Inca – The Ancient Civilization


Image Credit: Flickr User macjewell, via CC

Inca was an ancient civilization that ruled a part of South America in the 1400’s, almost 600 years ago. Incans called themselves the “Children of the Sun”. Inca were fierce warriors. They ruled Peru and large parts of modern Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia when their civilization was the strongest. Incans lived in the mountain peaks of Andes with great ease.

circular terraces of Peru

Image Credit: Flickr User ShashiBellamkonda, via CC

Incans cut the mountains to build roads, huge terraces, canals and stone cities. The cities had homes, fountains, temples and shrines. These were constructed flawlessly for Incas to function efficiently on the rugged mountainous terrain. The steep slopes were turned into gigantic terraces that were  used for farming. Farming was done to feed the Incas. Also, these terraces were used by the messengers who raced over the Andean peaks to spread the news of the empire from town to town. The most amazing part is that Incas did all of this without using wheels, iron, horses or even a written language!

It is one thing to just survive without access to all the equipment, but to rule  millions of people just seems impossible, doesn’t it?

Inca walls were made of stone and perfectly engineered

Image Credit: Flickr User sufw, via CC

Well, the reason behind that could be the fact that the Incans, without doubt were exceptionally skilled engineers. They had a system for making mathematical calculations using knotted strings. It was called ‘kipu‘. But historians around the world still fail to understand how Incans operated with just a basic calculating system!


Image Credit: Flickr User ShashiBellamkonda, via CC

These innovative farmers and champion builders have left behind the unbelievable stone city of Machu Picchu. The city is situated on top of a mountain in Urubamba valley, Peru. The  Urubamba River flows through here.

Incans were also skilled craftsmen who made beautiful jewellery and textiles and were very tolerant of other cultures. They expanded their empire not only by warring but by diplomacy.

Incans ruled for a very short period of time, only for about 100 years. By mid 1500’s, they were devastated first by diseases, and then civil war. The final straw for them was the attack of  Spanish people. They conquered the Incans and wiped out the whole empire.

Since Incans had no written language, sadly, there is no written account of their reign. Most of what we know about Incans for sure is on account of Spanish people who conquered them or some simple drawings by Incan artists born shortly after Spanish arrived in Peru.

Today, Machu Picchu is the only symbol left of Incan greatness. Millions of people from around the world visit the stone city every year to witness the stunning wonder created by this ancient civilisation.


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