Inca Empire

The Inca Empire at its greatest extent c. 1525
Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo, children of the Inti
Manco Cápac, First Inca, 1 of 14 Portraits of Inca Kings, Probably mid-18th century. Oil on canvas. Brooklyn Museum
Inca expansion (1438–1533)
The first image of the Inca in Europe, Pedro Cieza de León, Crónica del Perú, 1553
Atahualpa, the last Sapa Inca of the empire, was executed by the Spanish on 29 August 1533
View of Machu Picchu
Sacsayhuamán, the Inca stronghold of Cusco
"The Maiden", one of the Llullaillaco mummies. Inca human sacrifice, Salta province (Argentina).
Diorite Inca sculpture from Amarucancha
Illustration of Inca farmers using a chakitaqlla (Andean foot plough)
Inti, as represented by José Bernardo de Tagle of Peru
The four suyus or quarters of the empire.
Inca tunic
Tokapu. Textiles worn by the Inca elite consisting of geometric figures enclosed by rectangles or squares. There is evidence that the designs were an ideographic language
Quipu, 15th century. Brooklyn Museum
Inca Tunic, 15th-16th Century
Camelid Conopa, 1470–1532, Brooklyn Museum, Small stone figurines, or conopas, of llamas and alpacas were the most common ritual effigies used in the highlands of Peru and Bolivia. These devotional objects were often buried in the animals' corrals to bring protection and prosperity to their owners and fertility to the herds. The cylindrical cavities in their backs were filled with offerings to the gods in the form of a mixture including animal fat, coca leaves, maize kernels and seashells.
Coca leaves
The Battle of the Maule between the Incas (right) and the Mapuches (left)

The largest empire in pre-Columbian America.

- Inca Empire

500 related topics


Quechuan languages

Indigenous language family spoken by the Quechua peoples, primarily living in the Peruvian Andes.

Map of Peru showing the distribution of overall Quechua speakers by district
The four branches of Quechua: I (Central), II-A (North Peruvian), II-B (Northern), II-C (Southern)
Vocabulary of the general language of the Indians of Peru, called Quichua (1560). From Domingo de Santo Tomás the first writer in Quechua.
Geographical distribution of Quechua languages by official status
Act of Argentine Independence, written in Spanish and Quechua (1816)

It is perhaps most widely known for being the main language family of the Inca Empire.


Country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west.

Tumaco-La Tolita mythological figure in feathered costume. Between 100 BC and 100 AD. Found in Esmeraldas
Ruins of Ingapirca, this site served as an outpost and provisioning of the Incan troops, but mainly it was a place of worship and veneration to the sun, the supreme Inca God, thus constituting a Coricancha, dedicated to the Inca ritual.
Pre-Columbian shrunken head of the Shuars (Jivaroan peoples).
Major square of Quito. Painting of 18th century. Quito Painting Colonial School.
Venezuelan independence leader Antonio José de Sucre
The "Guayaquil Conference" was the meeting between the two main Spanish South American independence leaders. In it the form of government of the nascent countries was discussed, San Martín opted for a unified South America in the form of a monarchy, while Bolívar opted for the same but into a republic. 1843 painting.
Antique dug out canoes in the courtyard of the Old Military Hospital in the Historic Center of Quito
Map of the former Gran Colombia in 1824 (named in its time as Colombia), the Gran Colombia covered all the colored region.
Ecuador in 1832
South America (1879): All land claims by Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia in 1879
Map of Ecuadorian land claims after 1916
Ecuadorian troops during the Cenepa War
The Mirage F.1JA (FAE-806) was one aircraft involved in the claimed shooting down of two Peruvian Sukhoi Su-22 on 10 February 1995.
President Lenín Moreno, first lady Rocío González Navas and his predecessor Rafael Correa, 3 April 2017
Palacio de Carondelet, the executive branch of the Ecuadorian Government
Adult Galápagos sea lion resting on a park bench in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 20 July 2019
Map of Ecuador
Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE)
Ecuadorian topography
A view of the Cotopaxi volcano, in Cotopaxi Province
Birds in the Yasuni National Park
Baños de Agua Santa is an important tourist site
Ecuador is one of the most megadiverse countries in the world, it also has the most biodiversity per square kilometer of any nation, and is one of the highest endemism worldwide. In the image, the spectacled bear of the Andes.
Amazon rainforest in Ecuador
A proportional representation of Ecuador exports, 2019
GDP per capita development of Ecuador
The United States dollar is the common currency circulation in Ecuador
World Trade Center headquarters in Guayaquil
EXA's first satellite, NEE-01 Pegasus
The historic center of Quito has one of the largest and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas. The city also houses a large number of museums.
The Trolebús bus rapid transit system that runs through Quito. It is the principal BRT in Ecuador.
Railways in Ecuador (interactive map)
Population pyramid in 2020
IESS Hospital in Latacunga
The oldest observatory in South America is the Quito Astronomical Observatory, founded in 1873 and located in Quito, Ecuador. The Quito Astronomical Observatory is managed by the National Polytechnic School.
Cañari children with the typical Andean indigenous clothes
Huaorani man with the typical Amazonian indigenous clothes
Juan Montalvo

The territories of modern-day Ecuador were once home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century.


Country in western South America.

Remains of a Caral/Norte Chico pyramid in the arid Supe Valley
Moche earrings depicting warriors, made of turquoise and gold (1–800 CE)
The citadel of Machu Picchu, an iconic symbol of pre-Columbian Peru
Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire
Main façade of the Lima Metropolitan Cathedral and the Archbishop's palace, Lima
The Battle of Ayacucho was decisive in ensuring Peruvian independence.
The Battle of Angamos, during the War of the Pacific.
Areas where the Shining Path was active in Peru.
Palacio de Gobierno, in Lima
The Congress of Peru, in Lima
A map of Peru's region and departments
The headquarters of the Andean Community is located in Lima
Peruvian marines in the VRAEM in 2019
Map of Köppen climate classification zones in Peru
Andean cock-of-the-rock, Peru's national bird
Real GDP per capita development of Peru
A proportional representation of Peru exports, 2019
Casa de Osambela, headquarters of the Academia Peruana de la Lengua (APL) in Lima
Quri Kancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo, Cusco
National University of San Marcos, Lima
Moche Nariguera depicting the Decapitator, gold with turquoise and chrysocolla inlays. Museo del Oro del Peru, Lima
'Quipus' were recording devices fashioned from strings historically used by a number of cultures in the region of Andean South America.
Saint Joseph and the Christ Child, Anonymous, Colonial Cusco Painting School, 17th–18th century
Ceviche is a popular lime-marinated seafood dish which originated in Peru.
Marinera Norteña

Notable pre-colonial cultures and civilizations include the Caral-Supe civilization (the earliest civilization in the Americas and considered one of the cradles of civilization,) the Nazca culture, the Wari and Tiwanaku empires, the Kingdom of Cusco and the Inca Empire, the largest known state in the pre-Columbian Americas.


Country in the southern half of South America.

The surrender of Beresford to Santiago de Liniers during the British invasions of the Río de la Plata
Portrait of General José de San Martin, Libertador of Argentina, Chile and Peru.
People gathered in front of the Buenos Aires Cabildo during the May Revolution
Julio Argentino Roca was a major figure of the Generation of '80 and is known for directing the "Conquest of the Desert". During his two terms as President many changes occurred, particularly major infrastructure projects of railroads; large-scale immigration from Europe and laicizing legislation strengthening state power.
Official presidential portrait of Juan Perón and his wife Eva Perón, 1948
Admiral Emilio Massera, Lieutenant General Jorge Videla and Brigadier General Orlando Agosti (from left to right) – observing the Independence Day military parade on Avenida del Libertador, 9 July 1978.
Two members of the Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers guarding the Constitution of the Argentine Nation inside the Palace of the Congress.
Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia, at 6960.8 m, and the highest point in the Southern Hemisphere.
The national animal of Argentina is the Rufous hornero, a small songbird native to South America
Argentina features geographical locations such as this glacier, known as the Perito Moreno Glacier
Casa Rosada, workplace of the President
The National Congress composed of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
Provinces of Argentina.
G 20 leaders gathered in Argentina for the 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit.
Diplomatic missions of Argentina.
Argentine destroyer ARA Almirante Brown (D-10)
A proportional representation of Argentina exports, 2019
The Catalinas Norte is an important business complex composed of nineteen commercial office buildings and occupied by numerous leading Argentine companies.
Atucha Nuclear Power Plant was the first nuclear power plant in Latin America. The electricity comes from 3 operational nuclear reactors: The Embalse Nuclear Power Station, the Atucha I and II.
Buenos Aires Underground is the oldest underground railway in Latin America, the Southern Hemisphere and the Spanish speaking world.
"Estudio País 24, the Program of the Argentines" in Channel 7, the first television station in the country
SAC-D is an Argentine earth science satellite built by INVAP and launched in 2011.
President Macri in the INVAP with the SAOCOM A and B, two planned Earth observation satellite constellation of Argentine Space Agency CONAE. the scheduled launch dates for 1A and 1B were further pushed back to 2018 and 2020.
The cacique Qom Félix Díaz meets with then president Mauricio Macri.
Over 25 million Argentines have at least one Italian immigrant ancestor.
Dialectal variants of the Spanish language in Argentina
Francis, the first pope from the Americas, was born and raised in Argentina.
Argentina has historically been placed high in the global rankings of literacy, with rates similar to those of developed countries.
The University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine, alma mater to many of the country's 3,000 medical graduates, annually
El Ateneo Grand Splendid was named the second most beautiful bookshop in the world by The Guardian.
Sun of May on the first Argentine coin, 1813
Four of the most influential Argentine writers. Top-left to bottom-right: Julio Cortázar, Victoria Ocampo, Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares
Martha Argerich, widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the second half of the 20th century
Andy Muschietti, director of It, the highest-grossing horror film of all-time.
Las Nereidas Font by Lola Mora
View of Bolívar Street facing the Cabildo and Diagonal Norte, on Buenos Aires' historical centre. The city's characteristic convergence of diverse architectural styles can be seen, including Spanish Colonial, Beaux-Arts, and modernist architecture.
Diego Maradona, one of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century
Lionel Messi, seven times Ballon d'Or winner, is the current captain of the Argentina national football team.
Argentine beef as asado, a traditional dish
The Cave of the Hands in Santa Cruz province, with artwork dating from 13,000 to 9,000 years ago.
Juan Perón and his wife Eva Perón, 1947
Civilian casualties after the air attack and massacre on Plaza de Mayo, June 1955
Juan Perón and his wife Isabel Perón, 1973
Argentinians soldiers during the Falklands War
Néstor Kirchner and his wife and political successor, Cristina Kirchner
Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia, at 6960.8 m, and the highest point in the Southern Hemisphere.
Argentina map of Köppen climate classification
Casa Rosada, workplace of the President
The National Congress composed of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
Provinces of Argentina
Lockheed Martin A-4AR Fightinghawk operated by the Argentine Air Force
Fiat factory in Córdoba, Argentina
Rosario-Córdoba Highway
Passenger train near Mar del Plata
Argentine provinces by population (2010)
Faculty of Law of the University of Buenos Aires
Argentine beef as asado

The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times.

Sapa Inca

Statue of the Sapa Inca Pachacuti wearing the Mascapaicha (imperial crown), in the main square of Aguas Calientes, Peru
Tokapu or symbolic motif thought by Victoria de La Jara to represent the meaning of Sapa Inca (first row, first from the left).

The Sapa Inca (from Quechua Sapa Inka "the only Inca") was the Emperor of the Inca Empire (Tawantinsuyu), as well as ruler of the earlier Kingdom of Cusco and the later Neo-Inca State.


Capital city of Ayacucho Region and of Huamanga Province, Ayacucho Region, Peru.

Cathedral of Vilcashuaman, built on the remains of an Inca temple located in a town near Ayacucho.
Arch of the triumph and San Francisco de Asís church.
Mariscal Sucre Monument in the Plaza Mayor de Ayacucho.
A Peruvian retablo piece of art from Ayacucho.
Art from Ayacucho called Huamanga Stone.
A map of Ayacucho in 1865, Spanish language edition

During the Inca Empire and Viceroyalty of Peru periods the city was known by the name of Huamanga (Quechua: Wamanga), and it continues to be the alternative name of the city.

Lake Titicaca

Large, deep, freshwater lake in the Andes on the border of Bolivia and Peru, often called the "highest navigable lake" in the world.

View of the lake from Isla del Sol
A view of Lake Titicaca taken from the city of Puno
A reed boat on Lake Titicaca
Two Telmatobius species occur in the lake, the smaller, more coastal marbled water frog (pictured, at Isla del Sol) and the larger, more deep-water Titicaca water frog.
Andean coot among totora sedges
View from Sentinel-2 satellite in 2020
Raft of totora on Lake Titicaca in the Isla del Sol (Bolivia)
Amantani island as seen from Taquile island
Taquile Island
Copacabana, Bolivia
Isla de la Luna and Cordillera Real
Chelleca island on the Bolivian side
Amantani Island – Peru: In the background is the Capachica Peninsula.
SS Yavari in Puno, 2002

Other cultures lived on Lake Titicaca prior to the arrival of the Incas.

Solar deity

Sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it.

A solar representation on an anthropomorphic stele dated from the time period between the Copper Age and the Early Bronze Age, discovered during an archaeological excavation on the Rocher des Doms, Avignon.
Ra, ancient Egyptian god of the sun and king of the gods
Ra in his barque
The Trundholm sun chariot
Goddess Amaterasu
The warrior goddess Sekhmet, shown with her sun disk and cobra crown.
The halo of Jesus, seen in many paintings, has similarities to a parhelion.
Mosaic of Christ as Sol or Apollo-Helios in Mausoleum M in the pre-4th-century necropolis beneath St. Peter's in the Vatican, which many interpret as representing Christ
Mosaic in the Beth Alpha synagogue, with the Sun represented in the center, surrounded by the twelve zodiac constellations and with the four seasons associated inaccurately with the constellations
The Hindu solar deity Surya being driven across the sky in his chariot
Isis, bearing her solar disk and horns nurses her infant, Horus
The winged sun was an ancient (3rd millennium BC) symbol of Horus, later identified with Ra
Taiyang Shen, the Chinese solar deity
Statue of the sun goddess Xihe charioteering the sun, being pulled by a dragon, in Hangzhou
Sun and Immortal Birds Gold Ornament by ancient Shu people. The center is a sun pattern with twelve points around which four birds fly in the same counterclockwise direction, Shang dynasty

Similarly, South American cultures have a tradition of Sun worship as with the Incan Inti.

Spanish Empire

Colonial empire governed by Spain and its predecessor states between 1492 and 1976.

All areas of the world that were ever part of the Spanish Empire
Crowns and Kingdoms of the Catholic Monarchs in Europe (1500)
The Capitulation of Granada by F. Pradilla: Muhammad XII (Boabdil) surrenders to Ferdinand and Isabella.
El gran capitán at the Battle of Cerignola.
The conquest of the Canary Islands (1402–1496)
Iberian 'mare clausum' in the Age of Discovery
Monument to Columbus, Statue commemorating New World discoveries. Western façade of monument. Isabella at the center, Columbus on the left, a cross on her right. Plaza de Colón, Madrid (1881–85)
The return of Columbus, 1493
Castile and Portugal divided the world in The Treaty of Tordesillas.
Iberian-born pope Alexander VI promulgated bulls that invested the Spanish monarchs with ecclesiastical power in the newly found lands overseas.
Ferdinand the Catholic points across the Atlantic to the landing of Columbus, with naked natives. Frontispiece of Giuliano Dati's Lettera, 1493.
Columbus landing in 1492 planting the flag of Spain, by John Vanderlyn
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Founded in 1502, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the New World.
Cumaná, Venezuela. Founded in 1510, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European city in the continental Americas.
Battle of Vega Real (1494)
Spanish territories in the New World around 1515
Approximate reconstruction of the route of Juan Ponce de León on his voyage of discovery of Florida (1513)
Cerro de Potosí, discovered in 1545, the rich, sole source of silver from Peru, worked by compulsory indigenous labor called mit'a
Main trade routes of the Spanish Empire
Spanish galleon, the mainstay of transatlantic and transpacific shipping, engraving by Albert Durer
Cover of the English translation of the Asiento contract signed by Britain and Spain in 1713 as part of the Utrecht treaty that ended the War of Spanish Succession. The contract broke the monopoly of Spanish slave traders to sell slaves in Spanish America
Philip V of Spain (r. 1700–1746), the first Spanish monarch of the House of Bourbon.
Representation of the two powers, church and state, symbolized by the altar and the throne, with the presence of the king Charles III and the Pope Clement XIV, seconded by the Viceroy, Antonio Bucareli, and the Archbishop of Mexico, Alonso Núñez de Haro, respectively, before the Virgin Mary. "Glorification of the Immaculate Conception".
San Felipe de Barajas Fortress Cartagena de Indias. In 1741, the Spanish repulsed a British attack on this fortress in present-day Colombia in the Battle of Cartagena de Indias.
Portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by Friedrich Georg Weitsch, 1806
Spanish expedition to Oran (1732)
Battle of Cartagena de Indias (1741). Spain managed to defeat Britain and inflict heavy casualties.
Painting of Bernardo de Gálvez at the Siege of Pensacola (1781) during the American War of Independence. Gálvez cleared the south part of the United States of the British fortresses
Spanish and Portuguese empires in 1790.
Spanish territorial claims on the West Coast of North America in the 18th century, contested by the Russians and the British. Most of what Spain claimed in Nootka was not directly occupied or controlled.
Spanish Empire in 1790. In North America, Spain claimed lands west of the Mississippi River and the Pacific coast from California to Alaska, but it did not control them on the ground. The crown constructed missions and presidios in coastal California and sent maritime expeditions to the Pacific Northwest to assert sovereignty.
Churruca's Death, oil on canvas about the Battle of Trafalgar by Eugenio Álvarez Dumont, Prado Museum.
Spanish Constitution of 1812 enacted by the Cortes of Cádiz
The Americas towards the year 1800, the colored territories were considered provinces in some maps of the Spanish Empire.
Spanish troops routing Dominican rebels at Monte Cristi
The explosion of the USS Maine (ACR-1) in Havana Harbor led to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence
Filipino soldiers during the near end of the Revolution
The Spanish Empire in 1898
A map of Equatorial Guinea
General Prim at the Battle of Tétouan
Spanish officers in Africa in 1920
Morocco and Spanish territories
Villa de Leyva, Colombia plaza de armas. Spain impregnate its public square style in present-day Hispanic America.
Roof tiles are a common Hispanic American architectural element because Spanish colonization. Hospital Escuela Eva Perón in Granadero Baigorria, Santa Fe, Argentina.
A photo of Cathedral of Mexico City, it is one of the largest cathedrals in Americas, built on the ruins of the Aztec main square.
Detail of a Mural by Diego Rivera at the National Palace of Mexico showing the ethnic differences between Agustín de Iturbide, a criollo, and the multiracial Mexican court

In the 16th century, it conquered and incorporated the Aztec (1519–1521) and Inca (1532–1572) empires, retaining indigenous elites loyal to the Spanish crown and converts to Christianity as intermediaries between their communities and royal government.

Inca road system

The most extensive and advanced transportation system in pre-Columbian South America.

Road system of the Inca Empire
Cusco, Peru - plaque indicating the 4 directions of the 4 regions (suyus) of the Inca Empire
A view of the Inca road climbing a hillside at the Mosollaqta lake, Peru
The Inca road bordering the Titicaca lake seen from the mirador of Chucuito, Peru.
The Inca coastal road at the Pachacamac Sanctuary
Manager of the Inca bridges
Manager of the royal roads
An apacheta in the southern part of the Inca road system in the current province of Salta, Argentina
A typical example of an Inca suspension (catenary) bridge on the Apurimac River near Huinchiri, Peru
A sketch of the rumichaka in the Tarija region, Bolivia
An "oroya" or basket to cross rivers. watercolor on paper portrayed in the Lima "MALI" museum, Anonymous - public domain
Enroute to Machu Picchu on an Inca road.

The road system allowed for the transfer of information, goods, soldiers and persons, without the use of wheels, within the Tawantinsuyu or Inca Empire throughout a territory with an extension was almost 2,000,000 km2 and inhabited by about 12 million people.