Synopsis of the Ancients – the Incas, pre and post

Every hill or mountain has been terraced. It is quite amazing when you are driving in the middle of nowhere and you look up and see ruins of old terracing. Those Inca’s and pre-Inca’s were quite something

The Inca peoples and culture sculpted the modern landscape for which Peru is renowned and attracts several hundred thousands of visitors each year.

One of the many surprising things about the Inca rule is that it was short in the scheme of things 1438-1532 and yet had such a profound effect on Peru.

Cusco was the ancient capital of this giant empire stretching from Colombia in the North to below Santiago, Chile in the South, about 7000km and extending across the Andes into Western Argentina and Western Bolivia, about 2000km East-West! The ancient name of for the Inca empire was Tawantinsuyu, which means the coming together of 4 provinces ie at Cusco.

The Inca Empire map (thanks to Wikipedia) showing the four provinces in different colours with Cusco as the center.

Sun-god worshipping and sacrificing animals and humans was the order of the day, metal was not known to these people and eventually contributed to their destruction when the Spanish arrived with sword and cannon.

If you look at the fine stone work behind us you can see that they used massive stones and in between them they used smaller rectangular carved stones. These were placed to help the buildings withstand the forces of earthquakes

Their single greatest ability was their incredible knowledge of veld, flora, agriculture and building. Structures that were built 500 years ago are still in perfect nick today on a continent riddled with landslides and earthquakes!

Agricultural sites reveal micro-climate control and hybridisation projects!

An example of circular terracing which creates microclimates which vary in temperature by about five degrees on each level.

They were not formidable modern-day warriors. A small army of Spaniards effectively conquered the entire empire between 1533 and 1538!

Thereafter and before?

3m years ago, Lucy and the Taung child of Austrolopithecus, Ethiopia and South Africa respectively
2000 BC building of the Egyptian pyramids
1500 BC to 1000 AC the rise and fall of the Tiwanaku empire
200-500BC, In Arica, southern Peru we met the oldest mummies in the world
200 -500 AD, In Nasca we met the true Ancients in the Chauchulla cemetery,
400-800 AD, the Nascan people and Nasca lines
500-900 AD, the Sillustani tower funereal tombs were built

We then move into vague times of the pre-Inca civilisations with no written records and only pottery and clay fragments to date peoples
1200-1400 AD construction of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela

1550’s, Spanish invade the Inca empire
Modern history…….

Categories: Diary | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Synopsis of the Ancients – the Incas, pre and post

  1. Renardo

    Great guys! Love your blog! Keep going.

  2. Trevor

    Hi Team Lawson

    Still having a GREAT time ?? I’m really enjoying all the history and cultural lessons. It feels as if we are travelling with you.

    How are you going to cope coming back to living normal again?

    Look forward to seeing you sometime soon.

    Keep well and safe travels.

    All the best.


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