inca road system facts
They had large stone cities, beautiful temples, an advanced government, a detailed tax system, and an intricate road system. Many short rock tunnels and vine-supported suspension bridges were constructed. The rest of the year is dry or even parched from May through September. Life Styles of the Rich and Famous: Luxury and Daily Life in the Households of Machu Picchu's Elite. The stone wall foundations for bridges were built with both rough and dressed stone. The bases were around or a little over 30 feet and almost 10 feet high with a conical thatched roof. Ravines were sometimes crossed by hanging baskets, or oroya, which could span distances of over 50 metres. Some bridges were made of simple logs, while others were built of stone or floating reeds were used in marshy highlands. In Inca society, the mountains were objects of worship; the Incas held many rituals, including the sacrifice of children, goods, and llamas, at the tops of mountains. They belonged to the government. Many new sections were built or upgraded substantially: through Chile's Atacama desert, and along the western margin of Lake Titicaca, as two examples. In desert areas near the coast they built low walls to keep the sand from drifting over the road.[7]:301. El Camino de la Costa, the coastal trail, with a length of 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi), ran parallel to the sea and was linked with the Camino Real by many smaller routes. It went across the Andes mountains and reached heights of over 5,000 m (16,500 feet) above sea level. [14] In addition to high altitude shrines, there were also many holy shrines or religious sites, called wak’a, that were a part of the Zeq’e system along and near the roads. The Camino Real went across the mountain ranges of the Andes, with peak altitudes of more than 5,000 m. El Camino de la Costa, the coastal trail, with a length of 4,000 km (2,420 mi), ran parallel to the sea and was linked with the Camino Real by many smaller routes. The Inca road system covered approximately 22,500 kilometres (14,000 mi) and provided access to over three million km² of territory. While if they were made from wood, they would not have to be replaced for about eight years. The chasqui were known as the runners of the empire. It was about 39,900 kilometres (24,800 mi) long. [1]:242[6]:97 The Incas developed techniques to overcome the difficult territory of the Andes. It is rebuilt every 2 years. [11], Roads, trails, and bridges were essential to the political cohesion of the Inca state and to the redistribution of goods within it. The most important Inca road was the Camino Real, as it is known in Spanish, with a length of 5,200 km (3,230 mi). They were allowed to run on the roads. It required regular infusions of goods and services from Cuzco and other parts of the empire. The rainy season is from December to March. The western route followed the coastal plain not including in coastal deserts where it hugged the foothills. Different organizations such as UNESCO and IUCN have been working to protect the network in collaboration with the governments and communities of the 6 countries through which the Great Inca Road passes. Bridges were sometimes built in pairs" (Wikipedia article on Inca Road System, accessed 07-24-2009). Llamas and alpacas are lightweight animals. "Among the many roads and trails constructed in pre-Columbian South America, the Inca road system, or Qhapaq Ñan was the most extensive and highly advanced for its time. Inca emperors according to Hurin and Hanan dynasties #3 Pachacuti was the first king of the Inca Empire. There were multiple types of bridges used throughout the road system. On steep slopes they built stone steps resembling giant flights of stairs. It began in Quito, Ecuador, passed through Cusco, and ended in what is now Tucumán, Argentina. The eastern route ran high in the puna grasslands and mountain valleys from Quito, Ecuador to Mendoza, Argentina. Messages could be carried by runners covering as much as 240 km (150 mi) per day, working in relay fashion much like the Pony Express of the 1860s in North America. The trails connected the regions of the Inca empire from the northern provincial capital in Quito, Ecuador past the modern city of Santiago, Chile in the south. A bridge across the Apurimac River, west of Cuzco, spanned a distance of 45 meters. The inns provided food, shelter and military supplies to the tens of thousands who traveled the roads. The Inca Empire was connected by its vast road system (running 25,000 miles), which made communication between even far away points possible within days. [7]:312 They were used primarily for the storage of grains and maize. From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core, Schematic overview of the altitude changes. "Because the Incas did not make use of the wheel for transportation, and did not have horses until the arrival of the Spanish in Peru in the 16th century, the trails were used almost exclusively by people walking, sometimes accompanied by pack animals, usually the llama. It was More than twenty routes ran over the western mountains, while others traversed the eastern cordillera in the montana and lowlands. [2]:632 All resources in the empire were the property of the ruling elite, the Inca. It began in Quito, Ecuador, passed through Cusco, and ended in what is now Tucumán, Argentina. It comprised two north-south roads, one running along the coast for about 2,250 miles (3,600 km), the other inland along the Andes for a comparable distance, with many interconnecting links. The Inca Empire was a complex society with an estimated population of 10 million people. Lucy C. Salazar and Richard L. Burger. These roads and all the Inca and pre-Inca infrastructure along them are protected by UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1994. This page was last modified on 21 October 2020, at 21:17. A bridge across the Apurímac River, west of Cuzco, spanned a distance of 45 metres. To deal with this problem the Inca built roads. Some of these roads reach heights of over 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) above sea level. "There were at least 1,000 and perhaps 2,000 way stations or tambos, placed at even intervals along the trails. They were estimated to run as much as 240 kilometers per day. Every ayllu had its own tax collector. The true extent of the road network is not completely known, since the Spaniards, post conquest, either dug up the road completely in some areas, or allowed it to deteriorate and fall into ruin under iron-clad horses' hooves, or the metal wheels of ox-carts.[8]. The only way for the Incas to reach the summits of the mountains for worship was by constructing roads. They also had supplies for the military that were headed into battle. [10]:128, Llamas and alpacas were also used frequently. These were food items had an extremely long expiration date which made them ideal for long term storage for the military[13], To give an example of the degree to which Incas stored supplies, one facility at Huánuco Pampa totaled as much as 37,100 cubic meters and could support a population of between twelve and fifteen thousand people. Chaskis could cover an estimated 240 km per day.

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