The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire

Exhibition Website

Jun 6 2015 - Jun 1 2020

Construction of the Inka Road stands as one of the monumental engineering achievements in history. A network more than 20,000 miles long, crossing mountains and tropical lowlands, rivers and deserts, the Great Inka Road linked Cusco, the administrative capital and spiritual center of the Inka world, to the farthest reaches of its empire. The road continues to serve contemporary Andean communities across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile as a sacred space and symbol of cultural continuity. In 2014, the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, recognized the Inka Road as a World Heritage site.

The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire explores the foundations of the Inka Road in earlier Andean cultures, technologies that made building the road possible, the cosmology and political organization of the Inka world, and the legacy of the Inka Empire during the colonial period and in the present day.


Whether you go or no, the compelling collection of essays in The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire explores the extensive network of trails that is Qhapaq nan (or Great Inca Road). These roads and the accompanying agricultural terraces and structures that have survived for more than six centuries are a testament to the advanced engineering and construction skills of the Inca people. Features more than 225 full-color illustrations.

  • Latin American
  • History

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