ARKY 357 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Inca Empire, Empire Today, Pachacuti

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The Inca Empire is called Tawantinsuyu which means “The Four Parts Together”
This civilization spanned over 4,000 km in Western South America and was home to more than
10 million inhabitatnts.
This was a place where the living and the mummified rulers fought for authority with one
another, also with the deities of the landscape and the cosmos.
This Empire fell to a small group of Spanish invaders in 1532.
It did not only fall due to Europe’s technological advances; It fell from internal fragility, such as
politics and past war.
Friday, November 15, 1532 – 168 frightened Spaniards walked into the most powerful empire
ever seen in the Americas.
Francisco Pizarro lead the brigade that entered the plaza at Cajamarca (an imperial Inca Center
in the Peruvian highlands)
At this time, the Inca prince, by the name of Atawallpa was completing a fast at the hotsprings of
He had just finished a war over Cuzco’s throne. He also declined to meet his new guests, but
would meet them after a nights rest.
The prince was Pizarro’s prisoner the next evening. The Spaniards spend the next 8 months
taking items and money from the people for Atawallpa’s freedom (A sum of over 50 million)
July 26, 1533. After it was all paid, Pizarro had Atawallpa tried and executed, not listening to the
opinions of some of his members.
Since the Inca Empire was so vast, and powerful, Pizarro thought it was best to decapitate the
state, in hopes that he will stay alive while showing his control.
This decision started the collapse of Tawantinsuyu.
Pachakuti – “Turning over of time and space” Meaning a cataclysmic change of such enormity.
Native chroniclers said that all creation had been wiped out four times in the ancient past, every
thousand years.
It was believed that the man who created the empire took Pachakuti as his title. He was the son
of the Sun, a living deity who remade the world.
Atawallpa closed the war with his half-brother Waskhar. One native account says that the
victorious generals said it was time for another pachakuti.
To make the process go quicker, they murdered Waskhar’s extensive family and many other
royal kin groups who were on his side.
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