The Inca: Masters of the clouds

The Inca empire is one of the most intriguing empires in the world.

The wonderful site of Machu Picchu has long captured the imagination of the public by allowing a glimpse into the great power and splendour of this once mighty empire. However, to truly understand the nature of Inca power and learn how an empire of 10 million inhabitants was created so quickly, we must journey away from its famous sites. It is the wonderful objects the Inca left behind and the spectacular stories they tell that reveal how the Inca used skilful diplomacy, developed highly efficient administration, practiced religious tolerance and harnessed the advantage of the empire’s great size to create and maintain their world. In fact, we could learn a thing or two about the true nature of Power and Empire from the Inca.

Share this page

  • Miniature llama
  • Drinking cup
  • Gold beaker

Objects from the Inca: miniature llama, drinking cup (or kero), gold beaker.

More about the Inca

Foundations of Inca power

Cotton Quipu

Innovations in agriculture, administration, and politics were the secrets of Inca success.

More about the foundations of Inca power 

Clash of empires

Copper knife

Why did the Incan empire crumble so quickly after the arrival of Europeans in AD 1532?

More about the clash of empires