Fact file

Date: 1438 AD – 1533 AD

Area: South America

The Inca Empire was an empire centered in what is now Peru from 1438 AD – 1533 AD.  The Inca conquered a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean mountain ranges.  The last Inca emperor was killed on orders of Francisco Pizarro, marking the beginning of Spanish rule.

The empire was divided into four suyus – whose corners met at ‘Navel of the World’, now the modern-day Peru.

The official language of the empire was Quechua, although over seven hundred local languages were spoken. The Inca leadership encouraged the worship of their gods, the foremost of which was Inti, the sun god.

The Inca people originated in the Cuzco area, and under the command of Sapa Inca (paramount leader) Pachacuti, they began an expansion.  Pachacuti sent out spies who reported on political organization, military might and wealth of people of surrounding regions.  He acquired land promising material rich by the rule of the Inca.

Pachacuti’s son Tupac Inca expanded the kingdom north in 1463 until Pachacuti’s death in 1471.

Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro conquered the region in 1526 and brought the Inca empire to an end in 1572.


Ollantaytambo constituted an administrative, religious, agricultural and military complex for the Incas:

A view of Machu Picchu, “the Lost City of the Incas,” now an archaeological site: