The Inca economy was based on agriculture, because farming produced almost all the food that the Incas ate. Because they did not have draft animals or tools with wheels, all the farming had to be done by hand with handheld tools.
Techniques, Terraced Farming, Canals
Because the Inca economy was not based on money, people traded with each other rather than buying things from each other. In addition, land was not owned by individual people. It belonged to and was controlled by an ayllu, and the people could use but not sell the land. Although the land was controlled by the ayllu, it was officially owned by the Inca king. The only things people actually owned were the things that they received through trade or as gifts.
Much of the fighting in the Andes was hand to hand combat. The Incas used weapons that were good for close combat fighting. Occasionally, the Inca hired groups from the rainforests who used bows and arrows as weapons and were very skilled in using the bows and arrows. This allowed them to attack enemies from further distances.
The Inca army was very organized and disciplined. Many of the soldiers were recruited from previously conguered groups.
When the Incas conquered a society, they allowed that society to continue ruling and living the same way they had before they were conquered. The Incas tried to disrupt the society as little as possible. The society continued to be ruled the same way. They kept the same laws, and the same religion and religious beliefs. The leaders of the conquered societies also recieved positions of power in the Inca government.
Like their architecture, art was usually valued according to the function that it served. In addition, they valued production over originality in their art. Their art was practical because they were a practical people. The Incas did not make portraits or landscapes like most, they prefered to spend their time making religious art, temples or palaces. The Inca did make instruments though. They made panpipes, drums, flutes, and trumpets to use in rituals.
Function over Appearance
Although the Incas used many materials to make their art, some of the main materials they used were wool and gold. The Incas also used many things as inspiration, but mainly things that were important to them like the gods and animals that helped their society thrive.
Tapestries and textiles were used as a status symbol for the Inca. This is because, unlike most Inca art, they were intricate in design and color. They were woven from alpaca, llama, vicuna wool, or cotton. They spent a lot of time weaving geometric patterns or images of alpacas, llamas, birds, feathers, suns, pumas, or vicunas into the cloth. Every village had a different pattern in their textiles.
The Inca were very advanced in road building. Their roads were very long and they were paved, so they stood up well against time. Some roads are still used today
The Incas were very well equipped military wise. They had good offensive weapons and defensive weapons.
The Incas were very advanced in their math and medical techniches. They performed skull surgeries on people and may have used Khipus to do math and keep numbers.
The Inca were able to take some technology from the places they conquered and refine them. They would always make the technology easier to mass-produce.
The system of government of government was a monarchy type system. The society can be thought of as pyramid. The emperor and the royal family was at the top, then the nobles and finally the ordinary people.
Emperor and Royal Family
The Inca government was ruled by an emperor. The emperor controlled everything in the empire. In addition, there were administrators who ran smaller tasks in the government for the emperor. They controlled things in smaller cities rather than the capital city and the empire as a whole. This allowed the emperor to focus on things other than the condition of every part of his empire and to focus on more inmoprtant things things going on in one certain part of the empire.
Some small crimes were, lying and stealing. Some larger crimes were; murder, adultry, and insulting the gods. The consequences for smaller crimes were chopping off hands or feet. The consequences for bigger crimes were being thrown off a cliff or starvation which led to death. The criminals, if not killed, would be put in fromt of the town with a begging bowl as a reminder not to break the law.
Because people were very afraid of the consequences of commiting a crime, there were rarely any crimes committed. Because there were very few, if any, crimials, there was no need for jails.
The cities were protected by guards. They stood oustide the gates and recorded everyone and everything that came in and out. So if someone tried to steal, the guards would be able to tell what they had stolen and who they had stolen it from. If you were a criminal passing through, the guards would embarrass you by making you tell your crimes out loud.
The Khipu was a form of recording things. Khipus were made of cryptic knotted strings. They may have been early forms of writing used to record numbers and convey messages. The way that the strings of the Khipu were knotted allowed the "reader" to decipher the message that the Khipu was trying to convey. Khipus are a sort of 3D binary code, similar to what computers use to operate today.
conveyed different messages
color and length
Although writing is a very important aspect of civilization, the Incas seem to lack a written language. Because the evidence of a written language may have been lost years ago, anthropologists can not find or determine a language for the Inca people. Because of the fact that there is no evidence, but the evidence may have decomposed, no one is really sure if there ever was a language written by the Incas.
The Inca civilization was located in South America in parts of modern day Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina. At it's height in 1532 A.D., the empire stretched more than 3,400 miles along the southern coast of South America along the Pacific Ocean.
The area where the Incas lived had many very different types of landscapes. There were desert, mountains, fertile valleys, fertile lakesides, and rainforests, and the Inca found ways to thrive in all of them. They had some of the most severe climates. The Andes mountain range is one of the longest mountain ranges, and the deserts that lie off the coast are the driest costal deserts in the world.
The style of the Inca architacture was very simple. Their architecture was more for functionality than for beauty. The only exception to their style was their water works. The Inca often made elaborate fountains, baths, and pools. Inca architecture is simple, like the Inca themselves. Most buildings were rectangular, except for temples; they were often circular.
"Less is more" was the main idea of Inca architecture. The main themes were functionality, meticulousness, and simplicity, which also reflected the Inca themselves. Animals inspired architecture, like they inspired Inca art. The city layout of Cuzco was inspired by a puma. The sun also influenced them because the Sun God was their main god. Incas got some architectural ideas from the Altiplano and the Chimus people.
The building constructed by the Incas were made with great care and patience. Their buildings were very sturdy and very meticulously made. They used stone tools to build their buildings and had to use man power to get the stones used to build off the ground.
Stones and tools
The Incas were polytheists. They believed in many gods and created many temples for some of them. The most important of the gods were Inti (the Sun God) and Viracocha (The God of Everything). The Gods were always respected and honored by the Incan people.
The Incas used omens and signs to predict what would happen to the city or people. Example: a crackling fire or a rattling snake. Oracles were used in this process.
Eveyday there were scarifices made to the gods by the priests. Only on special occasion there were humans and animals sacrificed. The Incas sacrificed animals and humans to make sure th gods would give them abundant crops . Each month a festival was had for each god that the Incas worshipped The most popular festival was in June, called Intisaymi. This was when they worshipped the sun god and it was very important because the sun was the Incas' main god and provider.
Because the Inca empire was so large, the climate tended to be drastically different in different regions of the empire.