The Rise and Fall of the Inca Empire

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Visitors to Machu Picchu, especially those who hike the 1,600 feet and climb the over 3,000 steps, are forced to consider how the Incas constructed this engineering marvel without the benefit of iron tools or wheeled carts. Introduce young historians to this remarkable culture with a short video that traces the origins, achievements, and downfall of the Incan empire.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have groups research Inca ruins including Machu Picchu, Sasahuaman, the Coricancha Temple, Ollantaytambo, the Moray agricultural laboratory, and the Inca Trail
  • Prompt learners to find out how the Spanish were able to defeat the Incas with only a few men, fewer guns, and a pack of dogs
Classroom Considerations

  • The video is a brief summary of the key points in Gordon F. McEwan's The Incas: New Perspectives 
Pros

  • The resource includes the video, a comprehension check, a link to McEwan's book, and a discussion question
Cons

  • None