38 Facts About Inca


Inca Empire, called Tawantinsuyu by its subjects, was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America.

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The Inca civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 13th century.

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Inca Empire was unique in that it lacked many of the features associated with civilization in the Old World.

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Notable features of the Inca Empire included its monumental architecture, especially stonework, extensive road network reaching all corners of the empire, finely-woven textiles, use of knotted strings for record keeping and communication, agricultural innovations and production in a difficult environment, and the organization and management fostered or imposed on its people and their labor.

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The Inca rulers reciprocated by granting access to land and goods and providing food and drink in celebratory feasts for their subjects.

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Many local forms of worship persisted in the empire, most of them concerning local sacred Huacas, but the Inca leadership encouraged the sun worship of Inti – their sun god – and imposed its sovereignty above other cults such as that of Pachamama.

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Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu, "the four suyu".

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The name "Inca Empire" originated from the Chronicles of the 16th Century.

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Inca Empire was the last chapter of thousands of years of Andean civilizations.

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Inca people were a pastoral tribe in the Cusco area around the 12th century.

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Inca's siblings tricked him into returning to the cave to get a sacred llama.

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Inca then sent messages to their leaders 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 his subjects.

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Pachacuti's son Tupac Inca Yupanqui began conquests to the north in 1463 and continued them as Inca ruler after Pachacuti's death in 1471.

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At its height, the Inca Empire included Peru, western and south central Bolivia, southwest Ecuador and a large portion of what is today Chile, north of the Maule River.

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Inca Empire was an amalgamation of languages, cultures and peoples.

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In contrast, the Inca used weapons made out of wood, stone, copper and bronze, while using an Alpaca fiber based armor, putting them at significant technological disadvantage—none of their weapons could pierce the Spanish steel armor.

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However, the Inca were still effective warriors, being able to successfully fight the Mapuche, which later would strategically defeat the Spanish as they expanded further south.

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The Inca offered them ceremonial chicha in a golden cup, which the Spanish rejected.

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The Inca fulfilled this ransom, but Pizarro deceived them, refusing to release the Inca afterwards.

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Manco Inca then retreated to the mountains of Vilcabamba and established the small Neo-Inca State, where he and his successors ruled for another 36 years, sometimes raiding the Spanish or inciting revolts against them.

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In 1572 the last Inca stronghold was conquered and the last ruler, Tupac Amaru, Manco's son, was captured and executed.

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In spite of the fact that the Inca kept excellent census records using their quipus, knowledge of how to read them was lost as almost all fell into disuse and disintegrated over time or were destroyed by the Spaniards.

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High infant mortality rates that plagued the Inca Empire caused all newborn infants to be given the term 'wawa' when they were born.

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Inca myths were transmitted orally until early Spanish colonists recorded them; however, some scholars claim that they were recorded on quipus, Andean knotted string records.

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The Inca Empire traded with outside regions, although they did not operate a substantial internal market economy.

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Sapa Inca was conceptualized as divine and was effectively head of the state religion.

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Inca was "son of the sun", and his people the intip churin, or "children of the sun", and both his right to rule and mission to conquer derived from his holy ancestor.

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Inca Empire was a federalist system consisting of a central government with the Inca at its head and four regional quarters, or suyu: Chinchay Suyu, Anti Suyu, Kunti Suyu and Qulla Suyu .

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The highest such inspector, typically a blood relative to the Sapa Inca, acted independently of the conventional hierarchy, providing a point of view for the Sapa Inca free of bureaucratic influence.

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However, beneath the Sapa Inca sat the Inkap rantin, who was a confidant and assistant to the Sapa Inca, perhaps similar to a Prime Minister.

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The prime Inca structures were made of stone blocks that fit together so well that a knife could not be fitted through the stonework.

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Inca astronomers understood equinoxes, solstices and zenith passages, along with the Venus cycle.

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The Inca calendar was essentially lunisolar, as two calendars were maintained in parallel, one solar and one lunar.

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Inca recorded information on assemblages of knotted strings, known as Quipu, although they can no longer be decoded.

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Inca army was the most powerful at that time, because any ordinary villager or farmer could be recruited as a soldier as part of the mit'a system of mandatory public service.

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Every able bodied male Inca of fighting age had to take part in war in some capacity at least once and to prepare for warfare again when needed.

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Inca weaponry included "hardwood spears launched using throwers, arrows, javelins, slings, the bolas, clubs, and maces with star-shaped heads made of copper or bronze".

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Peruvian historian Maria Rostworowski said, "I bet my life, the Inca never had that flag, it never existed, no chronicler mentioned it".

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