Location • Western Highlands of South America • Present-day Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia • The empire stretched for more than 3,000 miles • Capital City – Cuzco • Founded in 1200 A.D.
Military • Very powerful army • All men ages 25-50 were drafted for the army for up to five years. • Weapons included clubs, spears, spiked copper balls on ropes. • Soldiers used woven cloth to throw stones 30 yards.
Infrastructure • Population – more than 9 million • Infrastructure – more than 10,000 miles of stone paved roads that ran over mountains, desert, and jungles. • Rope bridges – made from grass – were used to cross canyons and rivers.
Communication • Runners would carry messages from the emperor to remote villages. • Quechua – official language • No form of written language • Quipus – form of record keeping that used strings and knots to keep track of grain supplies
Agriculture • The mountainous land was not well suited for farming. • Incas cut terraces into the sides of mountains to make platforms to plant on. • They built stone walls to hold the soils and plants in place. • Crops – maize, squash, tomatoes, peanuts, peppers, melons, cotton, potatoes.
Religion • The Incan Empire belonged to the emperor, who was believed to be a descendant of the sun god. • Incans believed the sun god enjoyed displays of gold, so they made and wore gold jewelry. • They built special cities devoted to religious ceremonies. (i.e. – Machu Picchu)