Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Mexico Peru Conquistadors Amazonia North America
Start the Adventure
Timeline
Journal
What do you Think
Teaching Guide
About the Site
Sponsored by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
Growth of the Inca Empire
Cuzco, the "Navel of the Earth"

The Inca Empire was governed smoothly and efficiently from Cuzco. Rebuilt during the reign of Pachacuti in the shape of a crouching puma (mountain lion), Cuzco was designed to symbolize strength and power. Only the highest nobles and priests were allowed to live there.

Keeping Government Records

The Incas used quipu to keep official government records without a writing system. A quipu was a string of colored, knotted strings that could record population, number of troops, crop yields, size of animal herds, etc.

The colors of the strings stood for whatever was being counted – for example, red string for number of warriors and yellow string for corn. Each quipu was different and was only meaningful to the person who was trained to make and interpret it.   [more]
Temples of Cuzco
Temples of Cuzco
Quipus
Quipus