Andean Builders Essay

598 WordsDec 15, 20103 Pages
Andean Builders By the time Spanish arrived at the South America, indigenous people were organized in large empires and built large cities, greater than anything Europeans have ever seen before. Unfortunately, blinded by the shining gold, Spanish conquistadors did not see the glory and monumentality of Inca engineering. The largest empire in the New World stayed firm in Andean Mountains and united neighboring communities since its founding around 1200 for more than 300 years. Inca people somehow managed to keep large population and build beautiful cities and fortresses in this harsh area. Elevated thousands of feet above the sea level, dotted with steep mountain peaks, carved with deep valleys and covered in thick vegetation, Andean territories seamed to be the worst place to build even if often earthquakes were not taken to account. Inca capital city, Cuzco, the place where their empire started from, is not only still inhabited, but is a large city visited by numerous tourists. Even though many Inca structures were destroyed during colonial period and the stone from their walls was used for Spanish buildings, there are still many examples of famous Inca architecture. Not far from the city a wall complex of Sacsayhuaman, even though built before Incas but later expanded by them, demonstrates same techniques but on much larger scale. Two other sites, Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo, impress by their locations on top of the mountain. Inca are also credited for building a road system along the west coast of South America. It consisted of a Royal Road, the longest one that went through mountains, a coast road, that ran along the Pacific Ocean coast, and smaller roads that connected the two. Taking building conditions, this road system is comparable to the Roman one in Europe. Since Inca lived in mountainous area, they lacked farming land. As a solution, they built

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