Incas vs. Aztecs
Prior to Cortez landing, there were many civilizations that held power in the Americas. These groups included the Olmecs, Zapotecs, Mayans, Toltecs, Aztecs, and Incas. The two of these civilizations that had some of the most lasting effects were the Aztecs and the Incas. These two civilizations had many similarities and differences.
One of the major differences between the two civilizations is their location. The Aztecs lived in Central Mexico while the Incas lived in the Andes Mountains. The location of the civilizations affected many of their customs. The Incans mummified their dead by leaving them on a mountain cliff side where the winds would dry the moisture out of their skin. Then they would take the mummies to large events and carry them around. The Aztecs did not mummify their dead or have any customs like this. Because the Aztecs lived in Mexico which is a fairly dry area, they needed a way to irrigate crops. They built chinampas which were floating farms that were always irrigated by the body of water it was floating in. The Incas used a form of agriculture called terrace agriculture were they would build flat layers into the slope of a mountain out of specific materials so they could grow food on mountain sides. That was another technique they formed because of where they lived. Another difference between the two civilizations was the size. The Inca civilization covered over 50% of the East coast of South America and had a population of about 20 million people. The Aztec civilization only controlled Central Mexico and only had a population of 15 million people. Because the Inca civilization was so big, they needed a way to get messages around. They developed a large messaging system with messengers called chasquis that used a way to get messages around called quipu. The Aztecs did not have anything like this. Inca was so large because it conquered many other civilizations that had their own languages. This made it difficult for...
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