Golden Gardens

Fabled Lost City Of The Incas

When the Spanish conquerors entered Peru, they came upon an island near Puna on which was a royal garden so astonishing it might have come out of a fairy tale.

Every living thing was reproduced in gold and silver models. Trees, even to the roots, and lesser plants with leaves, flowers and fruit fashioned in natural size and style; some ready to sprout, others half-grown or in full blossom.

Golden birds sat perched on silver trees, as if singing, while others were flying and sucking honey from flowers.vNothing remained uncopied: rabbits, foxes, mice, lizards, lions, tigers, stags, snakes. All were set in their natural surroundings to enhance reality.

And as if that were not enough, golden butterflies flited around in the breeze.

Life-size fish, ropes, hampers, baskets, bins and even woodpiles for burning were all fashioned in gold and silver, soldered together.

Such gardens graced all royal residences throughout the land. The others were disassembled before the treasure-lusting invaders could reach them. So carefully were these artifacts hidden, they have never been found.

Regretfully, most of which the invaders did not lay their hands on was melted down and shipped to Europe. So vanished an unbelievably precise metal technology.

The Incas were heirs to a much earlier culture as evidenced from their advanced knowledge of metallurgy and bears an aesthetic superiority to our own. Their eating utensils, garden tools and even footwear and furniture of their finely worked gold is irrefutable. There were bathtubs of gold and silver fed by water pipes of silver and gold.

The Incas

Inca can be spelled Inka and was known as Tiwantinsuya.

As ancient civilizations sprang up across the planet thousands of years ago, so too the Inca civilization evolved. As with all ancient civilizations, its exact origins are unknown. Their historic record, as with all other tribes evolving on the planet at that time, would be recorded through oral tradition, stone, pottery, gold and silver jewelry, and woven in the tapestry of the people.

The Inca of Peru have long held a mystical fascination for people of the western world. Four hundred years ago the fabulous wealth in gold and silver possessed by these people was discovered, then systematically pillaged and plundered by Spanish conquistadors. The booty they carried home altered the whole European economic system. And in their wake, they left a highly developed civilization in tatters. That a single government could control many diverse tribes, many of which were secreted in the most obscure of mountain hideaways, was simply remarkable.

No one really knows where the Incas came from that historic record left in stone for archaeologists to unravel through the centuries that followed.

The Inca Empire was quite short-lived. It lasted just shy of 100 years, from ca.1438 AD, when the Inca ruler Pachacuti and his army began conquering lands surrounding the Inca heartland of Cuzco, until the coming of the Spaniards in 1532.

In 1438 the Inca set out from their base in Cuzco on a career of conquest that, during the next 50 years, brought under their control the area of present-day Peru, Bolivia, northern Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. Within this area, the Inca established a totalitarian state that enabled the tribal ruler and a small minority of nobles to dominate the population.

Most of the accounts agree on thirteen emperors. The Inca emperors were known by various titles, including "Sapa Inca," "Capac Apu," and "Intip Cori." Often, an emperor was simply referred to as The Inca.

The first seven were legendary, local, and of slight importance. During this period the Inca were a small tribe, one of many, whose domain did not extend many miles around their capital city, Cuzco. They were warriors, almost constantly at war with neighboring tribes. Ritual sacrifices were common, evidence of which is found by archaeologists to this very day.

Cusco was the center of the Inca Empire, with its advanced hydraulic engineering, agricultural techniques, marvelous architecture, textiles, ceramics and ironworks.




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