Inca Art Timeline

Inca Art Timeline


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Inca Art Timeline - History

The Inca Civilization

The Inca Empire extended from Quito, Ecuador to south of Santiago, Chile. Click on map to enlarge.

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 the early 16 th century the Incas rose to conquer and control the largest empire ever seen in the Americas forming the great Inca Empire. Its capital was located in Cusco, Peru and extended from what today is Ecuador in the north, Chile in the South, Bolivia in the east and limited by the Pacific Ocean in the west. In less than a century the Incas conquered a vast territory through war and watchful diplomacy.

The Inca Civilization was an agrarian civilization and at its height in 1500 AD reached more than 10 million people. It had a complex stratified vertical society governed by the Inca and his relatives. They shared a common polytheistic religion based on the worship of the Sun and the Sapa Inca as his son. Their centrally planned economy, the collection of tribute, a draconian law system, food security and its fair distribution along with free health care and education were the basis of its economic and social success and in that sense securing the loyalty of its subjects. The government was highly organized even without the benefits of a writing system. The organization of the empire rivaled that of the Romans.

The Inca civilization achieved highly developed art forms such as pottery, weaving techniques, metallurgy, music and architecture. A great example of their architectural achievement is Machu Picchu built by Inca Pachacuti around 1460AD. Their exquisite buildings were built without the use of modern tools and the wheel and they have withstood five centuries in an earthquake prone zone.

For the Incas being “Inca” meant being a member of the group identified by that name. They considered themselves superior to the other tribes and being Inca was a source of pride only descendants of the original tribe were true Inca or children of the Sun. All others were subjects of the Child of the Sun.

The decline of the Incas started before the Spanish arrived in Inca territory. Their arrival accelerated its decline and eventually its fall. The conquest of Peru officially started in 1532 when a group led by Francisco Pizarro arrived in the city of Cajamarca to meet Atahualpa.

Where did the Incas come from?

Between 3000 to 2500 BC ancestors of the Incas domesticated llamas and alpacas.

The ancestors of the Incas were hunters who came from Asia crossing the Bering Strait. Over 20,000 years ago the Bering Strait connected Siberia and Alaska, it took several thousand years to populate and create civilizations in the Americas. Groups of people settled along the way creating communities. Others continued south and between 13,000 BC and 10,000 BC they reached the Pacific coast of South America and the Andes Mountains where they settled and found a new way of life. They learned how to cultivate plants such as corn and potatoes. Among the most important and first animals they domesticated were llamas and alpacas, this occurred between 3000 and 2500 BC. These animals were useful in many ways, they served as source of food, their wool was used for clothing and they were also used as pack animals. Between 3800 and 3000 BC they learned to grow cotton.

From around 8000 BC pre-Inca cultures started flourishing in the Andes and along the coast Caral and Kotosh are one of the first cultures known in this area. They were followed by Chavin, Paracas, Nazca, Moche, Tiawanaku, Wari and Chimu. Between 1150 and 1250BC the Incas, by then a small tribe, were searching for farmland which they found in the fertile mountain valleys of Cusco. They dominated and improved on their ancestors’ achievements creating the largest pre-Columbian civilization in the Americas, the Inca Civilization. The Incas explained their origin through legends, the best known are the legend of the Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo who emerged from Lake Titicaca and the Legend of the Ayar Brothers.

Inca expansion

Inca Pachacutec expanded the Inca Empire. He is also credited for the creation of Machu Pichu.

From around 1200 to 1438 the Incas were a small tribe that gradually grew. Starting around the year 1438 the Incas started expanding when Inca Pachacutec came to the throne, at this point the Inca civilization became an empire. Their successful expansion and conquest of new territory would not have been possible without the construction of roads and bridges. It is important to note that the Incas developed a highly advanced engineering and architectural technology even without the benefit of the wheel.

When the Incas arrived in a new region they tried to establish a relationship with the tribe’s head. He offered gifts such as wool clothing, coca leaves and mullu (shell believed to be food for the Gods). If the gifts were accepted they also accepted the Inca’s authority. To consolidate this alliance they established family ties. If they did not accept the gifts they used force to subdue the tribe and since the Incas had a more powerful military force they always succeeded. The local leaders were executed to secure loyalty among the population. Read more about Inca expansion and its government.

The collapse of the Inca Civilization

The arrival of the Spaniards in South America brought diseases that killed natives making it easier to conquer the already weakened empire.

Ruins in Peru tell stories of the fallen Inca Civilization and its predecessors. Some of them like Machu Picchu laid buried for centuries before it was discovered in 1911. Other Inca cities, yet to be discovered, may lay buried under modern buildings . What brought the collapse of such an advanced civilization?

The invasion of the Spaniards brought warfare and disease, they also brought a new culture that wiped out the local one imposing their own system of beliefs and government. Even before the Spanish arrived in Inca territory disease had spread from central America to South America. It is believed that in ten years between 50% and 90% of the population was attacked by diseases like smallpox, flu, typhus, diphtheria, chicken pox and measles to which the Inca population had no inmunity. The first disease to make its mark was smallpox when in 1527 it took the lives of Sapa Inca Huayna Capac and Ninan Cuyochi, the heir to the throne. According to Inca tradition the next in line to the throne was the oldest son of the Inca and the Coya, his wife, and following this tradition, Huascar was the next in line. He was stationed in Cusco and was crowned as Sapa Inca by the Cusco nobility. Among Huayna Capac’s many illegitimate sons was Atahualpa, a more capable warrior and administrator who was in charge of the northern territories in the administrative capital of Quito. Atahualpa’s supporters considered him the Sapa Inca and a civil war broke out between the two brothers and their supporters . In 1532 Huascar was defeated and Atahualpa was proclaimed the emperor.

As the Spanish made their way to Inca territory from the north they encountered a diminished and weak population. Francisco Pizarro arrived in the city of Cajamarca in 1532 with 110 armed men and a cavalry of 67. The following day he sent an invitation to Atahualpa to visit him. It appeared obvious to Atahualpa that this was to be a peaceful meeting where the foreigners were to show their respect to him as his entourage was not armed. As the King of the Incas walked into the square he was approached by a priest named Valverde who handed him a bible and tried to make him swear loyalty to the Pope and the King of Spain. Atahualpa threw the Bible to the floor and the attempt to capture him started. The conquerors showed their superiority by capturing Atahualpa and killing most of his warriors in less than thirty minutes.

As a payment for his freedom Atahualpa offered to fill two full rooms of silver and one of gold. He was never let go even when the ransom was paid, instead he was charged of treason and crimes against the Spanish state. He was executed on August 29, 1533.

The Spanish easily advanced south conquering and dominating the rest of the Inca territory and wiping its culture and its civilization, spreading their religion and governance along the way.


Inca Timeline – Chronology of the Rise and Fall of the Inca Empire

The Inca timeline can be traced back to 1200 A.D., at which point the Inca tribe moved into the Cusco region. The Empire began its rapid expansion in the late 1430s the Incas would dominate South America for the next century, pushing their boundaries ever further across the continent. However, this swift rise to power would be snuffed out by an even swifter fall.

Early Period Timeline – Inca Tribe and the Cusco Valley

The Inca tribe emerged in the Late Intermediate period of Peruvian archeological history. The Inca civilization was a relatively small tribe of the Peruvian altiplano (highlands) before rising to become the largest empire in pre-Columbian America.

– 900 to 1200 A.D. – The Killke culture occupies the Cusco valley region.
– 1150 to 1200 – The Inca tribe settles in the Cusco region.
– c.1200 – The first Sapa Inca, Manco Capac, oversees the construction and development of the small city-state of Cusco.
– 1200 to 1400 – The Incas maintain a tribal boundary within the Cusco valley but do not aggressively expand their territory.

Expansion of the Inca Empire

By the early 1400s, the Incas had absorbed or defeated various rival tribes within the Cusco region. They struck up a tactical alliance with the Lupaca, a relatively powerful society from the Lake Titicaca region. This alliance helped to guard against attacks from the south-east. However, it was an attack from the north that would ultimately change the course of the Inca Empire.

1438 – The Chanca tribe attacks the city of Cusco from the north. The current Inca ruler, Viracocha Inca, flees the city with his son and heir to the throne, Inca Urcon. Viracocha’s other son, Inca Yupanqui, stays in Cusco to offer a last-ditch defense of the city.

1438 to 1463 – Inca Yupanqui leads a heroic and successful defense of the city. He takes control of the Empire and becomes known as Pachacuti (Pachacutec). He begins a period of rapid territorial expansion while reorganizing the governmental system. The Inca civilization develops into the Tahuantinsuyu Empire.

1463 – Control of the army is given to Pachacuti’s son, Túpac Inca Yupanqui (Topa Inca). Túpac Inca further expands the boundaries of the Inca Empire, pushing up into Ecuador after having already secured much of central and northern Peru.

1471 – Túpac Inca becomes king upon the death of his father. He pushes south into Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.

1493 – Huayna Cápac, Túpac Inca’s son, becomes king. He further expands the Inca Empire over the following 30 years.

Inca Civil War and the Fall of the Inca Empire

With the Inca Empire at the height of its powers, further expansion looked inevitable. However, the Spanish had arrived further north in Aztec territory, bringing with them a smallpox epidemic that would sweep through the Inca lands before the Conquistadors had even stepped foot upon Inca soil.

1527 – Huayna Cápac dies, quite probably from the smallpox epidemic that had been unleashed upon the New World after the arrival of the Spanish in Aztec territory. The population of Cusco is devastated by the epidemic worse still, Huayna Cápac had failed to name an heir before his death, resulting in 5 years of civil war between his two sons, Huáscar and Atahualpa.

1532 – Atahualpa proves himself to be the superior commander, finally defeating Huáscar’s forces in 1532. As the civil war finishes, the Spanish arrive on the north coast of Peru. Francisco Pizarro and his Conquistadors capture Atahualpa in Cajamarca the Inca ruler is then ransomed before being killed. Manco Inca, Atahualpa’s brother, is installed as a puppet ruler by the Spaniards.

1533 – The Spaniards capture the Inca stronghold of Cusco.

1536 to 1537 – Manco Inca leads a rebellion against the Spaniards, laying siege to Cusco. Despite victory over the Spanish forces in the Battle of Ollantaytambo, Manco Inca is soon forced to flee upon the arrival of Spanish reinforcements.

1537 – Manco Inca takes refuge in the isolated region of Vilcabamba where the remnants of the Inca Empire form an independent stronghold.

1572 – The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire is completed with the fall of the last Inca stronghold. Túpac Amaru, son of Manco Inca and the last ruler of the Inca Empire, is captured and executed in 1572.

With the death of Túpac Amaru, the Inca Empire was effectively destroyed as a political entity. Many uprisings were to follow, but the Spanish had taken full control of Peru and the Inca heartlands.


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 religious meaning. 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 gods. A good example of art in a tradition that has endured the passing of the years is the Inti Raymi or celebration of the Sun. In this celebration Inca descendants produce the most elaborate costumes in rich cotton textile and offer gifts to the Sun such as food and jewelry. Read the full story »

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 …

Timeline of the Inca Empire

Chronological development of the Inca Empire. All dates are approximate.
1200 – The Incas settle in the Cusco Valley. Inca Manco Capac founds the Inca Empire in the .
1230 – Sinchi …

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 …

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For centuries the Amazon rainforest has been cleared of plants as soon as humans come in contact with it, be it because of slash-and-burn farming, oil drilling, mining or cutting …

Inca Food

Food consumed by the inhabitants of the varied depending on where in the vast territory they lived. People living near the coast based their diet on fresh seafood and fruits …

Colca Canyon

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Peru History Timeline

Chronological events in the history of Peru.
B.C
7500 – First identifiable villages built in Peru. Nomads became sedentary as they discover agriculture.
ca 1200 – , the first culture developed in Peru. …

Culture of Peru

Peru’s culture is a set of beliefs, customs and way of life inherited from the native Inca and Spanish conquistadors and settlers. Immigrant groups such as Africans, Japanese, Chinese and Europeans have also contributed to the society, blend of cultures and ways in which Peruvians live. Whatever their ethnic background Peruvians agree on the importance of family and religion. In many cases generations of a family live together where the younger look after the elderly and help each other in difficult times.

Andean Music, the Music of the Incas

The Incas used one word “taqui” to describe dance, music and singing, though this word in Quechua means “song”. They did not differentiate among the three, they were strictly interconnected. Their music was pentatonic, based in the combination of five notes: re, fa, sol, la and do. Music reached through all the corners of the empire, social classes and activities. There were countless songs, tunes and dances which were related to most human activities and were represented by gestures, moves and costumes.


The Ancient Inca Civilization

The Ancient Incas: Introduction

Although Inca civilization shares general features that are common in the other great ancient American civilizations, there are peculiarities that set it apart. If anything markedly distinguishes the Inca Empire, it is its extreme control of the state’s economic, political and social organization.

Of course, not all civilizations reached the same level of development, which is another of the many contrasts offered by South America as a whole. While in some areas, mankind did not exceed the standard of living provided in rudimentary communities, in others, since early times, they developed complex and advanced lifestyles in societies divided into classes, with an effective state apparatus to support them.

The centralization of power reached its highest possible expression in this society, as we see with total control over the vast empire being exercised from the capital Cusco. This centralized, or organized, society reached an extraordinary level of development, and isolated forms of private property even appeared, mainly in Cusco, that heralded a passage to another phase in the history of the state and social classes.

Ancient Incas Location

The Inca Empire spanned an area of 1,700,300 square kilometers. In the 15th century, the zenith of their splendor and power, they had an estimated population of around 10 million inhabitants. There were three important races at this time: the Aymara, who were also given the name collas, and inhabited the area south of Cusco the Quechua, who founded the empire and lived in the areas north of Cusco and the Yunga, who lived along the coastal region. The capital of this vast territory was Cusco, now known as the “archaeological capital of the Americas”. The Inca considered themselves to have been chosen by their gods to rule mankind and believed that Cusco was at the center and end of the universe.

Origin of the Name

The Incas, formerly Ingas (Quechua: Inqa), were the rulers of the most extensive native empire in pre-Columbian America. The terms Capac Inca (Quechua: Qhapaq Inqa, ‘the Powerful Inca’) and Sapa Inca (Quechua: Sapa Inqa, ‘the Only Inca’) were also used, applying initially to the rulers of the Inca Kingdom and then to the emperors of Tahuantinsuyo, the Inca Empire. It is also customary to refer to them as just the Inca.

The first cuzqueño Sinchi to use the title Inca was Inca Roca, also the founder of the Hanan Cusco dynasty. The last Inca in government was Atahualpa. Later, the title was used by those who opposed resistance to the conquest of the Inca Empire, as was the case for Manco Inca or Tupac Amaru I. One of the most notable aspects of the Inca Empire was its highly-organized government, centralized in the capital Cusco where the emperor lived, and from where laws governing about five million Indians were dictated. However, the only law that everyone had to obey without exception was this: ama sua, ama llulla, ama cheklla (do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy).

List of Inca Emperors

The official list of rulers of the Inca Empire was mostly written by chroniclers as the Capac Cuna, from the Quechua Qhapaqkuna meaning “the Rulers”. It has sometimes been speculated that there were more rulers than it states and that several were erased from the official history of the empire for various reasons, but these hypotheses are without foundation. It is very unlikely that there were Incas not listed in the Capac Cuna for various reasons. At the moment there is considered to be 13 Incas in total, grouped into two dynasties: Low Cusco (Quechua: Urin Qusqu) and High Cusco (Quechua: Hanan Qusqu).

Kingdom of Cusco (Local period)

Hurin Cusco Dynasty:
Hanan Cusco Dynasty:

1400 – 1438: Viraconcha Inca

Inca Empire or Tahuantinsuyo (Expansive period)

Hanan Cusco Dynasty:

1438 – 1471: Pachacuti

1471 – 1493: Túpac Inca Yupanqui

1493 – 1525: Huayna Capac

1525 – 1532: Huáscar

1532 – 1533: Atahualpa

Although some historians believe that Atahualpa should not be included in the Capac Cuna, arguing that Atahualpa declared himself subject of Carlos I of Spain, in addition to the fact that he never wore the Mascapaicha, the symbol of imperial power, the majority of historians see the list of thirteen Incas as being true, listing the thirteenth as Atahualpa.

Other historians have researched the lineage and believe that Tarco Huaman and Inca Urco should also be taken into account. The first one succeeded Mayta Capac and, after a brief period, was deposed by Cápac Yupanqui. The second’s father, Viracocha Inca, decided that they were to wear the Mascapaicha, but when faced with poor governing and the Chanca invasion, he fled with him. Following the triumph of Cusi Yupanqui – the future Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the son of Viracocha Inca as well – over the enemy people, Inca Urco was killed in an ambush and power was handed to his brother. Also, Garcilaso and other historians place Inca Yupanqui, a monarch of dubious existence, between Pachacuti and Tupac Yupanqui.

Succession Crisis

Inca period customs, traditions, and laws meant that the Inca’s heir should be a direct descendant, with the son of the current emperor and a Coya (a member of the imperial family) being at the forefront. In the absence of the former, the son of the Inca and a Palla (royal princess from Cusco) should occupy the throne. In the absence of these legitimate heirs, the children of the Inca and ñustas (foreign princesses) could claim it.

Huayna Capac had previously named Ninan Cuyuchi (son of the Coya Mama-Cussi-Rimay) as heir before he became ill with smallpox and died very young in the city of Quito. The lack of a direct legitimate heir then allowed for the succession of an Inca’s son with a Palla (royal princess of Cusco), and there were two claimants: Manco-Inga-Yupanqui (son with the Palla Civi-Chimpo-Rontosca) who was unexpectedly killed and his other son, Huascar, whose mother Palla Rahuac-Ocllo had ruled Cusco during Huayna-Capac’s absence. Atahualpa, being the son of a ñusta (foreign princess) and the Inca, also felt entitled to the throne.

Incas after Spanish Conquest

After the arrival of the Spaniards, the Inca Empire lost the organization that had characterized it for years: troops loyal to Huascar resisted in Cusco and Atahualpa’s troops were concentrated in the north in Chinchaysuyo. For strategic reasons, the Spaniards decided to put an “Inca” in place to give them the ability to make decisions about the troops and peoples to conquer. The remaining dynasty later claimed independence and was limited to Vilcabamba, which is known as the Neo-Inca State period.

Tupac Huallpa “Toparpa” Inca (1533) – Inca for two months (September and October), crowned by the Spaniards

Manco Inca (1535-1537) – Inca crowned by the Spaniards and (1537-1544) Inca of Vilcabamba

Paullu Inca (1537-1549) – Inca crowned by the Spanish

Sayri Tupac Inca (1545-1558) – Inca of Vilcabamba

Titu Cusi Yupanqui Inca (1558-1571) – Inca of Vilcabamba

Tupac Amaru I Inca (1571-1572) – Inca of Vilcabamba

Tupac Amaru II Inca King of Peru (1780-1781)

Last Inca rebellion against the Spanish kings

Tupac Amaru I was executed by the Spaniards, accused of the diplomatic affront of assassinating ambassadors. Although he may have left male offspring, the title of Inca of Vilcabamba was lost. His daughter, Juana Pilcohuaco, married Diego Felipe Condorcanqui, the chief of Surimana, Pampamarca and Tungasuca. The great-great grandson of Diego Felipe, Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui, rebelled against Spanish rule, assuming the name of Tupac Amaru II, and was crowned Inca in a revolution from 1780 to 1781. Despite its failure, and although others attribute a different meaning to the revolt, it can be considered the first independence movement in conquered America, despite not being part of the Spanish American Wars of Independence that led to the formation of Peru.

Dynasties

As the early settlers of this vast empire ignored had no knowledge of writing, there are no documents that show the origin of the Incas’ power with any authenticity. The first chroniclers of the Spanish conquest used an extremely elementary method of leaving a document that testified to the provenance of these people to posterity, and reproduced the sounds that they heard from the Inca tribes in English and Spanish. This method, despite the efforts of historians from all eras, has not revealed greater secrets of the origin of the early inhabitants of Peru. It is known that the cradle of Inca civilization was around the city of Cusco, located in the central region of Peru. Just as with the most widespread European traditions, there was a time when the primitive races of the American continent worshipped all natural objects without any distinction. War seemed to be a daily activity the flesh of prisoners was a beloved delicacy. The Sun, the great father and mother of mankind, felt pity for there being so much pain and sent two of its children, Manco Capon and Mama Ocllo, to teach the natives of these regions to live as civilized beings. The simple and primitive people obeyed the envoys of the Sun.

The Empire’s Physical Environment

Geographers and historians often take the so-called doctrine of determinism into account, which is based on the fact that small civilizations originate in regions lacking particular physical conditions conducive to the rise of civilization. In the plateau where this empire arose, depending on the height, valleys with a tropical climate and extensive warm regions can be found. The Inca plateau is a desolate sight with great expanses, either barren or with poor vegetation, over steep terrain and volcanic formations. There are sometimes mountainous ridges on the edge of the horizon, perforated by seismic tremors, and then sandy deserts with twisted vegetation consisting of small and large cacti, and enormous windswept aloes. There are also summits staggered with vegetation, on which fine rain falls and soaks the ground. The change of seasons is hardly noticeable. Life and death seem to lose all meaning in this quiet, still immobility.

The Indigenous Population

The existence of large cities shows the importance of the population in ancient Peru, with an estimated 10 million inhabitants. With secured borders and internal peace, the Incas favored demographic growth above all and marriage was obligatory. On fixed dates, women aged 18 to 20 and men aged 24 to 26 were married in solemn ceremonies. The power of the father was decisive in Inca society, particularly in the plateaus, so much so that they always chose husbands for their daughters without their knowledge. Marriage without parental consent was considered void. Marriage was indissoluble except in proven cases of infidelity. Polygamy was only allowed for senior officials and local chiefs, and it was the Inca’s unquestionable right. When a child was born, they were given a ceremony and two years later a name.

The Ruling Class

Inca society was based on the principle of inequality and hierarchy. A quote from Inca Roca reveals their society’s sentiments: “It is not necessary to teach humble people what should only be known by great characters.” This feeling of hierarchy is even found in their tales since popular beliefs and nobles’ beliefs were not the same. The Sun was the beginning and the end of the world, and the moon was his sister and wife at the same time. The Inca was the chosen child of the Sun and the rays its curse. The indigenous masses saw manifestations of religion in all natural forces and divine manifestation in all huacas. On the contrary, the nobility believed in an abstract higher being called Pachacaman, and they knew that divine elements could not be represented in a visible form.

The law was the will of the Inca, and therefore had no consistency. However, in practice there was a law established by a policy of formality and continuity between the ruling Inca and his predecessor. The decisions of the monarchs were codified in quipus, documents in which everything relating to the sovereign rulers was written. Inca hierarchy was very strict. At the top of society and with most power was the chief, in other words, the Inca, to whom all the world owed obedience, as he was the child of the Sun.

The Inca people

The people, generically called Hatunruna, were divided into two main groups: the Mitimaes and the Yamacumas. The former were at the service of the Inca and were moved from place to place as colonizers of the empire. The Yamacumas was a permanently subjected people, dedicated to agriculture and service of the Inca. The hallmark of caste was dress. The Hatunruna wore similar clothes and the hats varied from province to province. The nobility wore special clothes and ribbons on their heads. The castes remained radically separate and the expansion of knowledge and way of life were in accordance with each caste’s social hierarchy.

The Inca civilization

There is no doubt that in the Inca Empire some rather developed forms of lower and higher civilization existed. Ceramics, fabrics, brush-stroked objects, and the use of oils demonstrate a constant search for beauty. The native only had to obey and everything else would be given to them. Generation after generation, the native became accustomed to this gentle submission and ended up having no clear sense of personal responsibility as an individual.


Politics and society: The Thirteen Incas

The Incas possessed the best political and administrative system of South America, they had a dual power, which was divided into two dynasties: Hanan (above) Cusco, commanded by purely military actions and Hurin (below) Cusco, mostly linked to the religious. The governors were considered divine having titles like lord Inca or sapa Inca, which means “divine Inca” and “unique Inca”.

Next, know the list of the 13 Incas that ruled the Inca Empire.

Legendary Empire (Curacazgo): It was the local phase and was in charge of Manco Cápac, Sinchi Roca, Lloque Yupanqui, Mayta Capac, Capac Yupanqui, Inca Roca and Yahuar Huáca, Hiracocha Inca.

Historical empire (Tahuantinsuyo): Belonged to the expansion phase and its leaders were Pachacútec, Tupac Yupanqui, Huayna Capac, Huáscar and Atahualpa.

Religion: A polytheistic culture

The Incas were polytheists and had as gods Viracocha (ordinator god), Inti (Sun), Pachamama (mother earth), Apus (spirit of the mountains), Cochamama (goddess of the sea), Pachacámac (god of earthquakes), among others.

Economy: The exchange of goods

Inca culture believed in barter as a form of payment that consisted of exchanging one thing for another. In addition, they were experts in agriculture, being their main activity, among their main crops are corn, potatoes, cotton and coca.

Architecture: The spiritual power of stones

People believed that the stones had a spiritual power and for this reason the Incas worshiped them. Their techniques were autochthonous and the large blocks were linked together, without any kind of amalgam. Among its great examples of architecture are: the stone of the 12 angles, Sacsayhuamán, Koricancha, Machu Picchu, Pisac, among others.

The Inca culture left a great architectural and historical legacy. Every corner of Cuzco represents the customs, traditions and practices of the ancestors that still remain in force.

Know its millennial past and what was left by the great Inca culture visiting Cusco!

Sources: Todo sobre la historia del Perú, Historia cultural del Perú, Historia peruana, Descubrir el Perú.

Now that we are talking about culture, do not miss the chance to travel aboard our panoramic and cultural train PeruRail Vistadome .


Years: c. 1400 - c. 1500 Subject: History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Publisher: HistoryWorld Online Publication Date: 2012
Current online version: 2012 eISBN: 9780191735585

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Model of Inca Culture

The Inca culture model was clear and simple it was a free of hunger society. They offer protection to the communities. The Hatunruna or standard citizen knew that he and his family will receive help in case of natural disasters. He knew that all his basic needs were guarantee by the Inca government. The advance Inca Agriculture, the great administration and the evolve Incas society were the reasons of why they were so quickly accept.

The official language of the empire was Quechua, although hundreds of local languages and dialects of Quechua were spoken. The Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu which can be translated as The Four Regions or The Four United Provinces.

There were many local forms of worship, most of them concerning local sacred "Huacas", but the Inca leadership encouraged the worship of Inti - the sun god - and imposed its sovereignty above other cults such as that of Pachamama. The Incas considered their King, the Sapa Inca, to be the "child of the sun."


13th Century, 1201 to 1300

1201 Around this time in the mountainous Andes region in South America, the Inca ruler, Manco Capac, oversees the construction of the city-state of Cuzco.

1201 King John of England grants the town of Cambridge a charter.

1201 Maori islanders have settled in what someday will be called New Zealand.

1202 Europeans are beginning to learn Arabic numerals &ndash as opposed to Roman numerals &ndash and the zero.

1202 The Fourth Crusade is underway, Pope Innocent III responding to the failure of the Third Crusade to recover Jerusalem. Crusaders have attacked the Christian city of Zara, on the Dalmatian coast, with the Venetians, on whom they are dependent for transportation. The Pope excommunicates those crusaders who have attacked Zara.

1202 People called jesters begin to entertain in the courts of Europe's kings. They are impoverished or are of sub-normal intelligence. They are beginning an art form in Europe for people who enjoy watching people make fools of themselves.

1203 In Western Africa, the empire of Ghana has lost control over the gold trade and has been in decline. One of Ghana's subject people, the Sosso, overrun Ghana's capital city, Kumbi.

1204 Another crusade fails to work out as planned. Constantinople has revolted against the presence of the Crusaders, and the Crusaders have retaliated, seizing the city in a three-day orgy of rape and the plundering of palaces and Eastern Orthodox convents and churches. Fire has destroyed much of the city. Constantinople's emperor has fled. Helping the Crusaders are the Venetians with whom the Crusaders have made an agreement to share the booty. Pope Innocent III is delighted by the news of the fall of Constantinople to Roman Christianity. When he hears of the atrocities that have attended the victory he is shocked, but he continues to approve of the conquest. Soon in Constantinople, Latin (Roman) prelates will replace Greek (Eastern Orthodox) prelates. The schism between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity is complete. Jerusalem continues to be in the hands of Muslims.

1204 On marshland at a dam on the Amstel River, people have started the village that will one day be Amsterdam.

1205 A Japanese, Eisai (1141-1215), has returned from China. He is a reformer, a Zen Buddhist, and has been driven from the city of Kyoto to Kamakura (later Tokyo). At Kamakura he has gained the patronage of the military government. In 1205 he completes the first temple, Kenninji, dedicated solely to Zen Buddhism. Zen is to become the choice of the practitioners of warfare &ndash the samurai.

1206 Philip Augustus of France (Philip II) occupies the fiefs of Normandy and Anjou, expanding his family's territory from around Paris and Orléans (the Ile de France).

1206 Sedentary Turks, living in the Turfan depression (about 150 kilimeters southeast of what today is Urumqi, in China) are overrun by Mongols.

1212 Thousands of children with a few adults and clerics, fired up by preaching against heretics, start for Jerusalem to rescue the Holy Land from Muslims. They are deficient in money and organization but believe that as children they are favored by God and could work miracles that adults cannot. Before the year is over it ends in disaster. Many children die or are sold into slavery.

1214 King John of England wanted his fiefs in Normandy and Anjou back. He allies himself with Emperor Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor. But Philip Augustus of France defeats them at the Battle of Bovines.

1214 Genghis Khan and his army overrun Beijing. They ravage the countryside, gathering information and booty. Then they pull back to northern frontier passes.

1215 Frustrated by the growing power of the kings of England, English nobles join together and force King John to sign a document they hope will protect them from imprisonment or loss of property without a trial by a jury of their peers.

1215 The Church's Fourth Lateran Council meets in Rome to enact legislation as to what is heresy and what is not. The Council decides that all Catholics are to confess their sins at least once a year, that clergy is to remain celibate, sober and to refrain from gambling, hunting, engaging in trade, going to taverns or wearing bright or ornate clothing. The Council decrees that marriage will be a Church affair and that Jews will wear a yellow label.

1217 The Fifth Crusade has begun. It was planned by Pope Innocent III, who died in 1226. Its purpose, to rescue Jerusalem from the Muslims. But it is not the popular movement that previous crusades were. It begins with small-scale military operations against powers that be in Syria. Muslim opposition to the new crusade is divided, giving the crusade a better chance of success.

1219 Genghis Khan wanted trade on his western frontier. Instead his envoys were killed. He is now moving his army westward and over-running prosperous cities such as Bukhara and Samarkand.

1219 The Fifth Crusade ends without success.

1223 Genghis Khan has pushed into Persia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, defeating Christian knights and capturing a Genoese trading fortress in the Crimea. He has invaded Russia, and on his way back home in 1223 he routes a Slavic army at the battle of Kalka River.

1223 Philip Augustus of France dies. He has greatly expanded his family's territory. The French monarchy has become a maritime and commercial power, and Paris has become a fortified city with a university that attracts students from various other lands.

1225 The manufacture of cotton cloth has begun in Spain.

1227 Genghis Khan, at the age of 65, falls off his horse while fighting against the Tangut in northwestern China. And he dies. (August 18).

1227 A Japanese who has been studying in China brings back to Japan the Chuan school of Buddhism, to be known as Zen.

1228 The Sixth Crusade begins, led by the excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, who is being ignored by Pope Gregory IX. Frederick wants control over Jerusalem, which he believes he has inherited through marriage.

1229 Frederick signs a ten-year truce and an alliance with the Sultan of Egypt, al-Kamil, who is struggling against Muslim opponents. Al-Kamil recognizes Frederick as King of Jerusalem and cedes to him Bethlehem and Nazareth, but Frederick is not allowed to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, destroyed by Saladin in 1187.

1229 Fearing confused responses to reading the Bible, church leaders at Toulouse forbid common people to read it.

1231 The institution known as the Inquisition begins. Pope Gregory IX is taking responsibility for orthodoxy away from bishops and putting inquisitors under jurisdiction of the papacy.

1232 The son of Ghenghis Khan, Ogedei, has sent an army into Korea to police defiance of an agreement with them, and the Koreans start a rebellion against Mongol rule.

1233 Coal is mined for the first time at a place in England called Newcastle.

1234 Ogedei completes this conquest of northern China.

1235 Paradise eludes at least a part of Africa. In western Africa the Sosso ruler, Sumaguru Kante, has been raiding and conquering people. Sundjata Keita, who survived one of Sumaguru's raids a decade earlier, is leading a guerrilla war against Sumaguru and defeats him. Sumaguru is dead. Sundjata takes control of all the Soninke people recently conquered by the Sosso.

1238 Ogedei's army, without Odogei, has pushed into Russia and overruns the cities of Vladimir, Kolmna and Moscow.

1240 Ogedei's army destroys Kiev, and deeper into Europe, at Liegnitz, although outnumbered, the Mongols destroy a German army of heavily armored knights.

1240 At the Neva River the prince of Novogrod defeats an invasion from Sweden. He acquires the name Alexander Nevsky (of the Neva).

1240 Sundjata Keita annexes Ghana. He takes control of the gold trade routes and rules a new empire: Mali.

1241 Ogedei's army, without Ogedei, reaches Vienna. It withdraws because Ogedei has died and they need to participate in choosing a new leader.

1242 While withdrawing to their stronghold in Russia, in the Crimea the Mongols set up trade with sea-going Italian merchants, exchanging many of their European war-captives for manufactured goods. It is the beginning of routine business between the Mongols and the Italians &ndash from Venice and Genoa &ndash and their selling of slaves to the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt, who has a slave army.

1242 In Estonia, Alexander Nevsky defeats the Teutonic Knights, to be seen as stopping a Germanic drive into Russia.

1242 The city of Avignon is concerned about cleanliness. It is decreed that streets shall be widened, that people shall not discard into the street refuse, bath water, "dirt" and "human filth." It is decreed that Jews and whores are forbidden to touch bread or fruit for sale in market places.

1248 The Mexica people (Aztecs) settle onto an infertile hilly region named for grasshoppers today the Chapultapec region of Mexico City.

1250 A town on Africa's east coast, Mombasa, has become overwhelmingly Muslim, and a Muslim dynasty has been established at Kilwa, an offshore island. Kilwa controls trade, including at Sofala, a point of departure for gold, iron and slaves.

1250 The Mexica people, to be known also as Aztecs, have moved from northern to central Mexico.

1250 Egypt has white slaves who have converted to Islam. They were guards for Sultan as-Salih. These are the Mamluks. The sultan has died and the Mamluks have taken power. Their move is legitimized as their leader, Aybak, marries the deceased sultan's wife.

1252 Mongke makes official the worship of his grandfather, Genghis Khan, while people continue to be free to worship as they please. Under Mongke, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity flourish.

1253 Jews in England are forbidden to live in towns that do not already have a Jewish comununity.

1255 A boy chasing a ball falls and drowns in a Jewish cesspool. His body is found twenty-six days later. Some Christians believe that the boy was killed in Jewish ritual. One hundred Jews are executed.

1256 The Mongols are on their way to Baghdad. At a mountain stronghold near the Caspian Sea the Mongols force the surrender of the Imam of a Shia Muslim community, the Nizari Ismailis, to be known by Europeans as the Assassins. The Assassins believe their Imam was chosen by God and therefore infallible. They had spread their rule through terror from a chain of mountainous safe havens. But in the Mongols they meet a force they cannot intimidate, and it is the beginning of their end.

1258 An army that includes Christians and Shia, led by Mongke's brother, Hulegu, attacks Baghdad, the spiritual capital of the Sunni Muslims. The Abbasid caliphate there comes to an end.

1259 Hulegu's army enters Damascus, and Christians there greet the Mongol army with joy. Meanwhile, Mongke has led an army into China's Sichuan province, and there he dies in battle.

1260 A Mamluk army defeats the Mongols near Nazareth. Taking revenge on the Christian Crusaders for having allied themselves with the Mongols, the Mamluks destroy Crusader strongholds, leaving the Crusaders at Acre, Tyre and Tripoli.

1260 Nicolo and his brother Maffeo, father and uncle of the now six-year-old Marco Polo, begin their first trip to the East, during which they will visit China.

1269 In the wars between the King of England and barons, Jews are considered instruments of the king's oppressions. Jewish communities are attacked and many inhabitants killed. The King of England has been borrowing money from Jews, but he has switched to Italian bankers, reducing his dependence on Jews. And now the king restricts Jews from holding land and Jewish children from inheriting their parents' money. When a Jew dies his money is to be confiscated by the royal government.

1273 Count Rudolf, a wealthy German noble, is elected by German princes to be Holy Roman Emperor. As Rudolf I, he gives a new prominence to the Habsburg family. They elect him because he doesn't appear ambitious or a threat. He is a mediocrity.

1274 Another grandson of Genghis Khan, to be known as Kubilai Khan, is conquering in the Far East. He has sent a force from Korea to Japan, but a typhoon makes his stay there impossible. The Japanese believe that God is on their side and give credit to God's wind (Kami kaze).

1275 King Edward I of England forbids Jews to lend money on interest.

1276 Kubilai Khan completes a sixteen year drive to conquer China.

1277 The Archbishop of Paris declares as heresy the works of Thomas Aquinas, and this is repeated in England by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

1278 Tribes in Austria had been warring over the lands of the late Duke Friedrich, whose family, the Babenbergers, had controlled Austria for 300 years. Duke Friedrich had died childless. By 1278, Rudolf I, Holy Roman Emperor and Habsburg, gains control over what had been the Babenberger dynasty, beginning Habsburg control over Austria to the second decade of the 20th century.

1278 A number of Jews in England have been dragged to their death behind cart horses, and now many Jews are arrested and hanged for secretly lending money.

1281 The Mamluks defeat a Mongol advance into Syria.

1284 An Italian, Salvino D'Armate creates wearable eye glasses, but it will be a while before use of them will spread.

1284 Peterhouse, the first college, is founded at Cambridge, England.

1290 King Edward I of England expels all Jews (between 4 and 16 thousand). Many go to France and Germany.

1291 The Crusaders give up the last of their territory in the Middle East, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, driven out by the Mamluks, who capture the city of Acre. Crusaders have been in the Middle East almost 200 years. Many of these years were peaceful and with amicable relations with Muslims. There was trade, and the crusaders learned from the Muslims. This, including a lot of death, is the sum of the results of an effort to save the Holy Land for Christianity. Added are those of mixed offspring the Crusaders leave behind, a legacy to appear in the blond hair and blue eyes of some in modern times in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.

1291 The League of the Three Forest Cantons forms for mutual defense &ndash a beginning of Switzerland.

1295 Marco Polo is back in Venice following his journey as far as China. People do not believe him when he describes the Chinese as using paper money.

1296 A conflict over power and wealth erupts between the king of France and the Pope. King Philip IV of France has continued to tax Church property, taxes that were originally intended to finance the last Crusade. Pope Boniface issues the bull Clericis laicos, which asserts the Church's authority and rights vis-à-vis secular heads of state. Philip threatens to prevent the Church from collecting taxes and tithes within France. Pope Boniface backs down. England's king, Edward I, wins a concession from the Pope similar to the one that the Pope makes for France.

1296 A succession of Islamic sultans have been ruling in Delhi. The latest is Jalal-ud-din, sultan since 1290 and now seventy-six and peace loving. Ala-ud-Khalji, his son in law, nephew and military leader kills him and makes himself sultan, continuing the Khalji family dynasty.

1297 William Wallace launches a series of attacks on English troops while fighting for self-determination for Scots.

1299 The Mexica (Aztecs) have been driven from the Chapultepec area of what today is Mexico City, but they are allowed to settle in a barren area about 12 kilometers south of Chapultepec.

1300 Agriculture had been growing, but a Little Ice Age has begun, and is to last 400 years, bringing wetter weather and a shorter growing season in the northern climates. Farm expansion in Western Europe has come to an end. Cattle raising has declined, reducing the amount of protein in diets and reducing manure for fertilizer, contributing to a decline in crop yields. Herring, a major food source, is beginning to disappear.


Inca Culture

The Inca Empire was easily one of the most impressive civilizations to ever rise in the Americas. Beginning as a tribe roughly around the year 1200 AD, the Inca culture would flourish in the Andes Mountains, extending its reach throughout the mountains of Peru, and into the present day countries of Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile. The 1532 Battle of Cajamarca essentially marked an end to the short-lived Inca Empire, but the impact they made in that small window of time continues to be one of Peru&rsquos most enduring attractions. From their ruins, to the Peru museums that house their artifacts, visitors can gain an appreciation of how advanced the Inca were. Their modern-day descendants, many of whom speak the Inca Quechua language and live much like their forefathers, are among the most interesting native peoples in the world, if not the friendliest. Their handcrafted wares make for some of the best Peru souvenirs, and their music inspires a most magical Andes Mountains soundtrack.

The history of the Inca begins in myth with the arrival of the first Inca king, Manco Capac, who was borne from the sun god, Inti, on an island in Lake Titicaca. Manco Capac would found the Inca Civilization in Cusco, and the city would remain the all important capital of this great civilization. 11 Inca rulers would follow Manco Capac, among them Pachacutec, who is generally credited for founding the actual Inca Empire. Pachacutec began to vastly expand the Inca Empire in and around the year 1438. By this point, the original Inca tribe had grown into pre-Columbian America&rsquos largest empire. In Cusco, you can see ruins from the palaces that were built for the sixth and eight Inca rulers, and remnants from the reigning period of Pachacutec include the Qoricancha in Cusco, the Ollantaytambo and Pisac fortresses, and Machu Picchu. These ruins are all found in and around the Sacred Valley, which was an area of the Andes Mountains that the Inca especially revered, due in part to its beauty and its climate.

In the early 1500"s, the Inca Empire had come to cover most of civilized South America, but when the Inca ruler, Huayna Capac, died before naming a successor, his sons, Huascar and Atahualpa commenced a civil war of sorts. Also during this time, smallpox had reached the empire from Central America, and those who brought it, The Spanish Conquistadors, weren&rsquot far behind. Francisco Pizarro, a most significant name when it comes to the history of the Incas, first reached Inca territory in the year 1526, and upon his return to Spain in 1529, he received permission from the crown to return and conquer the Inca regions. By 1532 AD, Atahualpa had succeeded in effectively conquering his brother, and his base was the northern Peru highlands city of Cajamarca. The 1532 Battle of Cajamarca, which saw Pizarro and his men overwhelm the Inca forces, is one of the most notable moments in South American history, let alone the history of the Inca. Atahualpa, who refused to convert to Christianity, was imprisoned in Cajamarca. After the Spanish seized his gold and silver, he was killed. The Inca Empire was essentially over, and Atahualpa&rsquos brother, Manco Inca Yupanqui, made a failed attempt to re-seize Cusco in 1536. Manco Inca did manage to successfully hold off the Spanish after retreating to the Ollantaytambo fortress. His 1536 stand marks the most successful Inca defense against Spanish forces.

Peru Map

The Inca culture permeates Peru to the present day, and it is impossible to visit Peru and not notice how attached the country is to its Inca roots. The Inca ruins of Peru are perhaps most responsible for attracting curious visitors, most of whom come to see majestic Machu Picchu. The Sacred Valley, with the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, is a place rich with Inca ruins, and the Sun Temple of Machu Picchu displays their reverence for the sun. The sun was the basis for the Inca religion, and among the top Peru festivals, Inti Raymi, is dedicated to the sun god, Inti. Inca ruins aren&rsquot only found in and around Cusco however. In Cajamarca, you can visit Inca ruins, and in nearby Tucume Peru, you can join one of the tours that visits the Inca pyramids. According to some, the Tucume Inca pyramids comprise the most interesting excavation site in the Americas, though that designation is surely up for debate. While brushing up on the history of the Incas is a good idea before getting to Peru, you will have plenty of chances to learn all about it when you get there. Chances are you will be just as fascinated with Inca culture as are the proud Peruvians.


Watch the video: Frank Zappa - Inca Roads A Token Of His Extreme


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