The story

Inca Empire Expansion

Inca Empire Expansion

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Emperor Pachacuti was the most powerful man in ancient America, as he sent several expeditions to conquer lands. When opponents surrendered they were treated well, but when they resisted there was little mercy.

With the conquests, Pachacuti not only added more land to his domain as warriors under his command. Being a gifted diplomat, before the invasions, Pachacuti sent messengers to expose the advantages of conquered peoples joining the Inca empire peacefully. The proposed agreement was that if the dominated ceded their lands, they would retain local control exercised by local dignitaries who would be treated as nobles of the Empire and their children would be educated in exchange for integration with the Empire and full obedience to the Inca.

The Incas had a very well trained and organized army. When the Incas gained a place, the people were subjected to taxation by which they rendered services designated by the conquerors. The Incas encouraged people to join the Empire and when this happened they were always treated well. Postal services were then established by messengers (chasquis) that delivered official messages between the largest cities.

News was also carried by the system Chasqui at a speed of 125 miles a day. The Incas also promoted the change of conquered populations as part of the creation of the "Inca Highway", which was designed to be used in wars, for the transportation of goods and other purposes. This population exchange (manay) ended up promoting the exchange of information and propagation of the Inca culture. The entire Inca Empire was united by excellent roads and bridges. Its maximum length was 4,500 km long and 400 km wide, giving 1,800,000 km².

The period of maximum expansion of the Inca Empire began from the year 1450 when it came to cover the Andean region of Ecuador to central Chile, over 3000 kilometers long.

The Pachacuti Expansion


The Incas built various types of houses dedicated to their deities. Some of the most famous are the Temple of the Sun in Cusco, the Temple of Vilkike, the Temple of Aconcagua (the highest mountain in South America) and the Temple of the Sun on Lake Titicaca. The Temple of the Sun in Cusco was built with fascinatingly embedded stones. This building had a circumference of over 360 meters. Inside the temple was a large picture of the sun. In some parts of the temple there were gilded inlays representing ears of corn, llamas and handfuls of earth. Portions of the Inca lands were dedicated to the sun god and administered by priests.

The high priests were called Huillca-humu, lived a secluded and monastic life and prophesied using a sacred plant called huillca or vilca (Acacia Cebil) with which they prepared an entheogenic chicha that was drunk at the "Sun Party", Inti Raymi. The Quechua word Huillca it simply means something "holy", "sacred".

Holy places

Religion was dualistic, consisting of forces of good and evil. Good was represented by all that was important to man, such as rain and sunlight, and evil, by negative forces such as drought and war.

The huacas, or holy places, were scattered throughout the Inca territory. Huacas they were divine entities that lived in natural objects such as mountains, rocks and streams. Spiritual leaders in a community used prayers and offerings to communicate with a huaca to ask for advice or help.


The Incas offered both human and animal sacrifices on the most important occasions, most often in sunrise rituals. Great occasions, as in imperial successions, required great sacrifices that could include up to two hundred children. Often women in the service of temples were sacrificed, but most often human sacrifices were imposed on groups recently conquered or defeated in war as a tribute to domination. The sacrificial victims should be physically healthy, unmarked or injured, and preferably young and beautiful.

According to one legend, a ten-year-old girl named So much carhua was chosen by her father to be sacrificed to the Inca emperor. The child, supposedly physically perfect, was sent to Cusco where she was greeted with parties and honors to honor her courage and was later buried alive in a tomb in the Andean mountains. This legend prescribes that the sacrificial victims should be perfect, and that there was a great honor to know and to be chosen by the emperor, becoming, after death, spirits with divine character who would officiate with the priests. Before the sacrifice, the priests richly adorned the victims and gave her a drink called chicha, which is a fermented corn, still appreciated today.