Difference Between Aztecs and Incas

Aztecs vs Incas
We all have memories from school lessons of these two great civilizations from South America. Pre-European in origin, both these civilizations of Native American peoples were as grand as any of the old world, and even today we marvel at their accomplishments.

Both these civilizations of course had their distinct markers as they evolved differently. The Aztecs held sway in Central Mexico between 1325 AD and 1523 AD. Though an extremely war like race, they had developed a fine technique of agriculture. They would keep soil on rafts made of reeds, and plant them with seeds. These floating gardens were called Chinampas.

The Incas on the other hand lived on the South Eastern Coast of South America in what is now modern Peru, from 1450 AD to 1535 AD. They had devised a most ingenious system of farming on terraces carved out of hill sides, which they irrigated using water drawn from canals and streams. Corn, beans and squash were their staple diet.

The Aztecs were a particularly fierce people as evidenced even by their social and cultural practices. They even played a ball game called Tlatchli, in which the losers were sacrificed. They usually sacrificed llamas to the sun god. In fact sacrifice was an integral part of their culture. They would go to war in order to be able to take captives for sacrifice.

The Incas on the other hand were a peace loving people. It was perhaps this tendency that led to their easy downfall. Their last king and his entire retinue of nobles were treacherously killed by Spanish conqueror, Francisco Pizzaro, whom they had come out to greet. The Aztecs on the other maintained a standing army and held the Spaniards in the longest siege in history.

The Incas were a gentler people, whose accomplishments lay in other fields. For instance they had an excellent system of roads and a very adept messenger service. This helped them maintain order in the largest empire in the Americas.

The Aztecs did have a system of courts. Their capital Tenochtitlan was situated on an island which was connected to the mainland by several causeways. In this capital city they had one of the largest market areas in the world at that time. The Aztecs had a particularly gory ritual of daily human sacrifice, as they believed the sun would not rise if the sacrifices stopped. They also practiced ritual cannibalism from time to time.

All in all both the Aztecs and Incas were great indigenous civilizations of the new world, with spectacular achievements to their credit. It is a pity that the conquering Europeans so thoroughly destroyed them that both the civilisations ceased to exist. But even today the archeological remains of these two civilizations and the accounts of history give us a fair idea of their time in the sun.

1.The Aztecs held sway in Central Mexico between 1325 AD and 1523 AD.
2.The Incas lived on the South Eastern Coast of South America.
3.The Incas had a technologically advanced frame of mind while the Aztecs believed in sacrifice of humans.