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Inca Civilization: It's Socio-Political and Cultural Aspects
WHO WERE THE INCAS?
The Incas were a small tribe of South American
Indians who lived in the city of Cuzco, high in the
Andes Mountains of Peru. Around 1400 CE, a
neighboring tribe attacked the Incas, but the Incas
won. This was the beginning of the Inca Empire.
In only 100 years, the Inca Empire grew so big that it
expanded into what are now the modern countries of
Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.
বর্ত মান পেরুর কুজক া এলা ায়
সুপ্রাচীন ইন া সভ্যর্ার সূচনা হকয়ছিল
এ টি উেজাছর্ ছহসাকব। এ অঞ্চকলই
উে থার প্রথম সাো ইন া ম াংক
প ১২০০ ছিস্টাকের ছিক কুজক া
রাজয প্রছর্ষ্ঠা করন। েরবর্ীKv‡j
মাাংক া াোক র উত্তরসূরীকির অধীকন
আকেস েবতর্মালার অনযানয
জাছর্ক াষ্ঠীগুকলাক ছনকজকির মকধয ছনকয়
একস এ রাজযটি ছবস্তার লাভ্ কর।
১৪৪২ সাকলর মকধযই রাজা
প চকুতিক র অধীকন ইন ারা র্াকির
সাম্রাজয িূরিুরাকে ছবস্তৃর্ কর;
োচকুছর্ নাকমর অথতই হকে: পৃতিবী
াঁপ কন ম নুষ। ছর্ছনই ইন া
সাম্রাজয প্রছর্ষ্ঠা করন, যা লম্বাকসর
আকমছর া আছবস্কাকরর আক িুই
আকমছর া মহাকিকের সবতবৃহৎ সাম্রাজয
পেরুর কুজক া েহর। এই অঞ্চকলই ইন া সভ্যর্ার সূচনা হকয়ছিল
•The Incan Empire was located on the
western side of South America. Although
the Empire was huge, it can be easily
divided into three geographical regions –
1. The Andes Mountains
2. The Amazon jungle
3. The coastal desert
The Geographical Map
The Andes Mountains
The Amazon jungle The coastal desert
* North to south were the Andes Mountains -
home of the Inca civilization.
* The mountains dominated Incan society.
• The mountain peaks were worshiped as
gods. In November 1995 anthropologists
announced the discovery of the 500-year-
old remains of two Inca women and one
Inca man frozen in the snow on a mountain
peak in Peru. Scientists concluded that the
trio were part of a human sacrifice ritual on
Ampato, a sacred peak in the Andes
• The Andes created a natural barrier
between the coastal desert on one side and
the jungle on the other.
* The snow-capped mountains were full of
* On one side of the Andes was the
• The Incas must have entered the
jungle occasionally, as they did know
about the many valuable things that
could be found in the Amazon, like
wood and fruit and natural
• But they never established
settlements there. They had no
desire to live in the jungle.
* The Incas expanded north and south
GEOGRAPHY COASTAL DESERT
* Between the mountains and the
Pacific Ocean is a coastal desert
2000 miles long and between 30-
100 miles wide.
* The desert provided a wonderful
* There are fertile strips where
small rivers and streams run from
the Andes mountaintops to the
One thing that helped the Incas grow so rapidly was their
system of a strong central government. Everybody worked for
the state, and in turn the state looked after everybody.
Sapa Inca: The head of government was the Inca,
sometimes called the “Sapa Inca” (“the Only Inca”). The
Sapa Inca was all-powerful. Everything belonged to the
Sapa Inca. He ruled his people by putting his relatives in
positions of power. Since punishment was harsh and
swift, almost no one broke the law.
Officials (army officers, priests,
judges, and others from the noble
MANCO CAPAC (1022-1107)
• founder of Inca dynasty
• declared himself Sapa Inca, divine s
of the Sun
• skilled warrior and leader
• chief religious leader
• exercised absolute power
• Usurped throne form brother Inca Urcon
• Considered the founder of the Inca Empire
• Skilled warrior and chief religious leader
• Claimed he was divine, son of the sun
• Exercised absolute power
SERVICE TAX AND HARSH GOVERNMENT CONTROLS
Local officials kept an detailed census.
Each common person was listed in the census. Each person listed had
to pay a tax.The Incas loved gold and silver, but they had no use for
money. The people paid their tax each year in physical labor—serving
in the army, working in the mines, or building roads, temples, and
Laws dictated who should work where, and when.
Local officials had the power to make all decisions
about the lives of the people they ruled. Inspectors
visited frequently to check on things. Breaking the law
usually meant the death penalty. Few people broke the
law. Tight government controls kept the common
people fed, clothed, and enslaved.
• policy of forced resettlement ensured political stability
• officials collected taxes, enforced laws, kept records on a quipu (collection of
knotted colored strings) which noted dates, events, population, crops
• use of road system strictly limited to government, military business
• all land belonged to Inca, crops allotted to specific groups, government took
possession of each harvest
• private property forbidden, crime nonexistent, citizens never starved
• no written records; oral tradition preserved through generations
COMMON PEOPLE HAD NO FREEDOM
The Incas were very class conscious and were divided into nobles and
common people. The nobles pretty much did what they wanted, while
the common people were tightly controlled by the government.
Commoners could not own or run businesses. They
could only do their assigned jobs. The law did not allow
them to be idle. Even the amount of time they had to
sleep and bathe was controlled by a government
• Kings, priests, and government
officials made up the Incan upper
• Men worked for the government,
and women had household
• Sons went to school.
• Upper-class families had many
privileges, such as private
schools, stone houses, and the
• The lower class was made up of
farmers, artisans, and servants.
There were no slaves in Incan
• They worked on government
farms, served in the army,
worked in mines, or built roads.
• Most children did not go to school
but instead learned to farm.
SOCIETY AND DAILY LIFE
• The Inca economy was based on agriculture. The Incas had great
farmers, they were the first people to ever grow potatoes.
• Incas practiced terrace agriculture. Agriculture was tough business in the
Andes. The Incas actively set about carving up mountains into terraced
farmlands—so successful were they in turning steep mountainsides into
terraced farms, that in 1500 there was more land in cultivation in the
Andean highlands then there is today.
• Three main staples: corn, dehydrated potato, pigweed (seeds) . Besides
tomatoes, quinoa, cotton, peanuts also grown by the Inca.
• Coca – became a cash crop. Mostly used by the Royalty, nobles to dull
pain and hunger. Heavily used by government messengers who suffered
from altitude sickness. Also gave them the energy to travel the road
systems by foot.
• Sacred chicha beer derived from corn – used by priests for
Andean peoples, like the Inca,
developed both cultural and
biological adaptations to the
high elevations of the Andes, such
as terraced agriculture, irrigation,
heightened lung capacity,
greater amounts of
red-blood cells, and chewing coca
with quinoa, to deal with fatique
The Inca also raised animals
such as dogs, guinea pigs, Llama
Incas used Llamas and Alpacas
to transport and travel ,for meat,
wool, hides, and dung (used as
Most Inca made clothing from
llama wool and cotton. The ruler
wore clothing Made from the wool
Coastal Incan populations relied
on seafood – lots of fishing!
•Polytheistic religion. Pantheon headed by Inti-the sun god.
They believed their kings were related to the sun god.
•Combined features of animism, fetishism, worship of nature
•The Inca believed that certain objects and locations were
sacred.These sacred locations and objects were called
huacas. A huaca could be a river, a rock, a great stone
temple, or a small charm or amulet. Each Inca family kept a
huaca in their home. They made offerings to the huacas to
keep the gods happy.
•The Inca also believed in reincarnation. Death was a
passage to the next world that was full of difficulties. Most
Incas imagined the after world to be very similar to the Euro-
American notion of heaven, with flower covered fields and
snow capped mountains.
•Inca religion included a large number of priests. The priests
•Viracocha – Creator of all things
•Inti – Sun God, father of first emperor
•Chiqui Illapa – thunder God, worshipped for rain
•Mama Quilla, Mother Moon
•Pachamama, Mother Earth
- worshipped by farmers
OF THE UNIVERSE
View of the cosmos:
• World divided between earth and sky
- Things of space
- Things of the earth
• Humans as the mediating element
between earth and the sky
• Also, world divided between all things
male and all things female.
-Feminine aspects – moon, earth, sea,
- Male aspects – sun, lightning, thunder,
• Relations between men and women
•The Inca used astronomy to plan their crops.
•The terraces were at different altitudes, or heights.
•They planted crops at the correct time for the
height of the terrace.
•Pillars on the hills around Cuzco, the capital city,
helped them time their planting.
•When the sun rose or set between sets of pillars,
it was time to plant crops at certain altitudes.
•When some Inca were not farming, they made pottery,
textiles, and even practiced surgery.
•Some Inca also did metalwork and created tools and
•Music was also created, but was mostly used for religious
•Developed important medical practices- surgery on
human skull, anesthesia
Inca textile fragment
* They invented many
wind and percussion
* Drums and flutes were
* The panpipe was the
• The Inca made many discoveries in medicine.
• Surgical operation were performed on the skull,
broken bones were set, and fillings were put in
teeth. However, survival rates rose to 80–90%
during the Inca era.
• The sophistication of Inca administration,
calendric, and engineering necessitated a certain
facility with numbers. These numbers were stored
in base-10 digits and used in administrative and
• The Incas adopted Quechua as their
• Quechua is still spoken by many indigenous
populations all over South America.
• There are many dialects.
• Quechua is an oral language and there is
a lack of written material.
•The Inca had no writing. Instead they kept records using a
•A array of small cords of various colors and lengths, all
suspended from a thick cord.
•By tying knots in the small cords, Inca could record statistical
•Sometimes the knots were color coded to mean different
•Though simple at first glance, the quipu could transmit intricate
•The quipu could record:
Population including Birth/death rates
Food supply: harvest/livestock
• Of all the urbanized people of the Americas, the Incas were the
most brilliant engineers.
• The Incas , like the Mayas , build massive CITIES , constructing
both round and square buildings ,with cobblestone domical roof.
• the Inca built massive forts with stone slabs so perfectly cut that
they didn't require mortar—and they're still standing today in
• Inca architecture was the rectangular building without any
internal walls and roofed with wooden beams and thatch .
• American archaeologist John H. Rowe classified Inca fine
masonry in two types: coursed & polygonal.
Inca wall in Cuzco
Cyclopean polygonal masonry
The Inca constructed stone temples without using
mortars yet the stones fit together so well that a knife
would not fit between the stones.
Sacsahuaman, fort-like temple crowning the heights of the imperial capital;
made by a rotating force of 20,000 corvée laborers over several decades
THE TEMPLE OF THE SUN
• The most important structure in Cuzco was
The Temple of the Sun – dedicated to
Inti, the Sun God.
• The exterior walls were covered with heavy
gold plates. The inside was also coated
with gold (thought to symbolize the sun).
• Inside the temple, you could find idols of
gold and silver as well as the mummified
bodies of past rulers and their wives.
INCA ROAD SYSTEM
• The Incas had an incredible system of roads. They built a
massive road network through mountains and across rivers and
• Since the Incas lived in the Andes Mountains, the roads took
great engineering and architectural skill to build. Their roads
show their ability as great builders.
• The Inca built a paved road system that included more than
10,000 miles of paved roads.
• They had long north-south roads that ran along the coast and
• One road ran almost the entire length of the South American
• On the coast, the roads were not surfaced.
• The Incas paved their highland roads with flat stones and built
The Incas built bridges across the gorges so they could
reach all parts of their empire quickly and easily. If an
enemy approached, the Incas could burn the bridges.
They made suspension bridges from rope, pontoon
bridges from reed boats, and pulley baskets from vines.
The Incas did not discover the wheel, so all travel was
done on foot. To help travelers on their way, rest houses
were built every few kilometers. In these rest houses, they
could spend a night, cook a meal and feed their llamas.
Their bridges were the only way to cross rivers on foot. If
only one of their hundreds of bridges was damaged, a
major road could not fully function; every time one broke,
the locals would repair it as quickly as possible.
Uniting the Empire
30,000 to 40,000 km (18,600-24,800 miles)
of thoroughfares and trunk lines
Major Roads of
Empire Inca tunnel
MACHU PICCHU WAS
REDISCOVERED IN 1911 BY
EXPLORER HIRAM BINGHAM. IT
SITS ONE AND A HALF MILES
HIGH ON A MOUNTAIN TOP IN
PERU ONCE INHIBITED BY THE
BINGHAM THOUGHT IT MUST
HAVE BEEN A SPECIAL
RELIGIOUS CITY BECAUSE OF
THE FINE STONEWORK,.
BELIEVE IT WAS SOME TYPE OF
VACATION RESORT FOR INCA
OVER 3,000 STEPS CONNECT
THE LEVELS OF THE CITY AND
FARMING TERRACES. IT COULD
ONLY BE REACHED BY A LOG
BRIDGE ON A SHEER CLIFF. IF
ENEMIES THREATENED THE
CITIZENS THERE, THEY WOULD
Machu Picchu, the Versailles-like rural palace and
made by the emperor Pachacuti,
ম চু তপ চু (প চুয়া: Machu Pikchu মাচু ছেকচু অথতাৎ "েুরাকনা চূডা") বা ম চু তপচু
(পেনীয়: Machu Picchu মাচু ছেচু) লম্বাকসর আকমছর া আছবষ্কাকরর আক র সময় ার
এ টি ইন া েহর, সমুদ্রেৃষ্ঠ পথক যার উচ্চর্া ২৪০০ ছমটার (৭,৮৭৫ ছিট)। এটি
পেরুর উরুবাম্বা উের্য ার (Valle de Urubamba) ওেকর এ টি েবতর্চূডায়
ম চু তপচুই সম্ভবর্ ইন া সভ্যর্ার সবকচকয় েছরছচর্ ছনিেতণ, যাক প্রায়েঃ ইন াকির
হারাকনা েহর বলা হয়। এটি ১৪৫০ সাকলর ছিক ছনছমতর্ হয়, ছ ন্তু এর এ ে বির
ের ইন া সভ্যর্া যখন পেন দ্বারা আক্রাে হয় র্খন এটি েছরর্যাক্ত হকয় েকড।
কয় ে বির অজ্ঞার্ থা ার ের ১৯১১ সাকল হাইরাম ছবঙাম (ইাংকরছজ: Hiram
Bingham) নাকম এ মাছ ত ন ঐছর্হাছস এটিক আবার সমগ্র ছবকের নজকর ছনকয়
আকসন। র্ারের পথক মাচু ছেচু েযতট কির াকি এ টি আ র্তণীয় িেতনীয় িান
হকয় উকেকি। এটিক ১৯৮১ সাকল পেরুর সাংরছক্ষর্ ঐছর্হাছস এলা া ছহকসকব
প ার্ণা রা হয়। ইউকনকস্কা ১৯৮৩ সাকল এটিক র্াকির ছবে ঐছর্হযবাহী িাকনর
র্াছল ায় অেভ্ুত ক্ত কর।
• কুজক (Cuzco),The Former Capital of the Inca Empire
• ম চু তপচু (Machu Picchu), "The Secret Inca City“
• তিল ব ম্ব (Vilcabamba), "The Last Stronghold of the Incas"
• তিট স (Vitcos), "The Last Capital of the Incas"
• চত উকুইর ও (Choquequirao), "The Sacred Sister of Machu
• প ইতিতি (Paititi), the Hidden Inca City With Tremendous
িূ তম ম্প স মল কি যকি ক ৌশল
পেরু খুবই ভ্ূ ছম ম্পপ্রবণ অঞ্চল। ইন াকির রবাছডগুকলা পিখকলই পবাঝা যায় পয
ওরা ছিকলা এ এ জন ো া ইছিছনয়ার। মাচু ছেচু েহকরর বাছডগুকলাই র্ার
• ছসকমন্টজার্ীয় ছমেকণর াাঁথুছনর চাইকর্ োথকর োথর বছসকয় তর্ছর াাঁথুছন
অকন পবছে ভ্ূ ছম ম্প প্রছর্করাধী।
• ইন াকির তর্ছর বাছডর সূক্ষ ন ো পিখা যায়। এই সূক্ষ ন োগুছলই
ভ্ূ ছম কম্পর সময় পিয়াল ধ্বকস েডা অকন াাংকে পরাধ কর।
• সবগুকলা পিয়াল এ িম পসাজা নয়। পিয়ালগুকলার এ টা সাছর অনয সাছর পথক
এ টু পহলাকনা। এর িকল পিয়ালগুকলার ভ্ারসাময রক্ষা হকয়কি, িকল ভ্ূ ছম কম্প
এগুকলা সহকজ ধ্বকস েডকব না।
• The Inca emperor was decimated by a
smallpox pandemic in the 1520s,which
triggered a seven-year civil war between the
two sons of the king, Atahualpa and
Huáscar. Atahualpa eventually won the war
but the infighting had weakened the empire.
• During this time a group of Spanish
conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro
arrived in the empire.
• As Atahualpa marched south to claim Cuzco,
he was intercepted, kidnapped and
ransomed by Francisco Pizarro’s forces.
• The Incas tried to free Atahualpa by offering
the Spanish a roomful of gold and silver, but
the Spanish killed Atahualpa anyway.
• The Spanish defeated the last of the Incas,
and the empire fell in 1537.
EVENTS LEADING TO RISE AND FALL
• 1438: Manco Capac
established capital at Cuzco
• 1400-1500: Pachacuti gained
control of Andean population
about 12 million people
• 1525: Emperor Huayna
Capac died of plague; civil
war broke out between two
sons because no successor
• 1532: Spanish arrived in Peru
1527: Pizarro wanted to discover
wealth; embarked on his third voyage
to the New World
Sept. to Nov. 1532:The Cajamarca
massacre- Pizarro led 160 Spaniards
to Cuzco, slaughtering over 2,000
Inca and injuring 5,000
November 16, 1532: Atahualpa
captured by Spaniards, offered gold
for his freedom.
Pizarro accepted more than 11 tons
of gold ($6 million+) baubles, dishes,
icons, ornaments, jewelry, & vases,
but never released Atahualpa.
July 26, 1533: Atahualpa was killed