WorldHistory: Aztec and Inca Empires
The Aztec and Inca empires leave a lot of questions toanthropologists because of their high levels of civilization, vastwealth, and development in the ancient days. Their works in the olderdays had such a great impact that the current economies are stillcompared to them as it appears in the following quote Carlos Fuentes:“The Mexicans descended from the Aztecs the Peruvians descendedfrom the Incas the Argentineans descended from the boats”(Hawn, 17). The Aztec resided in the Mexico valley from early 13thCentury to 1520s while the Inca lived in the Andes Mountain from 1438to 1533.
While the Aztec was ruled by a king, the Inca was ruled by anemperor. However, both the king and the emperor had considerablepower and influence over the people (Collier et al., 118).They were highly adored. The Inca had gone to the extent ofworshiping their emperor as a god while the Aztec strongly believedthat their king had a considerable connection with the sun god.Aztec’s government structure had been decentralized to aconsiderable extent while that of the Inca was highly centralized.
Moreover, the two economies were similar in that they were bothdependent on agriculture. Markets were only found in cities in bothcases. Aztec relied on extensive slave labor in farming while theInca stressed on self-sufficient communal farming. While the mainmetric for wealth in the Aztec empire was military strength andability to control others, the main metrics for the Inca was gold andsilver (Cartwright, 4). Both economies were, however, moneyless andtaxes were collected in form goods, food and services.
The main elements of the Aztec’s culture included a strong desirefor discovery and science, arts and writing and literature. Among themain scientific achievements include their ability to create floatinggardens. The Aztecs artistic tradition comprised of architecture,sculpture, and jewelry. They also had a complex writing anddocumentation system known as a codex (Cartwright, 2). Incas, on theother hand, had strong traditions art, building, and storytelling.Their culture was, therefore, comprised of the development of massivebuildings, crafting of jewelry that was mainly offered to the sun godand writing stories, songs, and poems. Unlike the Aztecs, they had adifferent writing and documentation system known as the quipus.
The ability of these two empires to transform their uncivilized andunderdeveloped world to a developed and civilized world with lowtechnology creates a major quagmire to anthropologists and otherpersons of interest. They were able to commence and complete greattrade deals, construct massive buildings with huge blocks, run amoneyless government and strictly follow sophisticated documentationsystems amongst other things.
Cartwright, Mark. "Inca Government". Ancient HistoryEncyclopedia. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.
Collier, George Allen, Renato Rosaldo, and John D. Wirth. The Incaand Aztec states, 1400-1800: anthropology and history. AcademicPr, 2012.
Hawn, Michael. Gather into one: praying and singing globally.Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2013.