The Importance of Nature and Agriculture in the Inca Civilization
8 February 2019
Numerous legends, studies and remnants of the Inca Civilization reference the importance they gave to nature. Not only was nature the central focus of their rituals and traditions, but also of their farming-centered economy.
The Incas had great knowledge of and respect for their environment, and they developed deep spiritual connections with the Pachamama(Mother Earth).
The Inca’s economy was mainly agricultural. This led to the development of farming technologies and methods that allowed them to adapt to the adversities of Andean weather and terrain.
These advancements were crucial for the growth and stability of the empire.
Agriculture and storage engineering
Agriculture was embedded into daily life, as artisans, painters and entire villages often stopped working to dedicate their time to helping during the harvest season.
One of the most important farming technologies they developed was an extensive network of storage facilities, called Qullqasor Collcas.
These were located at every settlement and distributed along the extensive trail system that connected the empire.
Qullqas were silos made of stone and designed to stockpile food and resources that allowed communities to survive the erratic weather and supplied food for the Inca’s army.
They were designed according to the commodity, and were built mostly at high altitudes, with proper ventilation to conserve the food resources.
The Incas and Meteorology
Since nature was central to the Inca Empire’s existence and growth, they created nature reserves called Moyas. These designated lands were utilized exclusively by the surrounding community and had restrictions in order to ensure their sustainable use.
The ancient civilization also developed a method of forecasting the next year’s rainfall by observing the weather during the first twelve days of August.
Each day’s weather represented a forecast for each month of the coming year, beginning with August on the first day, and ending with July on the twelfth day.
Altogether, the Inca civilization dedicated a great deal of time and effort to developing innovative farming methods and technologies that protected their environment.
These methods ensured the constant production of food and resources, no matter how harsh the climate conditions and challenging geography they might have faced.