In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Inca Empire was the largest South America had ever known. Rich in foodstuffs, textiles, gold, and coca, the Inca were masters of city building but nevertheless had no money. In fact, they had no marketplaces at all.
A new analysis of three immaculately-preserved 500 year-old mummies found in 1999 atop a 22,000 foot volcano in South America reveals that Inca children were given increasing amounts of coca leaf and corn beer for up to a year before being sacrificed.
In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Inca Empire was the largest South America had ever known. Centered in Peru, it stretched across the Andes' mountain tops and down to the shoreline, incorporating lands from today's Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Peru - all connected by a vast highway…
The most powerful civilization in South America before the arrival of Europeans was the mighty Inca empire, which ruled much of the continent's Pacific coast from their home in the Peru highlands. And it's all thanks to copious llama crap.
Global warming often evokes images of melting icecaps, disappearing landmasses, and natural disasters. But the results aren't always so dire. For the Incas, global warming meant 400 years' prosperity and growth, allowing them to create a formidable empire.