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Key People:Francisco PizarroAtahuallpaHuascarDiego de AlmagroPachacuti Inca Yupanqui...(Show more)Related Topics:pre-Columbian civilizationsInca religionInca calendarAndean civilizationAmauta...(Show more)

Inca, also spelled Inka, southern American indians who, at the moment of the Spanish conquest in 1532, ruled an empire that extended along the Pacific coast and also Andean highlands from the north border of modern Ecuador come the Maule river in central Chile. A quick treatment of the Inca follows; for complete treatment, see pre-Columbian civilizations: The Inca.

People and society

Inca society was highly stratified. The emperor ruled v the assist of one aristocratic bureaucracy, exercising authority through harsh and often repressive controls. Inca modern technology and design were highly developed, although not strikingly original. Their irrigation systems, palaces, temples, and fortifications have the right to still be watched throughout the Andes. The economy was based on agriculture, the staples being corn (maize), white and sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes, peanuts (groundnuts), chili peppers, coca, cassava, and cotton. They raised guinea pigs, ducks, llamas, alpacas, and also dogs. Apparel was do of llama wool and cotton. Dwellings were of rock or adobe mud. Virtually every man was a farmer, creating his own food and also clothing.

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Inca growing with fire-hardened digging sticks. Illustration from Nueva corónica y buen gobierno by Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala, 17th century; in the imperial Library, Copenhagen.