Facts about the Inca civilization

13 Important Facts About The Incas
December 29, 2015 – 11:02 am
Machu Picchu | 10 Interesting

A visit to Peru can’t be had without encountering at least some form of the Incan Empire. As one of the great civilizations of the New World, the colonial era of conquering still leaves a bad taste in local mouths. There are some important facts about this expansive culture that are important to remember, considering at its height, there were more than 9 million people in this civilization.

1. Talk About a Big Head

The Incas thought that big was beautiful, especially from a head-size perspective. If you can picture the expanded head of a cartoon-style mad scientist, then you’ll get the idea of what the Incas tried to accomplish with their looks. They would create deformed skulls through tight bandages that were wrapped around the heads of infants. This would limit bone formation to one direction and elongate the skull over time.

2. That’s Some Tasty Pork

Every civilization has a specialty dish that they could call their own. For the Incas, there was nothing more treasured than a tasty guinea pig. That’s right – the animals that are kept as pets were also served regularly at the dinner table. If you visit Peru today, you can still pick up a grilled guinea pig at some restaurant. Just beware: it’s a dish that will make you squeal.

3. An Important Medical Advancement

The Incas weren’t known for their ability to forge iron. When the Europeans were using swords and arrow tips to inflict mass casualties, the Incas were still using slingshots and really big clubs. When Incas had a dispute with each other, it wasn’t uncommon to smash your opponent over the head with a blunt object. This led to the invention of head surgery where parts of the skull would be removed to relieve pressure on the brain. This surgery was so common that 1 in every 6 skulls from the Incas that has been found has had at least one hole in it.

4. An Interesting Coffee Mug

The Incas really didn’t like their enemies. When someone who fought against the empire would be defeated, they would lose their head – literally. It was common for the skulls of defeated leaders to be turned into drinking containers. Cups, jars, and scoops have been found in archaeological finds over time.

5. A Most Efficient Communication System

Much of the written communication that the Incas had was in the form of hieroglyphics and through the use of a Quipi. These were usually reserved for spiritual sites and decorative purposes and was rarely written down as a means of actually talking to someone. When messages had to be passed along from one site to another, they had a system of communication that involved giving a message to someone and then having them run to the location where the message needed to be relayed.

6. A Wife For You, But Not For You

Inca nobles were considered the top of the social class, which meant they had certain perks that others in society were not allowed. In particular, nobles were allowed to have multiple wives if they wished. In comparison, farmers were only allowed one wife and the law required them to be monogamous at all times.

7. A Remnant Worth Remembering

The world’s oldest suspension bridge is located in the old Inca Empire and it is called Qeswachaka. The local communities rebuild the bridge every year and have been doing so for over 1, 500 years. It is continually built using traditional methods as well, which means weaving grass ropes. Just don’t get near the bridge if you’re a woman since the locals consider it bad luck… even though women basically built the bridge with their own two hands.

Source: apecsec.org
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