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The Inca lived between 1438 to 1532 A.D. They lived in Peru, but their empire extended
across South America from Quito to Santiago.The Incas called their rulers “Sapa”, which means,
“The Only One”. Before the ruler died, he chose the next “Sapa” from his sons. Each son had to
prove themselves most worthy, which was decided by the Sapa Inca.
Some of the major cities of the Inca Empire were Cusco, (the capital city), Choquequirao
and Machu Picchu. Cusco was the center of Inca government and society. The Sapa Inca was
believed to be a descendant of the sun god, Inti, which meant he was a god himself. The Incan
religion involved human sacrifice while attributing sacredness to a rock formation. Their religion
also emphasized ancestor worship. Incan religious beliefs were about preserving nature.
Quechua was the language of the Inca empire. Stone was the material of choice and was
finely worked to produce a precise arrangement of interlocking blocks in the finest buildings.
The stone was made of three types: limestone, diorite, and andesite.The Incas used two different
calendars, one for daytime and one for nighttime. The daytime calendar was 365 days long. It
was used for activities such as agriculture, warfare, and even construction.
The movement of the sun was particularly important to the Inca agricultural calendar.
Four towers were built on the horizons east and west of Cuzco to show the rising and setting
locations of the sun in. When the sun rose over the first tower on the eastern horizon and set over
the corresponding tower on the western horizon, it marked when the early crops should be
planted. When the sun rose between two towers built close together farther south, it marked the
time of general sowing. The Incas’ nighttime calendar was developed to mark important
ceremonies to the moon and stars, which were sacred deities of the Incas. It only had 328 days.
Government officials decided what job you would have. Most people in the Inca empire
were farmers, and their life was very tough. Some people escaped their farms to become
warriors, herders, craftsmen, or sorcerers. The sorcerers were normal people who could cure
illness, predict the future, and do many other magical feats.
Cuzo was the main trade city. The road went through the highlands from the capital, to
Quito, and into Colombia. Walls of stone were built to prevent sand from covering the road
and/or the trader. Additionally, types of rope suspension bridges were constructed over deep
chasms and waterways. These bridge types were renowned by the Inca. Some of these bridges
were cables hung from masonry towers for support. Other bridges were made of wood, stone,
and floating reeds.
The most wealthy person was the ruler. Then it was the ruler’s family, then the priests and
noble land owners. The men fought and built homes, along with hunted, while the women took
care of the household and the children, along with teaching them life lessons. Each tribe was a
part of the Inca Empire, and so they gave crops and minerals to the capital. The family was run
by a leader, who was governed, along with the other leaders of families, by another overseer,
who was then told what to do by a 3rd boss, who followed the orders of a noble land owner, who
obeyed the Sapa Inca, or the ruler of all of the Inca Empire, along with all of it’s inhabitants.
Because of this, farmers and traders became the 2 most important job occupations in the Inca