Tag Archives: Ancient Cultures

The Incredible Inca Empire

Inca Empire

The Inca Empire was a colossal empire that prospered in the Andean region of the continent of South America starting from the early 13th century A.D. up until its seizure by the Spanish in the 1530s. However, the Spanish could not fully take over the land up until 1572 since the Inca leaders kept up the resistance against the regime.

The Incas called their empire Tawantinsuyu which means the “Land of the Four Corners”. This is because the empire was divided up into four “suyu” which would intersect at the capital called Cuzco. Their official language was Quechua, however, the empire itself contained numerous non-Inca groups as well. The Inca, by the time of Spanish crusaders, contained 10 million people who spoke 100 different languages.

At its peak, the empire extended from the border of the modern world, Ecuador, and Columbia, all the way to the southern Santiago, Chile.

Origins

The Incas are first thought to appear in today’s southeastern Peru during the 12th century. A lot of the history of Inca’s origins has been lost between reality and spoken myth, as the case with the majority of the civilizations. According to some versions of the Inca myth, they were created by the sun god Inti, who sent Manco Capac towards the Earth through the middle of three caves which are now situated in the village of Paccari Tampu. After slaying his brothers, Capac led his sisters and their followers through the wild before settling near the seemingly fertile valley near Cusco in the 1200s.

Though the Incas began expanding their land, they did not truly become as powerful as they are known to be till the eighth emperor, Viracocha Inca, came into power by the early 15th century.

Cuzco

This is a city nestled in a mountain valley which is 10,000 feet above sea level. It once formed the center of the Inca world. The emperor, Pachacuti, who was also the first emperor of Inca, began its transformation from a modest village to a magnificent city whose trail line was shaped out to look like a puma in aerial view. It is said that the commoners were not allowed to live in the city instead they were instructed to live on the outskirts of it. Pachacuti made this into a scared city through encouraging the worship of their ancestors, so much so that it almost became a cult.

Religion

The Incas believed in numerous gods, and these deities had to be honored in numerous ways such as through fasting, prayers, and animal sacrifice. However, the most powerful form of worship was human sacrifice.

Today, even though the empire has been vanquished, its legacy still lives on within the people of Andes.

 

Amita Vadlamudi has also written articles on other ancient cultures. Read her article on Ancient Egypt on her Weebly site. Amita Vadlamudi’s professional profile can be found at her about.me site.

The Wonderful World of the Indus Valley Civilization

When we hear the word “ancient civilizations”, our mind immediately recalls the Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Mesopotamian civilizations. Several civilizations have descended from them, and to this day, archaeologists continuously search for more civilizations.

A remarkable civilization was discovered in the 1920s, in South Asia. It was this discovery that reaffirmed the belief that Egypt and Mesopotamia were not the only early civilizations. This community was the Indus Valley Civilization.

In the vast Indus River plains (today’s Pakistan and Western India), archaeologists discovered the remains of a 4,600 year old city. It is said that this civilization had existed at the same time as ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The Indus Valley Civilization is most known by two of its major cities: Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. These two cities were the first to be discovered as the indicators of an Indus Valley Civilization.

The Indus Valley residents had a language which is said to have influenced the majority of the languages spoken in South India. The language found written on the pottery, found in Pakistan, dating back to 5,500 years ago, is thought to be the oldest language in the world.

The people of Indus were believed to worship several gods, such as the mother goddesses, phallic gods, and even gods who had parts of humans and animal conjoined. Some scholars believe that a religion similar to Hinduism was practiced.

It is said that no one ruler ruled this civilization. Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and other cities had their own rulers. Indus Valley does, however, show signs of having engaged in trade. The presence of the weight system explains the possibility of a fair trade system.

The men and women had distinctive hairstyles that varied by culture. In fact, evidence has been found of people wearing different hairstyles and clothes but living in the same place. This means that a diverse group of people with different ethnicities lived in the same city.

Indus Valley is one of the few civilizations that show no signs of having an army, fighting battles, or inflicting any form of violence amongst its people.

It is thought that the cities had been abandoned by 1900 BC. The cause is not known but many believe that the floods from Indus River forced the people to abandon these areas. This ancient civilization, however, continues to fascinate the explorers and visitors alike. It is hoped that one day we will get to know more about this majestic civilization.

Amita Vadlamudi is an avid reader of world history. Because of their value in showing how human beings have evolved and changed, ancient cultures are of particular interest to Ms. Vadlamudi.

Amita Vadlamudi’s professional accomplishments can be found on her F6S site and her favorite places can be found at her Foursquare site.