Ancient America
Hispanic Heritage
The Incas, Part 1

The Incas, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.01

     challenging words:    city-state, negotiation, existence, mines, founded, traces, military, civilization, generation, northwest, luxury, inspiration, wealthy, series, version, maintain
     content words:    South America, Inca Empire, Manco Capac, Lake Titicaca, Andes Mountains, Francisco Pizarro

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The Incas, Part 1
By Jane Runyon

1     Far to the south of Mexico, the largest empire of the western hemisphere was established. At its height, Inca land covered most of the western edge of what is now South America. This empire began somewhere around 1200 A.D. Three stories have been passed from generation to generation about how the Inca Empire was founded.
2     The first story tells of a man who decided to start his own village. He and his four sons, four daughters, and their husbands and wives walked until the grandchild of the man led them to a valley. It was there that they decided to live. The child's father, Manco Capac, became the leader of the village.
3     In another story, Manco and his wife were ordered to leave the bottom of Lake Titicaca and go into the mountains to create a city by the sun god, Inti. They discovered a series of underground caves and tunnels which led them to where the city would be built. The city was to be called Cuzco.
4     The third version of the story has a sun god complaining to his wife that he is lonely. She suggests that he create a whole new civilization. He could order the people to worship him. That way he would never be lonely again. He liked this idea and created the Incan people. He put the people high up in the Andes Mountains so that they would be closer to him. It would be easy to worship the sun god from there.
5     The Incas left no books or written history so all of these stories were told to succeeding generations. However the Incas came to be there, scientists can trace their existence to the late 12th and early 13th centuries. The capital of Cuzco was a city-state. There is proof that Manco Capac was the first leader of note.

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