The grandeur and skill of the ancient Incas boggles the imagination of modern man. Without the use of the wheel, animal power, metal tools, or even a written language, they created the oldest road on Earth, stretching over more than 3 million square kilometers of surface. The total length of this road is almost 40,000 kilometers. The ancient Inca road system, known as Khapak Nyan, is one of the most impressive achievements of ancient engineering. It was the foundation for the development of the Inca Empire, which became the largest and most advanced culture in the western hemisphere.
This incredibly complex network of roads helped the Incas travel vast distances and conquer territories that were previously inaccessible. Today, hundreds of years later, much of this road is still in use, a testament to its unrivaled quality and the skill of its builders. Some scholars even call Khapak Niang the greatest architectural achievement of antiquity.
The Inca road network runs through the most inaccessible places, connecting the snow-capped peaks of the Andes with the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It crosses tropical forests, hot deserts and reaches the northern borders of Colombia as well as the southern limits of Chile. Building this road in the Andes was a difficult and labor-intensive process, as the Incas had to overcome mountains, high hills and steep slopes. In 2014, the ancient road system was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, recognizing its uniqueness and importance to all humanity.
Historians say that the construction of the Inca road had two main purposes. First, it served to transmit messages. Specially trained couriers memorized information and passed it from post to post. Each post was a certain distance apart to ensure that information was passed quickly and efficiently. Secondly, the road was used to transport various goods and supplies. However, permission was required to use the road, so not everyone could have access to it.
An amazing fact is that the ancient Inca road network was built without the use of the wheel or metal tools. Researchers have yet to find any evidence indicating that these technologies were used in the creation of the road. This shows that the Incas had unique skills and knowledge of construction.
One of the interesting aspects of the Inca road network is that it links many of the major megalithic sites in South America. Tiwanaku, Puma Punku, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Ollantayatambo and Sacsayhuaman are all famous architectural structures connected by an ancient Inca road. This testifies to the incredibly complex and technologically advanced culture of the ancient peoples of South America.
Some scientists suggest that these megalithic sites are thousands of years older than the Inca Empire itself, making the road even more ancient. According to the stories and legends of local residents, descendants of the Incas, the builders of this road were not the Incas, but another, more developed and unknown to us ancient civilization. This opens new horizons for research and allows us to imagine that the ancient Incas were only heirs of their knowledge and achievements.