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The aztec and inca empire environment

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  • 1. The Aztec and Inca Empires 1300-1500 Physical Geography and Environmental Adaptation
  • 2. The Aztec Empire
  • 3. The Aztec Empire
    • The Valley of Mexico-several large shallow lakes and fertile soil
    • Settled on Lake Texcoco because of a legend…
    • An eagle perched on a cactus, holding a snake in its mouth (Tenochtitlan)
    • Causeways and canals for transportation and aqueducts for fresh water. Tons of dirt to build up city.
  • 4. The Aztec Empire
    • Based on intensive agriculture-maize, beans, and squash in a warm, humid environment.
    • Land and food of conquered people was often demanded as tribute
    • Agriculture in Tenochtitlan- chinampas (20,000 acres)
    • FOUR corn crops per year were possible
    • Dikes built to close off fresh water from brackish water (5.5 miles by 23 feet)
  • 5.  
  • 6. The Aztec Empire
    • No wheel or suitable animals for power (no draft or pack animals)
    • Women spent 30-40 hours per week just to prepare the basic food-corn (no mills)
    • A system of roads existed (part of the tribute of conquered peoples), mainly for foot travel (rest stops and latrines every 10-15 km)
  • 7. The Inca Empire
  • 8. The Inca Empire-Environment
    • Terrace agriculture on the steep slopes of the Andes (mostly dry)
    • Complex technology of irrigation to water their crops
    • Based on intensive agriculture-maize, quinoa, potato (developed method of freeze drying potatoes for times of food shortages)
    • Controlled a wide range of ecological zones
    • Adapted in ways that surprise scientists
  • 9. Terraced Farming
  • 10. Irrigation Canals
  • 11. Inca Road System
    • Most spectacular of the public works projects
    • Symbolized the power of the Incan state
    • 14,000 miles long
    • Spanned mountains and deserts – two main arteries (mountains and coast)
    • Rest stops for messengers
    • Typically built of stone and lined with trees
    • Channel of drinking water running alongside
    • Suspension bridges
    • Easy movement of troops and communication throughout a large empire
  • 12. Inca Road System
  • 13. Domesticated Animals
    • The Llama-Helped to transport goods and food through the Andes mountains (pack animal)
    • Provided wool and meat
    • Offered to the gods as a sacrifice
    • No practical use for the wheel
  • 14. The Llama