You can't understand the sheer magnitude of what they did until you stand there and see it for your own eyes. They built an entire town on top of an 8000 ft mountain. Parts of Peru and Bolivia (especially around Lake Titicaca) are littered with ruins that are still in relatively good condition, there are terraces dug into the hills that have existed for over 500 years now.
All this was achieved by a "stone-age" civilisation.
Calling things stone age is wrong. That period, if you're being gracious, ended roughly 2,000 BCE which is about 3300 thousand years before the Inca started their civilization.
If you want to learn a bit more about civilizations in this part of the world, I heartily recommend a book called 1491 by Charles Mann: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39020.1491
Human society development is not uniform nor universal.
My understanding is many of these have undergone substantial partial restoration to preserve them in a somewhat arbitrarily determined state of ruin. So it's not really obvious how well they've aged, they're not left to decay naturally. It was a fairly controversial thing when they decided to start rebuilding Machu Picchu.
"Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. By 1976, 30% of Machu Picchu had been restored and restoration continues."
We took a day train out of AG, and we were blown away by the tide. There are so many ruins you can catch quick glimpses of from the train car, some very close to the railroad itself. The amount of ruins in Peru is astonishing. And the scale of the Inca’s roads rivaling, and even besting, the road distance of the Romans is a stunning feat that I barely heard of before visiting Peru.
The day before, we stopped at Winay Wayna, which was the highlight of our trip. Not sure how true it is, but some say that this was a research site where the Incas would acclimatize plants to different altitudes.
More importantly, it's completely desolate and has no crowds, so you get the place to yourself... At least we did.
Seriously though, upgraded to the 11 Pro before our first trip to Europe recently. No regrets not having a "real" camera, except every once in a while I miss not having a >= 85mm lens.
Things that are way more awkward on a "real" camera: night shots, ultra-wide shots, doing multi-image stacking in crowded tourist spots to get a nicer shot with all the people ghost-like, and so on.
Essential accessory: mini tripod+selfie stick+Bluetooth remote.
The focus of the Spanish was to offer the "requerimiento" and then kidnap the Sapa Inca in order to ask for a ransom.
Take mexico for example. After the spaniards positioned themselves atop mexican society 400+ years ago, they never relinquished that position. Even though ethnic spaniards made up anywhere from 1% to 5% of total mexican population thoughout the 400 years. Even more astounding is that the spaniards used their position atop mexican society to outbreed the native population. 66% of current mexican Y chromosomes are of european ancestry, while 90% of mexican mitochondrial dna comes from native ancestry. Fascinating stuff.
The spaniard conquest of central and south america differed markedly from the genocidal conquest of north america which is reflected in the genetic makeup of the populations in the americas.
But native women could not represent themselves in court so they could not challenge a Spanish man to recognize their children.
> they expertly pitted groups of native elites against each other
In the Andes, they walked right in at the end of a civil war.
The Incas had actually established their own empire less than 100 years earlier, and indeed ruled over an estimate 12 million from their tribe of ~100,000, who became the elites.
Also interesting; I'm up to the bit where the Spaniards actually have their own little civil war between two of the conquistadors, and not all that far into the conquest.
> The spaniard conquest of central and south america differed markedly from the genocidal conquest of north america which is reflected in the genetic makeup of the populations in the americas.
Absolutely. Ditto for Australia.
That's some damn good virility on the part of Spanish men. Must've been having endless binge coochie-coochie with the local senoritas))
And ccara llamas were more adapted to high altitudes than a donkey or a mule.
Horses don't work well on mountains.