What Is the Name of the Ancient Civilization That Ruled Most of South America?

South America has a rich history filled with many ancient civilizations that have left an indelible mark on the continent. One of the most influential and powerful civilizations to have ever existed in South America was the Inca Empire. The Inca Empire was a vast empire that ruled most of South America from the 15th century until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

The Inca Empire

The Inca Empire was a highly organized and sophisticated civilization that was located in modern-day Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. It is believed that the Inca civilization began around 1200 AD when various tribes in the Andes region started to unite under one ruler. This ruler eventually became known as Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui who is credited with expanding the empire into what it became.

Government and Society

The Inca Empire had a highly centralized government that was led by an emperor who held absolute power. The emperor was seen as divine and was considered to be both a political and religious leader. Underneath the emperor were several governors who helped to administer different parts of the empire.

The society of the Inca Empire was divided into different social classes with nobles at the top and farmers at the bottom. The nobles were responsible for ruling over different parts of the empire while farmers were responsible for growing crops and providing food for everyone.


The religion of the Inca Empire revolved around worshiping nature gods such as Inti (the sun god) and Pachamama (the earth goddess). The Incas believed that these gods controlled everything in their lives, including agriculture, weather, and fertility.

To honor these gods, they performed elaborate ceremonies that involved sacrifices of animals or even humans on occasion. They also built many impressive temples throughout their empire where they could worship their gods.

Architecture and Engineering

One of the most impressive aspects of the Inca Empire was their architecture and engineering. They built many impressive structures such as Machu Picchu, which is still standing today. The Inca Empire also built an extensive network of roads and bridges that allowed them to quickly move troops and supplies throughout their empire.

The Inca Empire is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of ancient civilizations. Their legacy still lives on today in the form of their impressive architecture, engineering, and culture.