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Transcript of Inca
Arts, Crafts and Tools
The Rise of The Inca Empire
Stretching through the rugged terrain that made up the west coast of South America, the Incan Empire quickly became the largest to ever exist in the western hemisphere.
The Fall of the Inca Empire
The Incan belief system is polytheistic, meaning they believe in more than one god.
Founded by the Quechua Native Americans in 15th century.
5-11 million people.
Inca lands eventually totaled 350,000 square miles.
Long strip that reaches north to south on the western side of South America.
Made their empire high in the Andes Mountains.
Incan religion combines animism, and worship of nature gods.
The pantheon is headed by Inti, the Sun God. Incans believe to be descendents of Inti.
Inti, is accompanied by Viracocha, the creator God as well as a Culture Hero. And Apu Illapu, the rain God.
Incan religion was highly organized under the empire as their state-religion. As the Incan Empire expanded, conquered subjects' native religions were tolerated, as long as they worshiped the Sun God Inti and rendered their services to the empire.
Rituals included elaborate divination, and sacrifice of humans and animals. These religious practices were later destroyed by Spanish conquerers.
Conditions were sometimes difficult for agriculture and water was scarce at times.
Incas built stonewalls to create leveled fields called Terraces.
Terraces created more arable land and kept the topsoil from washing away in heavy rains.
Rain usually falls between December and May, but occasionally there would be years of drought.
Inca’s created complex canals to carry water to terraces.
One of the most important crops Inca produced was the potato.
The potato was significant because it could withstand heavy frosts at altitudes as high as 15,000 ft.
The Incas could use the heights to freeze and dry the potatoes until all of the moisture was removed.
After the potato was harvested they would make it into light flour.
Agriculture was the basis of the economy.
All work to produce crops was done by hand.
Tools they had included foot plows, stone tipped clubs, bronze bladed hoes and digging sticks.
Used natural fertilizers
Stored food was dried and kept in special buildings.
Geography, Agriculture and Architecture
In The Beginning
The original Incas were no different from other native nomads of South America.
They settled in the small agricultural state of Cuzco, Peru.
Their settlement dates back to 1200 A.D.
The first official ruler of the small Incan empire was Pachacuti, a son of the former emperor.
A New Vision
Pachacuti had a vision of expansion for the Incan empire under his rule.
With bold military intensives and strong alliances, he soon conquered most of the southern highlands of South America.
The Incas had a great rivalry with the equally as powerful, Chimor empire.
The Chimor attacked the Incas, in hope to stop their expansion, but the Incas took the victory.
The great portion of the expansion took place in 1400 A.D.
Incan empire had conquered most of the west coast of South America.
About 2,500 miles of land, Chile to Columbia, and over 100 nations made up the Incan empire.
Arrival of Spain
Beginning of the End
Conquistadors tore through the rest of the Incan empire.
Gathering all the gold, riches, and precious stone they could extract.
They even dismantled some of the beauitful structures.
Two-thirds of the Incan populations deceased due to war and disease. The rest were put to slavery.
Soon spanish culture, lifestyles, and religion took over the remaining Incas.
Most of the architecture was destroyed, but Machu Picchu lay untouched by Spaniards.
Machu Picchu was found in 1911, by Hiram Bingham.
Located along the Urubama River, this great city sets 15,00 feet above sea level, as a testament of Incan engineering.
Only very few people of Peru retain ways of Incan life, the rest has gone.
A group of Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizzaro sailed to Peru, and arrived in 1532.
In a gathering between the Incas and conquistadors, the Spanish kidnapped the emperor, Atahaulpa.
Conquerors were given $50 million in gold and precious riches for ransom.
Atahaulpa was strangled to death after the Spanish recieved the ransom.
After many years of growing and expanding their empire, the Incans fall at the feet of the Spanish conquerers.
Haywood, John. 2010.
The Ancient World.
Metro Books New York, NY
Warriors were expected to be rewarded with beer, gifts, a share of the plunder, and decorations for bravery.
consisted if a long rope that hung 48 other cords. Knots were tied in the cords to represent single units, tens and hundreds. Different colored cords designated different categories of information
From nobility cloth and textile tax revenue was the most common form of reciprocity given mostly to the elite citizens
Inca warriors fought hand to hand combat with clubs, battle axes, swords and spears as opposed to long range war fare with javelins and bows.
Prisoners were rarely taken.
Armies were highly organized and tightly disciplined.
Dividing the Land
No individual, even among nobility, could own and dispose of land.
These records were not kept in writing but rather on recording devices called
The Inca state kept a vast amount of information relating to taxation, agricultural and census data, religious ceremonies and military organization.
The Ayllu was the basic landowning unit in Inca society. Ayllus were extended kinship groups claiming descendence from a common ancestor
When a woman married they remained full members of their birth ayllu so they were always socially and economically independent from their husbands.
For taxation purposes each ayllu land was divided into thirds for the support of the community, the gods and the state.
Lands of the gods had priority and then the state land and finally the community land.
The head was the emperor or
(The only Inca) who was worshiped as a demi god because of his descent from the sun god. The emperor had absolute power but customs limited nearly all of his actions.
Emperors practiced polygamy but the 1st and senior wife,
, was always a sister to make sure the purity of the royal blood line was preserved.
Inca nobility was divided into two classes.
Successors were chosen by the emperor and were usually the most capable son birthed by the
Very few people met the emperor face to face. There was usually an audience and the emperor was behind a screen. No one could approach the emperor unless he had first removed his sandals and placed a small burden on his back as a sign of humility.
The exclusive higher nobility shared a common ancestry with the Inca royal family. This group formed the executive decision-making class holding the highest offices of the state. Provincial governors, generals and chief priests belong to this class
The lower nobility was drawn from the ruling classes of conquered peoples who had adopted the Inca ways. administrators, army officers, clan chiefs, and technical specialists like architects, surveyors, hydrologists and engineers
The nobility enjoyed privileges like being subsidized by the state, not having to pay taxes, keep servants and wear ear plugs. The plugs set them apart from commoners.
Reciprocity was an important principle of the Incas. Most of the taxes that were collected were returned to the people in one way or another.
Anyone who preformed a
(a draft service that could be military in nature to civil engineering projects) was provided for by the government.
Storehouses were built in prominent locations to give the locals reassurance that the government had the means to support them in times of famine and bad times.
Built bridges between mountain peaks out of sturdy vines.
Only travel over bridges were for animals hauling food, warriors, road runners, the nobles and government officials.
Amazon jungle and desert coastline acts as natural barriers for safety.
Inca roads were paved and belonged to the government.
The common people built roads but common people were not allowed to use them without permission.
If common person used road without permission they were thrown off the mountain.
14,000 miles of roads.
Roads were used by nobles and military.
Rest inns and storehouses along the roadways.
Road signs every couple miles.
Suspension bridges over vast spaces.
Pontoon bridges over streams and creeks.
One of greatest bridges ever made was called ApurAmac.
Constructed in 1350 and survived for about 500 years.
They designed their cities to blend with the landscape.
They built things to last and for safety.
Instead of building walls around their cities, each city had a fortress built beside it.
In times of trouble, people ran to the fortress.
Fortress housed military to keep an eye on the people.
Cities were built around the central plaza.
Temples, government offices and homes surrounded the plaza for the priest and nobles.
Nobles had several room homes and decorated their doors with gold and silver.
Homes had slanted roofs to strengthen them.
Did not build cities in jungle or desert but entered for supplies.
Coastline offered fish, foods and water.
Andes Mountains were mostly snow covered.
Earthquakes and tidal waves occurred often.
If they found soil, it was in bad condition.
Incas were generally very well behaved.
Those who broke rules such as stealing were punished swiftly and severely, often having limbs cut off.
If they survived their punishments then their new jobs were to tell people of their crime in the city plaza or at the gates.
Also had to beg for food as punishment.
This greatly discouraged others from following these people's example.
The Inca mail carriers were called roadrunners.
Used a relay system
Every mile the message was exchanged from messenger to messenger.
Most messages were verbal, but some used Quimpus, the knotted language of the Inca
Runners were killed if they messed up messages.
No weapons were carried
Animal attacks had to be fought off by hand
Messengers blew a conch shell to notify the next messenger they were near.
"Inca Empire for Kids: Science and Technology." Ducksters. Technological Solutions, Inc. (TSI), May 2014. Web. 4 May 2014.
Biggest industry was farming.
Raised maze in warm lowlands, potatoes were farmed in colder climates, and llamas were raised for wool and meat.
Economy not based on money.
The government distributed equal rations throughout the empire so nobody would starve.
Food storages were kept for times of famine.
Baker, Benson & Hermsen (4 May 2014) "Inca Government and Economy." Early Civilizations in the Americas Reference Library. Ed. Vol. 1: Almanac, Vol. 1. Detroit: UXL, 2005. 179-198. World History in Context.
Aryballus was the most common items in the Inca pottery industry. It is a large jar with a round base that move into a cone shape with a wide neck. This item was used to store liquids and as a decorative piece
Inca art and pottery was as technically advanced as some of the Inca masonry used in their buildings an example of which being Machu Picchu, however none of the Inca art depicts their building skills which is surprising considering how advanced it was.
Around Cuzco the capital of the Inca Empire, Inca pottery was of a superb standard especially within the glazing techniques used.
Weaving was said to have have been perfected by the Incas. They used cotton, wool of alpacas, llamas, the rare wool of vicunas, and guanacos. Using the wool of vicunas and guanacos signified wealth and nobility
Art was a way to express religious meaning because of their lack of scientific knowledge, religion and art was their expressive characteristics of explaining phenomena. The sun god Inti was often replicated on numerous art pieces because of his importance.
Incan’s were also particularly skilled in shaping and manipulating metals into sculptures and useful tools.
Bronze, copper, gold and silver were used.
Terracotta and adobe furnaces were used to melt down the metal.
Most metal sculptures and items found for this civilization are copper and bronze because when the Spanish conquistadors invaded, they melted down the gold and silver for value rather than honor them as artistic pieces.
Many lives were lost in search of this city, but all accounts have remained rumors and El Dorado was never recovered
When a new chieftain rose to power, his rule began with a ceremony at Lake Guatavita. Many accounts say the new ruler was covered with gold dust, and that gold and precious jewels were thrown into the lake to appease a god that lived underwater. The Spaniards started calling this golden chief El Dorado, "the gilded one."
The Incas had an amazing ability to build walls of perfectly matching stones. The stones in the walls fit so perfectly, that (even today) you cannot place a coin between them.
The Incas also used the
or a wooden hoe made from chachacomo.
Chisels were made of stone and bronze while the architectural tools used were always made from black obsidian pebbles
Farmers main tools were digging sticks, clod breakers and hoes and collected bird droppings called guano to use as fertilizer.
was a farming plow made of metal or stone and was commonly used.
Stone, animal bones, bronze, and copper were the most common objects used for tool making.
The most beautiful women, or acllas, were the Chosen Ones to work and create a majority of Inca art. Pottery and Weaving were the two most common forms.
Art: vases, plates, knives, jewelry; were all used as pieces of expression to their god
Much of Incan art was practical because they believed in using materials that were available and had multiple uses so a decorative piece would also be used to hold liquids).
El Dorado, the “city of gold” has never been located. When Spanish explorers reached South America in the early 16th century, they heard stories about a tribe of natives high in the Andes mountains (Incas)
The Spaniards and other Europeans had found so much gold among the natives along the continent's northern coast that they believed there had to be a place of great wealth somewhere in the interior.
The Spaniards didn't find El Dorado, but they did find Lake Guatavita and tried to drain it in 1545. They lowered its level enough to find hundreds of pieces of gold along the lake's edge. The presumed fabulous treasure in the deeper water was beyond their reach.
Cuzco was the major city for these architectural marvels.
Emperor lived in a dazzling place with gold and silver walls, plates and cups.
Normal Inca building was one room rectangular building of adobe brick or stone with a thatched, gabled roof and without windows or a chimney.
Constructed grain warehouses to hold grain for portion of years harvest.
Used a minimum of engineer equipment.
Used Pulley baskets over especially different terrain.
One particular temple called The Temple of the Sun was almost entirely sheathed with gold plate.
Llamas and Alpacas were raised to carry but also as a source of course wool and fuel.
Guinea pigs, ducks, and dogs were main sources of meat.
Incas also mined gold and silver in extensive amounts.
Inca Empire. (2003, January 1). Ancient Vacations . Retrieved April 21, 2014, from http://www.nvcc.edu/home/amalitzkego/alex-solorzano/ancient_vacations/incas/incas.htm
Donn, L. (n.d.). The Incredible Incas. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from http://incas.mrdonn.org/farming.html
All images taken from Google stock photos
Other items that were created on a large scale by the Inca people were goblets known as Keros.