The Incan Empire Essay, Research Paper
The Incan Empire
One of the things I am proud about my country Peru, is its rich culture. Peru was home of one of the most important ancient cultures, the Incas. The Incan history is very important for the education system in Peru and most Peruvians have a really good knowledge about the Incas. When I was in high school, I visited ancient ruins and museums around the country and also I was very interested in the Peruvian history.
The Incas were one of the most memorable ancient cultures not only because of the empire they managed to control, but also because of all the fascinating structures and jewelry they left. All the constructions they made where built using stones. There are constructions that people until this day can t understand how were they made. Some of them are made on the top of mountains and some of the stones they used are 2 by 3 meters. The Jewelry the Incas made was of gold, silver and precious stones. The Incas established their extensive empire in South America shortly before the conquest of the New World. The Incas with their creative imagination and organization become one of the most important cultures in the American continent.
One of the few cities that remain intact is the lost city of Machu Pichu. Machu Pichu has a beautiful landscape and a very interesting architectural design that plays with the light. This incredible city was not damaged because it is really high in the mountains and it had a hidden access. Historians think that a few of the royal Incans ran away and hide in this city. The Spaniards destroyed most of the constructions and also stole most of the Incan jewelry. They took the jewelry to Europe during the time they ruled in South America. Until this day scientists can t figure out how the Incas had the knowledge of advanced geometry and basic engineering theories that were really advanced for that age period
The Incas were originally a very small warlike tribe that habited on the south highland region of the “Cordillera Central” in Peru. They moved into the mystic valley of Cuzco and for about 300 years, they ruled all the area and whenever possible, they overcome neighborhood tribes. The empire reached its greatest period in the reign of the Inca Huayna Capac . Huayna Capac was the best ruler of the Incan empire. At that time He expanded the Incan territory through nearly all the South American continent and he had a very organized military group that was the strongest one in America at that time. For some unknown reason the Incas never went inside the Amazon jungle but the empire expanded through Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador.
The Incan empire had an agriculturally based organization and they had a socialistic approach. The entire empire was divided into four great regions or quarters and these regions were subdivided into provinces and various other lesser socioeconomic groups. There was a great network of stone roads connecting all parts of the empire to the capital city of Cuzco. The Incas had an interesting mail system. Trained runners called chasquis , working in relays, covered up to 400 km every day delivering messages. Also they had Balsa made wooden boats, which provided a rapid means of transportation along rivers and streams. People don t know this but in the northern part of Peru colonies from the Incan empire invented surfing, they started surfing in extra light canoes. Although the Incas had neither horses, nor a system of writing, authorities in Cuzco were able to keep in close touch with developments around the empire with this system of communication and also by keeping numerical records of troops, supplies, population data and general inventories with a knotted and colored string called quipus, that was an ancient method of counting that the Incas developed. Under this methods the imperial administrators had everything under control.
The Incans had various gods the sun, the stars, the weather, and various animals. Their goddesses of the earth were the moon and sea. The Incas had numerous and elaborate ceremonies and rituals of all kind, primarily centered on health and agricultural concerns. Live animals were often sacrificed at important ceremonies, and humans were sacrificed occasionally to the gods. . Proof of this sacrifices are shown in pictures they painted on pots and pans. The Incas used a form of caste system. They had three general categories: Incas by blood-this were the relatives of Incans they had special privileges like slaves; Incas by privilege- were the people ruling in conquered lands; and peasants-were commoners and they had no privileges.
Unfortunately most of the Spaniards that came to South America were ignorant people and they didn t respect the Incan culture. As soon as they were in power, they imposed their religion destroying all the symbols that represented the gods for the Incan people. The Spaniards decapitated the last so-called ruler of the Incas, and with his death, the Incan history became part of Peru s history. The things I mentioned are only a few of the fascinating things that the Incan people did in the past.