How the Inca adapted and strived in their environment

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Bethany C Brown                                                                12/10/07

Social Studies                                                                       Mr. Sample

How the Inca adapted and prospered in their environment

        Adapting to the environment is one of the biggest factors of a successful culture. A culture can adapt to the environment or can fail and disappear without a trace. One such culture that did not fail but adapted was the Inca. This great culture in South America had a very advanced agricultural system, a very big social and economical society, and a very good understanding of government. The Inca’s were a thriving society over a wide variety of climates and types of land.


        The center of the Inca economy and society was agriculture.  The geography of the Inca kingdom consisted of high mountains, desert, and even a vast rainforests.  However, most of the population lived in the mountains.  One challenge the Inca had to face living in the mountains was altitude. Thin air, steep mountains and freezing nights of the high reaching Andes was challenging.  Another part of the kingdom was at a lower elevation which supplied land for farming.  The Inca conquered these challenging environments by zoning three different areas for raising different crops and livestock. Zone 1 (below 5,000 ft) also called Yunga was for fruit trees which included avocado and limes.   Zone 2 (between 5,000 – 10,000 ft) called Quechua is where the Inca grew food like corn, potatoes, and peanuts.  Zone 3 the highest elevation was was where the Inca raised llamas and alpacas.  They used these animals for wool, food, and as a means for transportation.  Within the three zones elevations the fields or areas were divided into thirds. (1/3 for the gods, 1/3 for nobles and 1/3 for the farmers). They fertilized their soil with guano, which is from bat droppings. The size of the plot for each family depended on how many people were in the family.  

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     In this part of the world there are seasons for growing and harvest.  So the food the Inca’s produced food was stored and sorted using a highly developed system. The Inca’s used certain instruments called “khipus” to keep track of how much food was in each of the storerooms.  Many other cultures like the Chinese have done this with different methods before. Inca’s counters were so beautiful with woodened circles with bright colored strings. Examples of these “khipus” were found in many ruins of the Inca kingdom.

     The tools the Inca’s used for building ...

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