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Friday, January 20, 2017

Inca Life and Work

Inca Life and Work
In the center of each Inca city was a main square, with large government buildings all around it. To construct their buildings, Inca workers cut large stone blocks and stacked them to form walls. They fit the blocks so closely that cement was not needed to hold them together.

Many Inca walls still stand in areas where earthquakes have toppled later buildings.
Inside the government buildings nobles and others did many jobs. Accountants kept track of numbers of people and goods in the empire. They also kept lists that told who owed labor taxes and where and when they would work.

Because the Incas did not have hieroglyphics or an alphabet, all this information was stored on groups of colored, knotted strings known as quipus (KEE»pooz). The different-colored knots on the quipus stood for different words or ideas. For example, the color yellow was the word gold. The color white was the word peace.

All the people wore beautiful, finely made clothing. Some of the clothing was made from cotton raised by Inca farmers. Some was woven from yarn made from alpaca hair. Only Inca nobles could own jewelry made of gold or silver.

Away from the busy streets of the city's center were the Inca homes. Three generations of the same family usually lived together. Most people lived in small mud houses with thatched roofs. The richest nobles had their own palaces.

Some Incas worked as craftworkers, traders, or merchants. Most, however, worked on government-owned farms.

What were some of the jobs in Inca society?


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