What Ancient Civilization Was in Argentina?

Argentina is a land of diverse cultures and rich history. Among the many indigenous people that once thrived in Argentina, one civilization stands out – the Inca Empire. The Inca Empire was an ancient civilization that ruled over much of South America, including Argentina, before it was conquered by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.

The Inca Empire

The Inca Empire was one of the largest empires in the world, covering over 2 million square kilometers and spanning across six countries in South America. The empire was founded by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui in the early 15th century, and it lasted until its conquest by Spanish forces led by Francisco Pizarro in 1533.

Inca Civilization in Argentina

Although the Inca Empire did not extend as far south as modern-day Buenos Aires, it did have a significant presence in northern Argentina. The Incas established several settlements and fortresses throughout the region, including Quilmes and Tastil.

One of the most important sites for Inca civilization in Argentina is located in the province of Salta. Known as “La Ciudad Sagrada de los Quilmes” or “The Sacred City of Quilmes,” this archaeological site contains ruins from an ancient city that was once home to thousands of people. The city was built on a steep hillside overlooking the Calchaqui Valley and served as a strategic trading post for the Inca Empire.

Legacy of the Incas

Even though the Inca Empire no longer exists today, its legacy can still be seen throughout South America. The Quechua language, which was spoken by many Incas, is still widely spoken today and is recognized as an official language in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

In addition to their language, many aspects of Incan culture continue to influence modern-day South American society. The Incas were skilled engineers and architects, and their impressive stone structures, such as the famous Machu Picchu in Peru, continue to captivate visitors from around the world.


In summary, the Inca Empire was a powerful civilization that left a lasting impact on Argentina and much of South America. Although their reign was cut short by the Spanish conquest, their legacy lives on through their language, culture, and impressive architectural achievements. The Sacred City of Quilmes serves as a reminder of the once-great Inca civilization and its importance in shaping the history of Argentina.