The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire

June 26, 2015 – June 1, 2017 Location: Our Peoples Gallery, 4th Floor Construction of the Inka Road stands as one of the monumental engineering achievements in history. A network more than 20,000 miles long, crossing mountains and tropical lowlands, rivers and deserts, the Great Inka Road linked Cusco, the administrative capital and spiritual center of the Inka world, to the farthest reaches of its empire. The road continues to serve contemporary Andean communities across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile as a sacred space and symbol of cultural continuity. In 2014, the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, recognized the Inka Road as a World Heritage site. The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire explores the foundations of the Inka Road in earlier Andean cultures, technologies that made building the road possible, the cosmology and political organization of the Inka world and the legacy of the Inka Empire during the colonial period and in the present day. Inca engineering feats are often ignored by mainstream engineering history classes, where instructors choose to focus on European techniques instead. Researcher G. Wayne Clough explains “As someone who spent 35 years teaching engineering, I know we can learn much from the Inca, who intuitively grasped how to build structures that harmonized with nature.” National Museum of the American Indian: Home to one of the largest and most diverse collections of Native art and historical and cultural objects; exhibitions are designed in collaboration with Native communities from across the hemisphere. Admission is FREE Hours: 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily Closed December 25 Parking: There is no public parking facility at the Smithsonian on the National Mall; on-street parking is limited and posted times are enforced.



202-633-1000 (National Museum of the American Indian)

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