Inca Empire Significance

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What made the Incan Empire so historically significant?

Rachael Cardenas
Block 6B

From 1438 to 1535, the Incan Empire made a historical impact. The Incan Empire was located in South America on the western coast in the present countries of Peru. (Tagle.) Three-fourths of the Empire was located within present day Peru. Since the rule of the Empire did descend through familial ties, the ruling emperor was chosen on account by his family dynasty. (Hutagalung.) The empire of the Incas merits importance and note due to its contributing factors of roads, agriculture, and medicine. The Incas’ construction of roads was the most impressive contribution of public works than any other ancient culture. The roads in total were estimated to be 14,000 miles of paved roads and bridges. What made the building of the roads so remarkable was the diversity of the land such as swamps, mountains, valleys, snow, and deserts. Since the area surrounding the roads by the coast was dusty, the Incas built them on causeways to keep them free from sand being blown or pegging out. (Baudin.) Likewise, the roads near the swamps were built on stone viaducts. In high regions where there was high rain or snowfall, the Incas paved the roads with cobblestones or flagstones. Also, the steep slopes were stabilized by means of steps, which cut into living rock. The accomplishment of these different types of roads was significant to history because it demonstrates that the Incas were able to maintain proper road structure throughout the Empire despite the obstacles each region’s natural environment presented. (Hutagalung.) There were two main roads which connected the north and south territories along the coast and along the Andes Mountains. These two main roads were linked to a shorter network of roads within each of the two territories. However, later there was another major creation of roads that was called the Andean Royal road; this road was over 3,500 miles long, which is longer than the longest Roman road. This road extended from Quito, Ecuador in the north, passed through Cajamarca and Cusco, and ended close to Tucuman, Argentina. (Baudin.) Some of the smaller road networks as well as the Andean Royal road were used so often that they became permanently part of the landscape. As a result, these roads remain critical, modern-day arteries of transportation. A noteworthy fact about the Incan roads was that the roads never experience the roll of a wheel or the stomp of a horses’ foot because the Incas did not know the existence of the wheel and there were no horse natural to the area. (Martin.) For the transportation of goods from one part of the empire to another, the Incas used llamas. The llamas also assisted Incan travelers in their travels between the north and the south territories. The roads of the Incan empire were a key factor in communication between territories. Throughout the Empire, messengers, or chasquis, carried information using these essential road networks. These messengers were chosen from the fittest and strongest men of young males. (Kruschandl.) They lived in cabins, or tambos, in groups of four to six. If one was tired and needed to rest, another one would meet him and try to memorize the message; in this way the tired one could rest in the cabin, or tanpu, while the other continued the messages’ delivery to its final destination. (Baudin.) Since these messengers lived on the roads, the tanpu always had food and clothing available for the messengers. A chasquis would travel more than 300 miles every day. Communication of important messages and transportation of essential goods flowed easily due to the combination of the well-constructed roads and logically developed messenger system. (Hutagalung.) Also, because the military commanders of the Empire could easily move troops, they could quickly bring control where there was trouble. Priests, herders, or leisurely travelers are other examples who used the Incan roads. In brief,...
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