Lecture 14. Tahuantinsuyo: The Inka Empire

created by:

Ana María León

from the module:

The American Continuum

This lecture discusses the interrelation of material and beliefs in the architecture and culture of the Inka Empire, which we should properly call by its name, the Tahuantinsuyo. We will start first with their coastal neighbors, the Chimu, and their adobe city of Chan Chán. The tall walls of Chan Chán were intricately carved and remind us the presence of multiple cultures throughout the western coast of South America. They were eventually subsumed by the Inkas, whose political strategy involved architecture! We then climb up the Andes to explore the land of the Inka, and their mastery of earth, water, and stone as interrelated sacred materials. Although each of these sites used all these elements, in order to show you several sites we will only focus on one aspect in each one. We will look at the agricultural terracing of Moray, the waterworks in Ollantaytambo, the stonework in Cusco, and finally bring it all together in Machu Picchu.

supporting documents:


Quiz with Answers

Lecture Notes