Inca Gold: A Brief History

It’s important to understand that the Andreans (Aboriginal inhabitants of the area of the Central Andes in South America) didn’t have a written language, they hadn’t developed the wheel, money, buying and selling, or even the concept of an economy. Imagine a world with no economy and a strong religious presence but with an excess of gold.

The Inca civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 13th century. The Inca created one of the largest and cohesive empires the world has ever known in under a century. Every aspect of Inca culture was encompassed by religion. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in the city of Cusco. Success or failure in any form was considered to be directly influenced by their gods. For the Inca, Gold was a gift from the Inti and it should be used to honor him along with the other Inca gods. If Inti was not honored there could be severe consequences.

Inti was the God of The Sun and The Patron of Empire and Conquest. Inti was revered and held in prestige by his devoted. He gave and he took away as he saw fit. Every city had temples devoted to Inti. The most significant temple of the Inca empire was Coricancha in Cusco city. Coricancha means “house of gold” in Quechua ( Inca official language). Its walls were covered in thick gold layers. Innumerable amounts of gold coins, jewelry, and religious artifacts dedicated to Inti were inside. Where’s all the gold now? What happened to it? What happened to the people who supposedly recovered it? We’ll explore these topics in more in the following weeks!

To be continued..

Sources Cited:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/archaeology-and-history/archaeology/lost-inca-gold/

https://nga.gov.au/exhibition/incas/default.cfm?IRN=227632&BioArtistIRN=91406&MnuID=SRCH&ViewID=2