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32 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the Incan Empire use iron?

Iron is not "mined" in its native form. The ores of iron, such as hematite, are oxides which are plentiful and can even be collected right off the surface of the earth with no mining involved at all. ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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27 votes

Did any European ever witness a major Inca religious festival?

Garcilaso de la Vega, a Spanish-Peruvian chronicler in the Viceroyalty of Peru(then Spanish-held) recounted several aspects of Incan life and tradition. His most famous works include Historia de la ...
AeroFighter76's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

Did any European ever witness a major Inca religious festival?

Cristóbal de Molina, a young Spanish priest, witnesses in 1535 the Inca celebration of the maize harvest: On a platform Indians were throwing meats into a great fire. At another place the Inca ...
George A. Solodun's user avatar
17 votes

If he was garroted, why do depictions show Atahualpa being burned at stake?

He was garroted then burned. From Narrative of the Incas, Since the marquis was now determined to kill him, he ordered that the sentence be read and that they take him out to be burned. So they took ...
CDR's user avatar
  • 987
11 votes

Did the Inca Empire know about the Polynesians, or vice versa?

Thor Heyerdahl proved it was possible with the Kon-tiki raft to sail from South America to Polynesia. Later he did a similar experiment to see if Egyptians could have crossed the Atlantic with boats ...
Jos's user avatar
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11 votes

Why didn't the Incan Empire use iron?

The reason is the same for which the Bronze Age existed in Europe and elsewhere. People knew how to make copper and bronze but did not know how to make iron. So there is nothing special about ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
8 votes

Did the Inca Empire know about the Polynesians, or vice versa?

This article by Paul Wallin in Nature, July 2020, explains a recent paper by Ioannidis et al. Their genetic study makes the case that South Americans did sail to the Marquesas Islands in the late 12th ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 5,875
8 votes

Given that there were there larger, more organised civilisations in South America compared to NA, why did they not colonise North America themselves?

It wasn't worth the effort This comes close to the question why the Roman Empire didn't take over Ireland or Germany: there was nothing there that warranted the effort; the costs would be prohibitive. ...
Jos's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Why were northern Native Americans less urban than central or southern?

If we look at the rest of the world, it seems city building civilizations require large population growth which is sustainable through farming. Quite simply, if you can't feed a city, the city will ...
Peter's user avatar
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8 votes

Was there contact between the Inca, Maya and Aztecs?

Aztecs did know about Mayas but the Mayan civilization was already dead. But of course, they did traded with its descendants - even prehistoric men traded with their neighbours. And no direct contacts ...
Gangnus's user avatar
  • 7,122
8 votes

Did the Inca Empire know about the Polynesians, or vice versa?

This is unproven. There are several major claims of possible prehistoric contact between Polynesians and the Americas. The Polynesian culture was the more maritime one. It reached as far as Easter ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
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7 votes

Was there contact between the Inca, Maya and Aztecs?

This article on Pre-Columbian Trade by Chester S. Chard would suggest they did. For instance: There is no evidence that Maya traders themselves reached the highlands of Mexico; they traded their ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
6 votes

Is there any short summary of John Rowe's theory of horizons about the Incas?

You might want to go to the source of this theory as presented in the article Absolute Chronology in the Andean Area American Antiquity, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Jan., 1945), pp. 265-284. This only forms the ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
5 votes

Given that there were there larger, more organised civilisations in South America compared to NA, why did they not colonise North America themselves?

'Why didn't X happen?' questions are inherently speculative, so in that spirit, here's my wild, uninformed speculations... Logistics For Central American states, invading North America would mean ...
JayFor's user avatar
  • 929
5 votes

Did the Incas think Spanish helmets were cooking pots?

It seems highly unlikely. The second part of the Guns, Germs and steel, featuring Efrain Trelles, that you mentioned in the question is currently available to view on YouTube. A transcript is also ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
4 votes

Why was Ruminawi not eligible to the throne?

I would suggest that he was not chosen, not due to his status, but due to the politics favoring Atahualpa. The link you provided on the princess/consort Paccha Duchicela states: Her rights to the ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 39.1k
3 votes

Is this alphabet from tawantinsuyu or is it a modern invention (from the latter centuries)?

Any present-tense questions you have probably should be asked on the linguistic stack. I can tell you that historically the language was not written, and according to Wikipedia most speakers even ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
2 votes
Accepted

Were pre-columbian peoples aware of "America" as a three parts continent?

The answer is Yes. One example would be the Chimu civilization (circa 900 CE–1470 CE), a civilization predating the height of the Inca Empire and centered further north had extensive, durable contacts ...
James's user avatar
  • 2,620
2 votes

How were the Incas able to build such great works of architecture without using mortar?

Dry stone constructs required careful work and clever design, but most construction was done in adobe and fieldstone-and-mortar. As to how the Incan architects could build without mortar -- they didn'...
Plumbing for Ankit's user avatar
2 votes

Why were the Maya's cities abandoned?

It appears that the real demise of the Mayan Empire was a number of factors, including drought, warfare, and disease. NASA archaeologist Tom Sever used satellite images combined with archeological ...
George A. Solodun's user avatar
1 vote

Was there contact between the Inca, Maya and Aztecs?

The Aztecs and the Mayas did know about each other. After all, they were right next to each other. But I don't think there is any evidence that one of those two civilizations met the Incas. Probably ...
DeveloperOfDreams's user avatar

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