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The greatest mystery of the Inca Empire was its strange economy

 
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08/26/2013 10:58 PM
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The greatest mystery of the Inca Empire was its strange economy
In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Inca Empire was the largest South America had ever known. Rich in foodstuffs, textiles, gold, and coca, the Inca were masters of city building but nevertheless had no money. In fact, they had no marketplaces at all.



Centered in Peru, Inca territory stretched across the Andes' mountain tops and down to the shoreline, incorporating lands from today's Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Peru - all connected by a vast highway system whose complexity rivaled any in the Old World. The Inca Empire may be the only advanced civilization in history to have no class of traders, and no commerce of any kind within its boundaries. How did they do it?

Many aspects of Incan life remain mysterious, in part because our accounts of Incan life come from the Spanish invaders who effectively wiped them out. Famously, the conquistador Francisco Pizzaro led just a few men in an incredible defeat of the Incan army in Peru in 1532. But the real blow came roughly a decade before that, when European invaders unwittingly unleashed a smallpox epidemic that some epidemiologists believe may have killed as many as 90 percent of the Incan people. Our knowledge of these events, and our understanding of Incan culture of that era, come from just a few observers - mostly Spanish missionaries, and one mestizo priest and Inca historian named Blas Valera, who was born in Peru two decades after the fall of the Inca Empire.


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08/26/2013 11:13 PM
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Re: The greatest mystery of the Inca Empire was its strange economy
I'm not quite sure if the word 'economy' is accurate?
But for an Empire to evolve that rapidly they hit on something. Cover the needs and let the wants express themselves. Quite brilliant really.
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08/26/2013 11:26 PM

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Re: The greatest mystery of the Inca Empire was its strange economy
I sometimes justify my fabric collecting and hoarding by the fact that textiles were used as money in the Inca Empire, or so I've heard. I read that the villages were assessed taxes in the form of woven lengths of fabric that they had to supply to the Incas, and that were kept in storehouses along the royal processional road.
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01/08/2014 06:46 AM
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Re: The greatest mystery of the Inca Empire was its strange economy
In some part of Peru the "trueque" system (exchanging goods) is still visible in markets.
People don't know too much about Peru, in this very forum there's a thread about the legend of the inca mixed with a comet and constellations, then with a combo of Cherokee prophecies and a bit of Mayan, crop signs... mix all in the blender and they created mushed potatoes stuff. The level of ignorance is such that they did incredible rating, I think it does more than 12 pages already and not even the poster who thanks the "words of wisdom" given to him though was the work of somebody else's.... nobody so far corrected that the one who wrote about Cherokee prophecy mentioned KUKULCAN OR QUETZALCOATL IN SOUTH AMERICA which means all those posters and readers still don't have any idea of characters, Quetzalcoatl from CENTRAL AMERICA and Viracocha from South America.

I guess this is the sort of people who watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and swallow the idea the MEXICAN REVOLUTIONARY BANDIDO PANCHO VILLA spoke Quechua which was the language of the Incas and is still spoken in Peru by a vast amount of people.

The economy demanded people to do some labour for a number of years. It worked but the system was not a Paradise for the families either.
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01/08/2014 06:49 AM
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Re: The greatest mystery of the Inca Empire was its strange economy
BTW, Mayans spoke ´Quiché while Incas spoke Quechua and there's no relationship at all between them.
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04/25/2017 10:35 AM
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Re: The greatest mystery of the Inca Empire was its strange economy
I'm pretty sure they did but the Spanish destroy the evidence. How on Earth could the Spanish find their civilization in the jungle? The Spanish traded blankets infected with the flu with another item in Inca market. The flu killed the majority of the Inca people. It was biological warfare. Then the Spanish came and enslaved the survivors. They took all their gold, silk, etc. and destroy a lot of the civilization evidence ever existed. Some of the South Americans and Central Americans have Inca or Aztec blood with their Spanish DNA. Inca and Aztecs suffered from war, disease and starvation just like the Native Americans when they were invaded by the Spanish. And it wasn't just the Spanish invading these civilizations but Vikings and Arab Moors.





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