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The Cultural Similarities & Differences Between the Inca and Maya...

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The Cultural Similarities & Differences Between the Inca and Mayan Empires

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  • October 2012
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Though the Inca and Mayan empires existed at different times in history, they have a few things in common. Like other societies throughout history though, they have many things that set them apart from each other. The biggest similarity they share is that they both had control of massive empires that eventually ceased to exist.

To start off with, the Mayans existed earlier in history than the Incas. The Mayans existed from 1000 BC to AD 1697 and no one is quite certain what wiped out their ancient civilization. Mayans are still around today but not as many as there once was. The Incas existed from AD 1438 to around 1534 and were wiped out by a combination of smallpox and being conquered by the Spanish.

Although the Mayans existed earlier, they were scientifically more advanced than the Incas. That fact alone is one of the things that sets them apart so much from other ancient civilizations. The Mayans were knowledgeable in the fields of mathematics, architecture, and astronomy. In fact, they were the first ones to develop a calendar. It was a 365 day calendar like the one used today. The Mayans are known for their huge pyramidal temples. They had built such stepped pyramids because they felt it got them closer to Heaven. On top of it, they would hold rituals. While the Incas may not have been as scientifically advanced as the Mayans, they were still very skilled in architecture as well. The best example of their skills in this field would be Machu Picchu. This is also known as 'The Lost City of the Incas'. When it was first discovered, people were baffled. Somehow the Incas were able to build a city on top of a mountain, an incredible feat for an ancient civilization. Along with huge buildings, the Incas and Mayans had also created intricate road systems. Although they had no cars or anything of the sort, they were used to travel by foot. The Mayans and the Incas were both skilled in farming also. They both had constructed irrigation systems to ensure...