The Inca Indians were an indigenous group in what is now Peru. They created a highly advanced civilization for its day and had a complex and rich culture. Many important discoveries in medicine and science were made by the Incas, and their agricultural techniques made the cultivation of food much easier than it had been for other civilizations in the past. The architecture and arts of the Inca Indians were equally spectacular and continue to fascinate people to this day.
While it is uncertain exactly how the Inca civilization began, it is known that Manco Capac was the founder and brought the first Inca Indians into Peru. He set up the beginnings of the culture in Cuzco in the 12th century AD. In 1438, Sapa Inca Pachacuti conquered the land that is now modern-day southern Peru. Included in this was Cuzco, which was made capital of the new empire. Pachacuti built the great Machu Picchum, which stands today, during his reign. As time went on, the civilization expanded by offering gifts to nearby territories that would peacefully join the Incas, and by warring with those that would not. Spanish conquistadors arrived in South America in the 1500s and began wiping out the Incas and taking their land. In 1572, the last of the Incas were found and their leader was executed.
The Inca Indians started out occupying the south of modern-day Peru, around the capital of Cuzco. They spread into northern Peru and areas north that make up Ecuador today. Their next leader took them south, always traveling the coast line of South America, until the Empire stretched from what is now Ecuador to the modern-day tip of Chile and east into Bolivia and Argentina. The final leader of the Inca Indians added little territory to what they already had and merely fleshed out areas in Peru and Ecuador.
The Incas took over Cuzco from its first inhabitants in 1438. Pachacuti, their leader at the time, reigned until 1463. He was replaced by Tupac Inca, who was leader of the Indians from 1463 until 1493. At this time, the mantle of chief was passed on to Tupac Inca’s son, Huayna Capac. He would last for 35 years, until 1525. This is when the Indians scattered to remote areas of South America to flee conquistadors. The small groups were finally wiped out in 1572.
The Inca Indians affected future civilizations in South America because of their advanced technologies. They have also affected present times by leaving behind artifacts and architecture that have stunned the world. Their advanced agricultural techniques allowed invaders to gain knowledge on how to grow regional crops and therefore advance their own cities and towns. They also left behind great buildings, such as Machu Picchu, which stands today and gives Peru a unique feature to share with the world.
The Inca Indians are significant to the history and the lands of South America, as well as to the world. They offered many technologies in medicine, including the first use of skull surgery, which has shown that even ancient races were able to create grand achievements in science. They were also able to create a bronze alloy that was unlike anything seen in more advanced civilizations in Europe and which helped them fight off Spanish conquistadors. These things, as well as the cities they set up, would be footholds for Spanish conquerors who would eventually shape many parts of the modern world.