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The Inca

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the South American people who dominated from the Andes to the Pacific coast until the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how the people of Cusco, in modern Peru, established an empire along the Andes down to the Pacific under their supreme leader Pachacuti. Before him, their control grew slowly from C13th and was at its peak after him when Pizarro arrived with his Conquistadors and captured their empire for Spain in 1533. The image, above, is of Machu Picchu which was built for emperor Pachacuti as an estate in C15th.


Frank Meddens
Visiting Scholar at the University of Reading

Helen Cowie
Senior Lecturer in History at the University of York


Bill Sillar
Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Available now

53 minutes

Last on

Thu 13 Jun 2019 21:30


Bill Sillar at University College London

Helen Cowie at the University of York

Frank Meddens at the University of Reading

Inca Child Sacrifice Victims Were Drugged – National Geographic

We thought the Incas couldn’t write. These knots change everything – New Scientist

How llamas conquered the world – The Conversation

Inca success in Peruvian Andes ‘thanks to llama dung’ – BBC News

Data in Knots – Khipu Database Project

Sabine Hyland website

The Guaman Poma Website

Lofty Ambitions of the Inca – National Geographic

Inca Empire – Wikipedia



Sonia Alconini and Alan Covey, The Oxford Handbook of the Incas (Oxford University Press, 2018) 

Terence D’Altroy, The Incas (Wiley-Blackwell, 2003; 2nd edition 2014)

B. Bauer, Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca (University of Texas Press, 2004)

Claudia Brosseder, The Power of the Huacas: Change and Resistance in the Andean World of Colonial Peru (Texas University Press, 2014)

Helen Cowie, Llama (Reaktion Books, 2017)

Alfred Crosby, The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 (Greenwood Press, 1972)

Nigel Davies, The Incas (University of Colorado Press, 1995)

Rebecca Earle, Potato (Bloomsbury, 2019)

J. Hemming, Monuments of the Incas (2nd edition, Little Brown, 2010)

J. Hyslop, Inca Settlement Planning (University of Texas Press, 1990)

A. L. Kolata, Ancient Inca (Case Studies in Early Societies), (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Kim MacQuarrie, The Last Days of the Incas (Simon and Schuster, 2008)

F.M. Meddens, K. Willis, C. McEwan and N. Branch (eds), Inca Sacred Space: Landscape, Site and Symbol in the Andes (Archetype Publications, 2014)

Craig Morris and Adriana Von Hagen, The Incas: Lords of the Four Quarters (Thames and Hudson, 2011)

Craig Morris and Adriana Von Hagen, The Inka Empire and Its Andean Origins (Abbeville Press, 1993)

M. Rostworowski de Canseco, History of the Inca Realm (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

I. Shimada (ed), The Inka Empire: A Multidisciplinary Approach (University of Texas Press, 2015)

Karen Spalding, Huarochirí: An Andean Society Under Inca and Spanish Rule (Stanford University Press, 1984)

Gary Urton, Inka History in Knots: Reading Khipus as Primary Sources (University of Texas Press, 2017)



  • Thu 13 Jun 2019 09:00
  • Thu 13 Jun 2019 21:30

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