The Incas were an Indian people who lived in the Andean region of South America. The first Inca ruler, Manco Capan (c. A.D. 1200) was believed to have been descended from the sun god.
The Incas thirsted for power. They warred against and defeated their neighbours, and soon their empire extended from central Chile to the present Colombia-Ecuador border. Having a highly developed agricultural system, they grew maize, beans, tomatoes, chillis, peppers, cotton – almost all then completely unknown in Europe.
Most of the Inca people were farmers. Nobody paid taxes, but every man was periodically called to service in the army, or on building roads and temples, or mining. The Incas built suspension bridges, hillside terraces, long irrigation canals and immense fortresses. Medicine and surgery were highly developed.
The Incas were conquered by a Spanish adventurer, Francisco Pizarro, in 1532.