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Machu Picchu Economic Patterns The Inca empire developed an economy based on an intensive terracing of mountain slopes and irrigation The Incas did not have money as such They used barter and traded goods for other goods Workers got labour credit which was work paid for in goods or food The Inca leaders kept records of what each family in the empire produced The Incas main crops were potatoes sweet potatoes maize and chili peppers They had terraced fields and were one of the first people in the Americas to use irrigation systems The Incas used simple digging sticks and ploughs They used llamas for wool ropes blankets and meat Social Political Organization The Inca empire was a closely knit state At the top was the emperor an absolute monarch ruling by divine right Next were the royal family nobles military leaders and religious leaders Merciless toward its enemies and requiring an obedience close to slavery the imperial government was responsible for the welfare of its subjects Everything was owned by the state except houses movable household goods and some individually held lands In addition to cultivating the land the common people were drafted to work on state projects such as mining public works and army service From well-stocked storehouses were drawn goods to support priests government servants special artisans the aged and the sick and widows Religion Values Machu Picchu contains rare examples of religious monuments including a carved stone the Intiwatana a small tower the Torre and a cave with a masonry entrance the Intimachay Investigators have suggested the site may have served as a religious sanctuary and that the masonry windows at two of its monuments may have been aligned so as to define the June and December solstices Religion was controlled by a hierarchy similar to the government hierarchy emphasized ritual and organization Heading the Inca gods was Viracocha His servants were the
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