the inca empire

Physical Geography


Centered in modern day Cuzco, Peru, the Inca Empire stretched along the west coast of South America.  It spanned the length of the Andes Mountains, and even spread into countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia.


The climate of the Inca Empire was sunny and warm during the day and cold at     night.  The yearly average temperature was 15 degrees Celsius, or 59 degrees             Fahrenheit, and the rainy season spanned from November to March.

                                                            Major Physical Features

Major physical features of the Inca Empire included the Andes Mountains, the         Urubamba Valley (known as the Inca Sacred Valley), Pisac (a Peruvian village in     the Sacred Valley), Ollantaytambo (an Inca archaeologist site in southern Peru,       and Yucay (found in southern Peru), among snow capped mountains and eucalyptus rain forests.  


                                                                     Famous Leaders

  • Pachacuti - (1438-1471), 9th Sapa Inca, transformed Kingdom of Cuzco into Incan Empire
  • Tupac Inca Yupanqui - (1471-1493), 10th Sapa Inca
  • Huayna Cupac - (1493-1525), 11th Sapa Inca

                                                                  Leadership Structure

The Inca social structure was divided up into 3 broad classes: the emperor and his family, nobles, and commoners.  The emperor was the Sapa Inca, and most Incans worked as farmers and herders.  Traditional slavery was not practiced.

Wars and Conflict

                                                                       Major Battles

  • Battle of Maule
  • Battle of Cajamarca
  • Battle of Puna


Some enemies of the Incas included the Spanish, the Mapuche, and the Quito.

                                                       Outcomes of these Battles/Wars

Many of these battles and wars resulted in the decline and fall of the Inca Empire, even leading to the devastation of the Inca civilization.  


                                                           Roles of Men and Women

The women's role was to cook, clean, and weave.

The men's role was to hunt for food.

The children's roles were to carry wood and water up the hills.


Education in the Inca Empire was reserved for only the wealthy, who relied heavily on oral teachings and memorization.  Children were taught stories and poems relating to Inca history and family heritage.  They were also taught how to use a quipu, which was counting using knotted cords.  Boys were taught religion, history, and language, while girls were taught how to weave and cook.  


Inca clothing varied between the different classes of Inca society: i.e., the majority of people wore a gown like an outer garment that covered most of the body but had no sleeves.  The upper classes of the Inca civilization wore similarly styled gowns with much softer and refined wool dyed brightly.  Male members of the upper classes wore elaborate items of dress to display their importance to the people around them.


The Incas polytheistic religion was based on one major god, Viracocho, with many lesser gods surrounding.  Every single aspect of the earth was believed to be controlled by one god: i.e. the 4 elements of the sun, moon, wind, and rain each had their own god.  


Inca architecture includes some of the most finely worked stone structures from any ancient civilization.  Inca buildings were almost always practical and pleasing to the eye.


Inca cuisine included a wide variety of plants and animals used for cooking which are unknown outside of Peru.  The most important staples were tubers. roots and grains, guinea pigs and llamas, and maize.  

World Today

Inca culture has affected the world in a number of ways, arguably one of the most advances is inspiring the people of the world.  The Inca capital of Cuzco is still present in Peru and its influence is still felt everywhere.  Incan food, clothing, and architecture is still practiced and imitated all over the world today.  

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