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The Inca Empire, also known as the Inka Empire or Incan Empire, was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political, and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru.
See the fact file below for more information on the Ancient Inca or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Ancient Inca worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ETYMOLOGY AND HISTORY
- Manco Capac established the Inca Empire in 1438. He declared himself Sapa Inca, divine son of the Sun. Manco Capac was a skilled warrior and leader who exercised absolute power. Most historians agree there were 13 emperors during the time when the Incan Empire existed. They were sometimes called, “The Inca”.
- The Inca originated in the village of Paqari-tampu, about 15 miles south of Cuzco.
- The Incan Empire existed in Peru. It ran along the Pacific coast and Andean highlands from the northern border of current day Ecuador to the Maule River in Chile. There were over a million people who were Inca.
- During the reign of Mayta Capac, the fourth emperor, Inca began to expand its territory. However, it was the eighth emperor, Viracocha, who successfully achieved this goal by the early 15th century. Viracocha was able to conquer the Ayarmaca kingdom in the south and Urubamba valley.
- By 1438, Viracocha was able to defend Cusco from his rival Chancas. In the succeeding years, he additionally conquered the kingdoms of Cajamarca and Chimu.
- The official language of the Inca was Quecha. However, they had no written language. They kept their history alive through stories that were passed from father to son.
- The Ancient Inca built aqueducts, cities, temples, fortresses, tunnels, suspension bridges, and 2,250 miles of roads. The Inca had a great understanding of mathematics and agriculture. They also knew about hydraulics, astronomy, architecture, and military strategy.
- The Inca had skills in music, textiles, wood and stone carving, art, and poetry. The Inca were also highly skilled in working with all types of metals.
- Their pottery was simple, practical, and beautiful. The Ancient Inca grew corn, potatoes, coffee, and other grains. They also created woven baskets and woodwind instruments.
- The Inca pyramids were built with mud bricks of clay that were mixed with dry straw from the corn plant. When the Incas found a pyramid that had been built by another culture, they would build their own Inca temple on top of it. Inca gold was not inherited by a person’s decedents; when someone died, the gold was placed inside the grave.
- The Incas worshipped many gods and goddesses. The major Incan god was the god of nature, Viracocha, the creator. Another god was Inti, the sun god. Gold was the symbol of Inti. The sun god temple is the most important structure in Cusco, the major city of the Incas. The Incas believed Inti was the father of Inca rulers. They worshipped the ruler as a living god. Major Inca goddesses included those of the earth and the sea. The Incas also worshipped many lesser gods and goddesses, including the gods of the moon, thunder, rain, stars, and rainbows.
- The Ancient Incas developed important medical practices. They performed surgery on human skulls and used anesthesia during surgery. Inca medicine included treating physical and emotional problems.
COLLAPSE OF AN EMPIRE
- Around 1525, the death of great Inca leader, Huayna Capac triggered civil war. His sons, Huascar and Atahualpa battled to rule. In a very short period of time, Atahualpa became the ruler of the empire.
- At the time of Atahualpa’s victory, Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro arrived.
- In November, 1523, amidst warm greetings from the natives, Pizarro kidnapped the new emperor. Atahualpa was soon executed. To keep peace, the Spaniards appointed a puppet king, Manco Inca, who soon led a rebellion in 1536.
- With the arrival of the Spaniards in central America, a majority of the native population faced death due to diseases such as smallpox, influenza, measles, and typhus. The spread of these diseases affected commoners and nobility alike.
- “In one of (the) houses, which was the richest, there was the figure of the sun, very large and made of gold, very ingeniously worked, and enriched with many precious stones. They had also a garden, the clods of which were made of pieces of fine gold; and it was artificially sown with golden maize, the stalks, as well as the leaves and cobs, being of that metal.”
Spanish conquistador, Cieza de Leon
Ancient Inca Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Ancient Inca across 20in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Ancient Inca worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Inca Empire, also known as the Inka Empire or Incan Empire, which was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political, and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Ancient Inca Facts
- Ruins of Machu Picchu
- Mapping the Inca
- Modern-day Inca
- Pizarro and the Incas
- Photo Vault
- Crossing the Incas
- Behind the Collapse
- Inca Life
- Inca Wonder
- Emperor’s New Groove
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Link will appear as Ancient Inca Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 26, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.