenous language and various regions of South America surrounding Bolivia. The linguistic body of the Inca Empire was thus largely varied, but it still remains quite an achievement for the Incas that went beyond their time as the Spanish continued the use of Quechua.

It is proposed that the actual name of the spoken language of the Incan Empire was called Qhapaq Runasimi and that the Incan ruling elite spoke both Puquina and Qhapaq Runasimi (Quechua). However, Pukina ceased to be used in the 19th century. Under this proposed idea, the root meaning of Quechua was "taken by force, stolen" and a Dominican monk (Pedro Aparicio) mistakenly taught that the Peruvians referred to themselves as Quechuas when it was actually the actions of the Spaniards the people were referring to.

The Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 employed Quechua-Qhapaq Runasimi to evangelize in the Andean region. In some cases, these languages were taught to people who had originally spoken other indigenous languages. Today, Quechua-Qhapaq Runasimi and Aymara remain the most widespread Amerindian languages.

Organization of the empire


The most powerful figure in the empire was the Sapa Inca ('the unique Inca'). Only descendants of the original Inca tribe ascended to the level of Inca. Most young members of the Inca's family attended Yachay Wasi
Inca education
Inca education during the time of the Inca Empire was divided into two principal spheres: education for the upper classes and education for the general population...

s (houses of knowledge) to obtain their education.

The Inca Empire was a federalist system
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 which consisted of a central government with the Inca at its head and four provinces: Chinchay Suyu
Chinchay Suyu
Chinchasuyu was the northwestern provincial region of the Tawantin Suyu, or Inca Empire....

 (NW), Anti Suyu
Anti Suyu
Anti Suyu was the eastern part of the Inca Empire which bordered with modern-day Upper Amazon region where the Anti inhabited. Antis is a collective term for the many varied ethnic groups living in the Antisuyu such as, for example, the Pano or the Campa....

 (NE), Kunti Suyu
Kunti Suyu
Kunti Suyu or Contisuyu was the southwestern provincial region of the Inca Empire....

 (SW), and Qulla Suyu
Qulla Suyu
Kholla Suyu was the southeastern provincial region of the Inca Empire. Kholla suyu translates into Region of the Kholla, It related specifically to the native Kholla Quechuas who primarily resided in areas such as Cochabamba and Potosi...

 (SE). The four corners of these provinces met at the center, Cusco. Each province had a governor who oversaw local officials, who in turn supervised agriculturally productive river valleys, cities and mines. There were separate chains of command for both the military and religious institutions, which created a system of partial checks and balances on power . The local officials were responsible for settling disputes and keeping track of each family's contribution to the mita (mandatory public service).

Laws



The main legislator on Inca traditions was Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui who established numerous laws, and reformed old ones.

Religion



Incan myths were an oral tradition until early Spanish colonists recorded them; however, some scholars believe that they may have been recorded on quipus, Andean knotted string records.

The Inca believed in reincarnation
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

. Death was a passage to the next world that was full of difficulties. The spirit of the dead (camaquen) would need to follow a long dark road and during the trip the assistance of black dog that was able to see in the dark was required. Most Incas imagined the after world to be very similar to ours with flower covered fields and snow capped mountains. It was important for the Inca to ensure they did not die as a result of burning or that the body of the deceased did not become incinerated. This is because of the underlying belief that a vital force would disappear and threaten their passage to the after world. Those who obeyed the Incan moral code—ama suwa, ama llulla, ama quella (do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy)—"went to live in the Sun's warmth while others spent their eternal days in the cold earth" . The Inca also practiced cranial deformation. They achieved this by wrapping tight cloth straps around the heads of newborns in order to alter the shape of their soft skulls into a more conical form; this cranial deformation was made to distinguish social classes of the communities, with only the nobility having cranial deformation.

Deities

  • Viracocha
    Viracocha
    Viracocha is the great creator god in the pre-Inca and Inca mythology in the Andes region of South America. Full name and some spelling alternatives are Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqutra and Con-Tici Viracocha...

     (also Pachacamac) - Created all living things
  • Apu Illapu - Rain God, prayed to when they need rain
  • Ayar Cachi
    Ayar Cachi
    Ayar Cachi was one of the brothers of Manco Cápac, who emerged from the cave at Pacaritambo. He could shoot down hills with a single shot of his sling....

     - Hot-tempered God, causes earthquakes
  • Illapa - Goddess of lightning and thunder (also Yakumama water goddess)
  • Inti
    Inti
    According to the Inca mythology, Inti is the sun god, as well a patron deity of the Inca Empire. His exact origin is not known. The most common story says he is the son of Viracocha, the god of civilization.- Worship :...

     - sun god and patron deity of the holy city of Cuzco (home of the sun)
  • Kuychi - Rainbow God, connected with fertility
  • Mama Kilya - Wife of Inti, called Moon Mother
  • Mama Occlo - Wisdom to civilize the people, taught women to weave cloth, and build houses
  • Manco Cápac
    Manco Capac
    Manco Cápac was the legendary first Sapa Inca of the Kingdom of Cusco and a figure of Inca mythology. There are several versions of his origin story, which connect him to the foundation of Cusco.- Inti legend :In one myth, Manco Cápac was a son of the sun god Inti and Mama Quilla, and brother of...

     - known for his courage and sent to earth to become first king of the Incas, taught people how to grow plants, make weapons, work together, share resources, and worship the Gods
  • Pachamama
    Pachamama
    Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. Pachamama is usually translated as Mother Earth, but a more literal translation would be "Mother world"...

     - The Goddess of earth and wife of Viracocha, people give her offerings of coca leafs and beer and pray to her for major agricultural occasions
  • Qochamama - Goddess of the sea
  • Sachamama - Means Mother Tree, goddess in the shape of a snake with two heads
  • Yakumama - Means mother Water, represented as a snake, when she came to earth she transformed into a great river (also Illapa)

Social Structure


The social structure of the Inca Empire varied from area to area, but still had the same basic structure, On top was the Sapa Inca, or the emperor. Then came the nobles, these were often the priests and relatives of past emperors or the current ones. After, there were craftsmen and architects, they were very high on the social ladder because of the skill that they had was required by the Empire for such buildings. then came the working class, often just farmers that were kept in their social groupings. After this, were the slaves and peasants of the society.

Monumental architecture


Architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 was by far the most important of the Inca arts, with textiles reflecting motifs that were at their height in architecture. The main example is the capital city of Cusco. The breathtaking site of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for...

 was constructed by Inca engineers. The stone temples constructed by the Inca used a mortarless construction that fit together so well that a knife could not be fitted through the stonework. This was a process first used on a large scale by the Pucara (ca. 300 BC–AD 300) peoples to the south in Lake Titicaca, and later in the great city of Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku, is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia, South America. Tiwanaku is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five...

 (ca. AD 400–1100) in present day Bolivia. The rocks used in construction were sculpted to fit together exactly by repeatedly lowering a rock onto another and carving away any sections on the lower rock where the dust was compressed. The tight fit and the concavity on the lower rocks made them extraordinarily stable.

Measures





Ceramics, precious metal work, and textiles


Almost all of the gold and silver work of the empire was melted down by the conquistadors.

Ceramics were painted using the polychrome technique portraying numerous motifs including animals, birds, waves, felines (which were popular in the Chavin culture) and geometric patterns found in the Nazca style of ceramics. In place of a written language Ceramics portrayed the very basic scenes of everyday life, including the smelting of metals, relationships and scenes of tribal warfare, it is through these preserved Ceramics that we know what life was like for the ancient South Americans. The most distinctive Inca ceramic objects are the Cusco bottles or ¨aryballos¨. Many of these pieces are on display in Lima in the Larco Archaeological Museum
Larco Museum
The Larco Museum is a privately owned museum of pre-Columbian art, located in the Pueblo Libre District of Lima, Peru. The museum is housed in an 18th century vice-royal mansion built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid. It showcases chronological galleries that provide a thorough overview of...

 and the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History.

Communication and medicine


The Inca used assemblages of knotted strings, known as Quipu
Quipu
Quipus or khipus were recording devices used in the Inca Empire and its predecessor societies in the Andean region. A quipu usually consisted of colored, spun, and plied thread or strings from llama or alpaca hair. It could also be made of cotton cords...

 to record information, the exact nature of which is no longer known. Originally it was thought that Quipu were used only as mnemonic devices or to record numerical data. Quipus are also believed to record history and literature.

The Inca made many discoveries in medicine. They performed successful skull surgery
Trepanation
Trepanning, also known as trephination, trephining or making a burr hole, is a surgical intervention in which a hole is drilled or scraped into the human skull, exposing the dura mater in order to treat health problems related to intracranial diseases. It may also refer to any "burr" hole created...

, which involved cutting holes in the skull in order to alleviate fluid buildup and inflammation caused by head wounds. Anthropologists have discovered evidence which suggests that most skull surgeries performed by Inca surgeons were successful. In pre-Inca times, only one-third of skull surgery patients survived the procedure. However, survival rates rose to 80-90% during the Inca era.

Coca


The Incas revered the coca plant as being sacred or magical. Its leaves were used in moderate amounts to lessen hunger and pain during work, but were mostly used for religious and health purposes. When the Spaniards realized the effects of chewing the coca leaves, they took advantage of it. They forced the people of the Tawantinsuyo (Peru) to become addicted to it to avoid having to provide the usual amounts of food and rest while they were engaged in slave labour. The Chasqui (messengers) chewed coca leaves for extra energy to carry on their tasks as runners delivering messages throughout the empire. The coca leaf was also used during surgeries as an anaesthetic.

Weapons, armor, and warfare



The Inca army was the most powerful in the area at that time, because they could turn an ordinary villager or farmer into a soldier, ready for battle. This is because every male Inca had to take part in war at least once so as to be prepared for warfare again when needed. By the time the empire had reached its large size, every section of the empire contributed in setting up an army for war.

The Incas had no iron or steel, and their weapons were not much better than those of their enemies. They went into battle with the beating of drums and the blowing of trumpets. The armor used by the Incas included:
  • Helmets made of wood, copper, bronze, cane, or animal skin; some were adorned with feathers
  • Round or square shields made from wood or hide
  • Cloth tunics padded with cotton and small wooden planks to protect the spine.


The Inca weaponry included:
  • Bronze or bone-tipped spears
  • Two-handed wooden swords with serrated edges
  • Clubs with stone and spiked metal heads
  • Woolen slings and stones
  • Stone or copper headed battle-axes
  • Bolas
    Bolas
    Bolas are a throwing weapon superficially similar to the surujin, made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, designed to capture animals by entangling their legs...

     (stones fastened to lengths of cord)


Roads allowed very quick movement for the Inca army, and shelters called tambo
Tambo (Incan structure)
A Tambo was an Incan structure built for administrative and military purposes. Found along Incan roads, tambos typically carried supplies, served as lodging for itinerant state personnel, and were depositories of quipu-based accounting records.Different types of tambos existed; those that served...

 were built one day's distance in travelling from each other, so that an army on campaign could always be fed and rested. This can be seen in names of ruins such as Ollantay Tambo, or My Lord's Storehouse. These were set up so the Inca and his entourage would always have supplies (and possibly shelter) ready as he traveled.

Inca flag



There are 16th and 17th century chronicles and references that support the idea of a banner, or flag, attributable to the Inca.
Francisco López de Jerez wrote in 1534:
"all of them came distributed into squads, with their flags and captains commanding them, as well-ordered as Turks"

("todos venían repartidos en sus escuadras con sus banderas y capitanes que los mandan, con tanto concierto como turcos").


The chronicler, Bernabé Cobo
Bernabé Cobo
Bernabé Cobo was a Spanish Jesuit missionary and writer. He played a part in the early history of quinine by his description of cinchona bark; he brought some to Europe on a visit in 1632....

, wrote:

"The royal standard or banner was a small square flag, ten or twelve spans around, made of cotton or wool cloth, placed on the end of a long staff, stretched and stiff such that it did not wave in the air, and on it each king painted his arms and emblems, for each one chose different ones, though the sign of the Incas was the rainbow and two parallel snakes along the width with the tassel as a crown, which each king used to add for a badge or blazon those preferred, like a lion, an eagle and other figures."


(...el guión o estandarte real era una banderilla cuadrada y pequeña, de diez o doce palmos de ruedo, hecha de lienzo de algodón o de lana, iba puesta en el remate de una asta larga, tendida y tiesa, sin que ondease al aire, y en ella pintaba cada rey sus armas y divisas, porque cada uno las escogía diferentes, aunque las generales de los Incas eran el arco celeste y dos culebras tendidas a lo largo paralelas con la borda que le servía de corona, a las cuales solía añadir por divisa y blasón cada rey las que le parecía, como un león, un águila y otras figuras.)
-Bernabé Cobo, Historia del Nuevo Mundo (1653)


Guaman Poma's 1615 book, El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno, shows numerous line drawings of Inca flags.

In modern times the rainbow flag
Rainbow flag
A rainbow flag is a multi-colored flag consisting of stripes in the colors of the rainbow. The actual colors shown differ, but many of the designs are based on the traditional scheme of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, or some more modern division of the rainbow spectrum .The...

 has been associated with the Tawantinsuyu and is displayed as a symbol of Inca heritage in Peru and Bolivia. The city of Cusco flies the Rainbow Flag. Even the Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo
Alejandro Toledo
Alejandro Celestino Toledo Manrique is a politician who was President of Peru from 2001 to 2006. He was elected in April 2001, defeating former President Alan García...

 (2001–2006) flew the Rainbow Flag in Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

's presidential palace.

According to the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, the flag only dates to the first decades of the 20th century. But in his 1847 book A History of the Conquest of Peru, "[ William H. Prescott
William H. Prescott
William Hickling Prescott was an American historian and Hispanist, who is widely recognized by historiographers to have been the first American scientific historian...

 ] ... says that in the Inca army each company had its particular banner, and that the imperial standard, high above all, displayed the glittering device of the rainbow, the armorial ensign of the Incas." A 1917 world flags book says the Incan "heir-apparent ... was entitled to display the royal standard of the rainbow in his military campaigns."

Archaeology



Andean civilization probably began c. 9500 BP
Before Present
Before Present years is a time scale used in archaeology, geology, and other scientific disciplines to specify when events in the past occurred. Because the "present" time changes, standard practice is to use AD 1950 as the origin of the age scale, reflecting the fact that radiocarbon...

. Based in the highlands of Peru, an area now referred to as the punas, the ancestors of the Incas probably began as a nomadic herding people. Geographical conditions resulted in a distinctive physical development characterized by a small stature and stocky build. Men averaged 1.57 m (5'2") and women averaged 1.45 m (4'9"). Because of the high altitudes, they had unique lung developments with almost one third greater capacity than other humans. The Incas had slower heart rates, blood volume of about 2 l (four pints) more than other humans, and double the amount of hemoglobin which transfers oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

Archaeologists have found traces of permanent habitation as high as 5300 m (17,388.5 ft) above sea level in the temperate zone of the high altiplanos. While the Conquistadors may have been a little taller, the Inca surely had the advantage of coping with the extraordinary altitude. It seems that civilizations in this area before the Inca have left no written record, and therefore the Inca seem to appear from nowhere, but the Inca were a product of the past. They borrowed architecture, ceramics, and their empire-state government from previous cultures.

In the Lake Titikaka region, Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku, is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia, South America. Tiwanaku is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five...

 is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately 500 years.

Important Incan sites

  • Choquequirao
    Choquequirao
    Choquequirao is a ruined Inca city in south Peru, similar in structure and architecture to Machu Picchu. The ruins are buildings and terraces at levels above and below Sunch'u Pata, the truncated hill top...

  • Cusco
    Cusco
    Cusco , often spelled Cuzco , is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cuzco Province. In 2007, the city had a population of 358,935 which was triple the figure of 20 years ago...

  • Llactapata
    Llactapata
    Llactapata is a combination of two Quechua words. The pronunciation of Llaqtapata is yakta-pahta.Hiram Bingham, discoverer of Machu Picchu and many other Incan sites, states that Llacta Pata is a descriptive term; "llacta" means "town" and "pata" means "a height"...

  • Machu Picchu
    Machu Picchu
    Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for...

  • Moray
    Moray (Inca ruin)
    Moray is an archaeological site in Peru approximately 50 km northwest of Cuzco on a high plateau at about 3500 m and just west of the village of Maras. The site contains unusual Inca ruins, mostly consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is about 30 m deep...

  • Ollantaytambo
    Ollantaytambo
    Ollantaytambo is a town and an Inca archaeological site in southern Peru some 60 kilometers northwest of the city of Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 2,792 meters above sea level in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco region...

  • Sacsayhuaman
    Sacsayhuamán
    -External links:* BBC Article...

  • Vilcabamba
    Vilcabamba, Peru
    Vilcabamba was a city founded by Manco Inca in 1539 and was the last refuge of the Inca Empire until it fell to the Spaniards in 1572, signaling the end of Inca resistance to Spanish rule.- History :...

  • Vitcos
    Vitcos
    Vitcos is an archaeological site in the Cusco Region in Peru, believed to have been built by ruler in exile Manco Inca during the Spanish conquest of Peru.-History:...


External links