Because they resided in the highlands, the Incas had to level ground to make it suitable for farming. They were able to accomplish this by constructing terraces. In order to make terraces, steps of land had to be dug into the slope.
What kinds of implements did the Incas utilize in their agricultural work?
The Incas were the first people to cultivate gardens on terraces. They did this by cutting terraces of level ground into the mountainside in order to create flat area suitable for cultivation. Additionally, the terraces assisted in preventing the rainfall from rushing off.
They were able to increase their agricultural yields by employing this ingenious method of farming, which was also helpful for irrigating the land and warding off drought. The Incas preserved food by drying it out in the sun and then storing it in specialized granaries so that there would always be plenty to eat.
Because they resided in the highlands, the Incas did not have access to any flat terrain suitable for cultivation. For farming, they were had to construct extensive expanses in the form of step-like terraces. The Incas were able to feed everyone in their kingdom because of their innovative use of terraced agriculture. In a legal sense, the Incan emperor was the only owner of all land.
They produced hardy varieties of crops including potatoes, quinoa, and corn, among others. They constructed water storage cisterns as well as irrigation canals that zigzagged and slanted their way down and around the mountains. In addition to this, they hacked terraces into the hillside, beginning in the lowlands and working their way up the slopes.
And between the years 1150 and 1300, the Inca who lived around Cusco began to take advantage of a significant warming trend that was occurring in the Andes. As the temperature rose, Inca farmers pushed up the hills by 244 to 305 meters (800 to 1,000 feet), constructing levels of agricultural terraces, irrigating their fields, and harvesting record amounts of maize in the process.
Examples of Inca architecture that have been preserved include the Coricancha temple and the Sacsayhuaman fortress, both of which are located in Cusco; the residential structures of Machu Picchu; and the massive Inca road system.
The Incas supplied the farmers on state lands with the necessary agricultural inputs, including seeds, fertilizer, and equipment. The farmers helped out by providing their work. The communities were able to provide for their basic needs by cultivating a wide range of foods, tending to camelid herds, and making fabric.
A wide variety of tubers, roots, and cereals were used as the primary sources of nutrition. There was a high regard for maize, despite the fact that it could not be cultivated to the same extent as it was further north. Guinea pigs and llamas were the most prevalent sources of meat, and dried fish was a significant food source as well.
The Incas were able to build parts of the mountain that were suited for farming by carving flat planes into the rock. These regions are able to survive the challenges that are typical of mountain climates since they are surrounded by stone walls. The Incas were able to cultivate, and they also had domesticated types of plants that were better able to survive in severe environments.
The most typical layout for an Inca home was a rectangular structure with a thatched roof, and it often only had a single chamber. Stone or adobe was the typical material used for the construction of the walls (a claylike material). The stone blocks were cut in such a way that they were completely compatible with one another, eliminating the need for cement.