Inca Labor


    Inca stoneworking was tedious and slow.  Specialists and unskilled laborers worked together to construct buildings throughout the Inca Empire.  A vast number of people were necessary to be successful in building the many types of structures.  At the time that the fortress in Cuzco was being constructed, it is thought that there were probably more than 30,000 people working on it(Cobo 229).

    All of this labor and planning was directed by architects and master stone masons under the Inca king's supervision.  These workers were highly skilled in their occupations.  They built fortresses, temples, and palaces for the king all over the empire(Cobo 227).

    The work of unskilled workers was of great importance also.  There was a lot of work that went into building each structure.  A large number of unskilled workers were needed to help quarry rocks, move them, and raise them into position(Malpass 58).

    Almost all structures that are considered to be Inca today were probably built after the year 1440 A.D(Rostworowski de Diez Canseco 48).  The Inca used an abundant state workforce based on a system of rotational labor to supply their workers(Rostworowski de Diez Canseco 48).

    The Mayans had a similar labor system to the Incas in a sense.  Their priest king would supervise the work, specialized workers such as architects worked on the design, and a large group of unskilled laborers did the pain saking work.  For more information on this see Mayan Labor.


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