Saturday, February 1, 2020

Who Really Were the Inca and What Was Their Capability?

Much has been written about the Inca and all their awesome construction capabilities they had and the miraculous building they achieved—so advanced that even today experts cannot figure out how they built the edifices they left behind. The problem with this attitude, shared by many, including tour guides that take people visiting Peru to see all the “Inca sites,” is erroneous at best.
Maps showing the growth of the Inca Empire between 1438 and 1532

Frist of all, the Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbia America, with its administrative structure considered by most scholars to have been the most developed in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus. However, we have little, if any, confirmation that all the marvelous buildings that covered Andean Peru had anything to do with their administrative achievements.
    It is believed by scholars and historians that “the Inca first appeared in the Andes region during the 12th century AD and gradually built a massive kingdom through the military strength of their emperors” (History, Inca, A&E, March 11, 2015, august 21, 2018). However, contrary to popular belief, they were part of flourishing Andes cultures that began moving into the area. In the late 1300s, the ethnic people now known as the Inca, began to form into a series of villages with common interests. Initially, they were simply part of the peoples of Quechuan Cusco, a series of independent, individual tribes with little in common with one another except for sharing common interests and some characteristics. They had no common government, leadership or ruler. In fact, when the Valley was later attacked, the other tribes abstained from defensive commitments, deciding to remain on the sidelines to see who would be victorious before joining anyone.
    By 1400 AD the Inca were still nothing more than a small highland agrarian tribe, made up of ethnic Quechuya people also known as Amerindians. As they began emerging as a united people, they were still onlyh one of these small groups in the Cuzco Valley, while at the same time, an aggressive ethnic Quechuan people called the Chancas, under the rule of Chuqlluqucha, dominated the region round about from Apurimac, Ayacucho and Lamas of Peru. They were divided in their ethnicity into the Hanan or Upper Chankas (later “the Parkos Kingdom”); the Urin or Lower Chankas; and the Villca or Hancohuallos Chankas.
The various settlements of the Chanca prior to the time they attacked Quechuan Cuzco 

The Hanan inhabited the region of Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Junin and part of Apurimac in Peru, mostly between the Ancoyaco (Mantaro), Pampas and Pachachaca Rivers, tributaries of the Apurímac River. It is said  they originated from lake Chuqlluqucha and unite the area of Choclopus (Chocorvos) and Urququcha in the area of Huancavelica.
    The Chanca expanded to the "Ancoyaco ayllukuna" area with its headquarters in Paucar and used the Urin Chankas of Andahuaylas as a secondary base. They developed an autonomous culture and spoke a language called puquina. Their capital was Waman Karpa ("falcon’s tent"), on the shore of Lake Anori, 22 miles from Andahuaylas, on the banks of the Pampas River.
    In 1438, the Chanca attacked the villages in the Cuzco Valley. Not thinking they would meet much of a resistance, they divided their forcew into the groups, sending two southward, and one eastward into Cuzco. Under the leadership of Hanan Chanka "Anccu Hualloc" gathered 40,000 warriors and launched the conquest of Cusco. They advanced victoriously to encircle the city while Incan Viracocha, his main son, and many of the nobility fled in the direction of Qullasyu and were in despair until a younger son bravely led the resistance. A bloody battle was fought in Yawarpampa ("field of blood") in what is now Pampas, in which the Chanca were miraculously defeated, which gave rise to the prestige and ultimate power of the Inca.
    Consequently, beginning in 1438, following thius victory, the people now known as the Inca began to expand their borders, using both military might (many feared them as a result of their remarkable victory over the Chanca), and also through negotiation and peaceful assimilation.
    By 1472 they had conquered numerous groups in the north all the way to what is now Ecuador and by 1491 had overcome most of the peoples to the south, where they ran into some stubborn resistance and finally gave up in that direction. By 1502, they had taken much of Ecuador, expanding as far north as Esmeradlas on the coast, and Pasto in southern Columbia.
    In all of that, they fought scores of wars, and expanded over thousands of miles to insert themselves into the regions that was to become known as the Inca Empire—an empire that lasted less than 100 years, and in its final territorial conquests, less than 30 years. Yet, in that short time of constant conquest and expansion, including supervising conquered lands and peoples, some badly informed people believe the Inca built all the sites of antiquity now seen in Peru, including about 25,000 miles of highly developed roads and highways.
    However, the remnants of Inca construction tell a different tale. One of the examples is the area of Sacsayhuaman, a remarkable hilltop fortress with stones weighing as much as 200 tons and more, all cut and dressed, and assembled perfectly without mortar that have lasted far more than a thousand years
Large boulders represent the original construction of the walls at Sacsayhuaman. Note the (Red Circles) small stones that were filled in by the later Inca, who lacked such building capability as those who preceded them and first built in Peru

While there is little evidence of Inca building, other than the wild claims by the Inca themselves who made a mockery of history through creating a history hundreds of years older than they were and inserting numerous so-called Inca capacs or leaders, into their very questionable genealogy, we need to be careful in assuming too mch of this early civilization. As an example, Sacsayhuaman, who most people believe was constructed by the Inca, themselves told the conquistador recorder that it was built by people who lived in the area centuries before them. This is seen by the images pictures showing the lack of ability of the Inca who repaired the walls from time to time with small, stones, inserted haphazardly without any attempt at matching earlier work.
Close up of the repairs to the Sacsahuaman walls performed by the Inca. The large stones date back far beyond the Inca to an unknown people who had exceptional engineering and masonry capabilities

Lying on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco in Peru, lies the walled complex of Sacsayhuaman (Saksaywaman). The site is famed for its remarkable large dry stone walls with boulders carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar.  The stones used in the construction of the terraces at Saksaywaman, which weigh up to 200 tonnes, are among the largest used in any building in prehispanic America, and display a precision of fitting that is unmatched in the Americas. The stones are so closely spaced that a single piece of paper will not fit between many of the stones. This precision, combined with the rounded corners of the blocks, the variety of their interlocking shapes, and the way the walls lean inward have puzzled scientists for decades
    As ancient civilizations sprang up across the planet thousands of years ago, so too the Inca civilization evolved. As with all ancient civilizations, its exact origins are unknown. However, once established as a distinct people, the Incas being “Inca” meant being a member of the group identified by that name. They considered themselves superior to the other tribes and being Inca was a source of pride; only descendants of the original tribe were true Inca or children of the Sun. All others were subjects of the Child of the Sun.
    Less than hundred years later in the early 16th century the Incas rose to conquer and control the largest empire ever seen in the Americas forming the great Inca Empire. About four hundred years ago the fabulous wealth in gold and silver possessed by these people was discovered, then systematically pillaged and plundered by Spanish conquistadors.
    However, once established as a distinct people, the Incas being “Inca” meant being a member of the group identified by that name. They considered themselves superior to the other tribes and being Inca was a source of pride; only descendants of the original tribe were true Inca or children of the Sun. All others were subjects of the Child of the Sun.
    So who were these people who preceded the Inca, who possessed amazing building ability and constructed unequalled structures and walls that stump expert masons even today? Obviously, we ought to be less aware of the Inca, who happened on the scene when most of the ancient sites were already built and the Inca simply moved in to them. The fact tht the roads already existed is the single most important factor in the Inca’s quick rise to dominance of western South America. 
    So we ask again, who were those people who preceded the Inca and built Sacsayhuaman, built the sites along the Sacred Valley, built the roads, etc.?

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