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Who were the Incas? Where did the Incas come from?

The Inca Civilization
The Incas were a civilization in South America formed by ethnic Quechua people also known as Amerindians. In 1400AD they were a small highland tribe, one hundred years later in early the early 16th century the Incas rose to conquer and control the largest empire ever seen in the Americas forming the great . Its capital was located in and extended from what today is Ecuador in the north, Chile in the South, Bolivia in the east and limited by the in the west. In less than …

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Achievements of the Incas


The Incas were magnificent engineers. They built a system of roads and bridges across the roughest terrains of the . Through their and the most advanced centralized economy, the Incas were able to secure unlimited manual labor. They built more than 14,000 miles of paved road that connected , to all corners of the empire.
Bridges were built everywhere in the empire. Their suspension bridges were built using natural fibers. Indigenous people still use the same technique in remote areas in the Andes.
Communication was very important to maintain Inca policy. Considering …

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The Inca Empire

The Inca Empire flourished in the South American continent from 1438 until the Spanish arrived in the continent in 1533. From around 1200  to 1438 the Incas were considered a tribe which gradually grew occupying a territory of  800,000 sq km or 308,882 sq mi. Starting around the year 1438 the Incas started expanding absorbing neighboring territories and incorporating their culture and practices into their own societies and becoming an empire. The expansion started when Sapa Inca Pachacuti came to the throne. With the help of this son Topa Inca …

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Inca Facts

The Incas were an ancient people who in the 16th century controlled the greatest empire in the Americas.

The remote ancestors of the Incas were Stone Age hunters who crossed the Bering Strait from Asia to Alaska.

The Incas explained their origin through legends. There are two main legends: The Legend of the Ayar Brothers and the Legend of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo who emerged from the waters of in .
How long did the Inca Empire last?
The Inca Empire lasted about a century from approximately 1438 to 1532, reaching its …

Culture, Inca Civilization »

Inca Art Forms

Inca art was practical. The Incas were an artistic people who used materials available to them in nature and blended them creating many artistic forms in utilitarian ways. Much of their artistic expression was used in everyday life and had a .  Because they did not know science they had to attach powers to natural phenomena worshiping natural resources such as water streams or rocks, animals and almost anything related to nature and the best way to worship was to incorporate their best artistic creations in their offerings to the …

Inca Civilization »

Inca expansion and its government

Inca Government
The Inca empire was an absolute monarchy with the Sapa Inca exercising the ultimate government authority. His powers were not limited by law. The royal council helped him rule and was made up mostly of royalty or close family members, high priests and generals.
The empire was divided in two large areas: Hanan and Urin, north and south respectively. Each one included two of the four administrative governments or suyus: Antisuyu (Northeast), Chichasuyu (Northwest), Contisuyu (Southwest) and Collasuyu (Southeast). The suyus had a hierarchical government managed by a loyal bureaucracy …

Inca Civilization »

The Inca and his family

The Inca or the Sapa Inca was the emperor, head of state with unlimited powers. There was only one Inca and no other person was called Inca but overtime this name became the term for the society in general. The Sapa Inca was polygamous and he usually married his sister who was his most important wife, she was known as the Coya. Polygamy was common among the royalty and upper classes and for those who could afford it. The Sapa Inca and the Coya lived in separate palaces which were …

Inca Civilization »

Economy of the Inca Empire

The Incas had a centrally planned economy, perhaps the most successful ever seen. Its success was in the efficient management of labor and the administration of resources they collected as tribute. Collective labor was the base for economic productivity and for the creation of social wealth in the . By working together people in the ayllu created such wealth that the Spanish were astonished with what they encountered. Every citizen was required to contribute with his labor and refusal or laziness was with the death penalty.
The ayllu was the …

Inca Civilization »

Inca Roads and Chasquis

The Incas were magnificent engineers, they built the most elaborate network of roads and bridges of any ancient culture. The success of its empire was partly due to being able to reach and control each corner of their territory. Inca engineers used and improved roads left by earlier cultures such as the , and among others.
The Incas built more than 14,000 miles/22,530 km of paved roads. There were two main roads, both connected the territory north to south extending along the and another along the. Both roads …

Inca Civilization »

Cusco, the City of the Puma

The name Cusco comes from the Aymara language qusqu wanka that means “rock of the owl”. According to one the , the myth of the Ayar brothers, Ayar Auca became an owl and flew to the location where they would settle to create the capital of the new empire, he converted into a rock to mark the chosen site.
Inca Manco Capac was the founder of the . The inner city of Cusco was laid out in the shape of a puma whose head was the fortress of Sacsahuaman. His body …