Despondency Of The Spaniards; Desperate Plan Of Pizarro. . In following down the track of discovery, Navarrete turned aside from the .. that the spectator can, in any degree, comprehend the relation of the several parts to the . No account assigns to the Inca dynasty more than thirteen princes before the Conquest. Once gold had been discovered in Mexico, conquistadors wanted to advance their explorations. In , Spanish conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizarro, made. Assignment Description. Today, let's . Unit One: Discovering and Exploring the Americas. Francisco . Describe Francisco Pizarro's relationship with the Incas.
Spanish Relations with the Incan Empire
Was it European diseases to which the Inca had no resistance? Or was it something else? These skeletons may hold the answers. For the first time, science can open a window on the real events of the conquest of Peru. The discoveries are amazing. I think we're looking at the first gunshot wound in the New World. A story of the conquest never told before, a story of secret alliances and betrayal Koch and by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, serving society through biomedical research and science education: For 3, years, the mountains and coasts of Peru were home to the most advanced civilizations of South America.
The Inca Empire was the last of many to rise and fall in Peru, but it was the greatest. The Inca were the Romans of the New World. Incomparable builders and engineers, they created Machu Picchu, the most sophisticated road system of the Americas, and countless masterpieces of gold.
But their real genius was for conquest.
The Great Inca Rebellion
In the 15th century, they used it to conquer the entire Andean region. The ghosts of that fierce Inca Empire still haunt Peru's modern capital, Lima. Twenty-first century Lima, today, is a teeming city of 9, But beneath its sprawling shanty towns lie layer upon layer of Peru's ancient dead. For over 20 years, Peruvian archaeologist and National Geographic grantee Guillermo Cock has been working to unravel the mysteries of these Indian gravesites.
Nobody knows more about the ancient burials of Lima. At the beginning of March ofthe city was going to open a new highway in the area that we suspected that had a cemetery. We decided to put a trench in, in order to test if it was or wasn't a cemetery.
The site Guillermo was investigating was an apparently unremarkable hillside in a suburb of Lima called Puruchuco. He set to work with his colleague of many years, archaeologist, Elena Goycochea. Very quickly, their test trench yielded results.
The result of the test was about 20 graves in a trench that was two-by-eight meters. That finding led us to conclude that that little ravine was, in fact, a cemetery. At first, the Puruchuco graveyard seemed very similar to others Willy and Elena had excavated. Bodies were buried at regular intervals, in a crouched sitting position, facing the rising sun. This is the classic pattern of Inca burials.
But before long, strange anomalies began to appear. Very soon, when we were into the excavation, we noticed that there was a number of individuals that they didn't conform to the standard, what we may call the burial pattern. In the lower layers of the cemetery, everything seemed to be as Willy would expect in a well-organized Inca graveyard, but on top of these was a layer of bodies buried near the surface which was like nothing he or Elena had ever seen.
The body is stretched out this way, facing west. Normally, it should be facing that direction, east. The orientation is all wrong, just like the others. The more they uncovered, the more surprises they found. On top of the corpses of the traditional Inca graveyard, bodies had been thrown in chaotically. Instead of the usual careful wrapping of the body with cotton stuffing and woolen fabrics, these had been hastily wrapped in simple cloths called "telas.
None were crouched and facing east in the traditional Inca way. It was evident that they didn't follow the burial rituals. They were without the proper offerings. Now the question was why these individuals had been buried in such an unusual way. To someone who knows the Inca world as well as Willy and Elena, this was mystifying. Reverence for the dead was at the core of Inca culture. Properly performed death rituals were crucial to ensuring the rebirth of the dead in the spirit world, hence their burial in a crouched, expectant pose facing the sunrise, symbol of rebirth.
Against this backdrop, the treatment of the bodies at Puruchuco was doubly surprising. It's as if the moment they died, they just wrapped them in a cloth, brought them to the cemetery and stuck them in the ground chaotically, not the usual Inca way.
When Willy and his team unwrapped the loosely covered skeletons, what they found was even more shocking. Almost all bore marks of extreme violence. Skulls had been crushed, and some showed injuries that had never been seen before in an Inca cemetery, in fact, in any Indian cemetery anywhere in Central or South America. One skeleton in particular really caught their attention. They called him "Mochito," the severed one, because of his horrific injuries.
The left, middle and ring finger on the left hand had perhaps been cut off or twisted off. He's clearly received some sort of blow to the face, a peri-mortem fracture to the left first rib, a pretty bad break to the proximal femur. All of these injuries, together, lead me to believe that this individual died a very violent death.
Melissa Murphy is a bio-archaeologist working with Willy to interpret Mochito's injuries. This is a very exceptional skeleton for a number of reasons. He is very atypical. He has a series of peri-mortem injuries that I haven't encountered before, in particular, these three quadrangular defects to his cranium.
One of the defects also has a small radiating fracture, hinging fracture that looks like something caught the outer table of this bone. I've never encountered this. And based on documented cases of other injuries, it seems consistent with metal-edged weaponry, something else, but not something you would see among Inca weapons. The Inca had few weapons capable of delivering the clean piercing wounds Melissa sees in Mochito's remains. Their deadliest weapons of war were stone clubs, spears and slings, the type of weaponry used by Inca warriors had been obsolete in Europe for over 2, years.
The Inca army would have been totally beyond the comprehension or historical memory of the Spaniards. It's a "Chalcolithic" army, meaning that the Andeans could smelt gold, silver, copper, but all of their cutting implements, all of their piercing implements, all their weapons were stone. The arrival of Pizarro and his conquistadors, inbrought this Inca army and its stone weapons face-to-face with 16th century Europe's most advanced military technology. It was only 40 years since Christopher Columbus had claimed his first discoveries in the New World for Spain.
Since then, indigenous populations of the Americas had been overwhelmed by the relentless Spanish expansion. One reason for that was that the Spanish brought with them two things the Indians had never seen before. The Spanish had enormous advantages of mobility. Their horse was perhaps the second largest advantage they had. Their greatest advantage was their possession of steel weapons. The strange wounds on the top of Mochito's skull made Willy and his team think of stab wounds delivered from horseback.
Pizarro Executes Last Inca Emperor
Could the bodies in the graveyard be victims of Pizarro's conquistadors? If so, they would be the first ever found. The injury to another skull seemed to prove the link to the conquistadors in an even more dramatic way. What's especially anomalous about it is that it has a large circular defect on the left parietal that looks suspiciously like a gunshot wound.
And it looks like, as the projectile exited the face and exited this area, it came apart and the entire face was fragmented.
What's especially exceptional about this is not only that we have, in fact, the entrance wound and the exit wound that I just showed you, but also that I recovered the plug of bone that actually was in this position on the inside of the skull. This could be a momentous discovery. It would be the first documented gunshot wound in the New World. The primitive but deadly 16th-century guns called "arquebuses" were just one of the many terrifying novelties the Spanish brought with them to South America.
The Spanish arquebuses of the conquest were no more awkward than European infantry muskets a hundred years later—a bit heavier for their projectile weight—but the Spaniards knew how to use them. They knew how to use them well. The combination of guns, steel weapons and cavalry had a devastating effect on native armies.
The Inca had no defense against any of them. The European response to a cavalry charge had been learned over centuries of exposure to mounted combat.
Over the short term, the Inca had no response whatsoever to cavalry. And there was yet another deadly cargo brought by the Spanish, which would eventually decimate the Inca population, disease. But no one is sure exactly when the first epidemics arrived. So Willy's team concentrate their efforts on the more obvious injuries to the skeletons.
If the suspected gunshot wound is real, it would be unprecedented. So Melissa needs proof. She hopes that x-rays might reveal traces of metal around the edges of the wound. Here we are seeing where the exit wound was and we were really expecting to see metal residues—really bright white, as distinct from the bone and the teeth in the film—but we don't.
There's nothing in there that suggests that there's lead or metal residues. It looks like no. The negative result is a blow. To Melissa and Willy, the wound clearly suggests a gunshot. They just can't prove it. Perhaps the metal traces left by the musket ball were too miniscule for the x-rays to detect. So Willy decides on a bold course of action. He calls on one of the world's foremost crime labs. It is 4, miles away at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.
With cutting edge forensic techniques, if anyplace can get some results from the skeletons of Puruchuco, it is here. Top forensic scientists Al Harper and Tim Palmbach have examined hundreds of gunshot wounds, a lot fresher than the one in Peru. Before long, Al and Tim are in Lima. The lure of examining what may be the first gunshot wound in the Americas is irresistible. Willy's lab contains the remains of over 3, Inca burials.
Work on this astonishing collection of mummies and skeletons has been temporarily abandoned as Mochito and his band take center stage. Al and Tim immediately focus on what Melissa thought might be the gunshot wound. It's almost as if there are two separate entrances. You almost did have a trajectory line 30, 45 degrees maybe.
It's hitting at some angle about like that. So if we think energy-wise: I mean, if you take a modern day1,foot energy impact of a normal handgun you don't get plugs like that. It doesn't fragment there. No, it would completely and totally fragment. This isn't the case here. The intact plug of bone indicates an impact much less forceful than any modern gunshot.
But it might well correspond to the much weaker impact of a 16th-century arquebus. In fact, the bone plug itself carries a concave imprint highly suggestive of a musket ball. Could this be a gunshot? To prove it, they'll have to use more sophisticated instruments, starting with a scanning electron microscope or SEM.
What we want to try to do here is we'll do some scanning electron microscopy, looking at this, and then, if we find some small particulate matter, we can go ahead and we'll hit it with an x-ray.
And that will give us the elemental compositions. The results go beyond their wildest dreams. The edges of the hole in the skull and the entire surface of the bone plug are impregnated with fragments of iron, a metal sometimes used for Spanish musket balls.
Standard x-ray procedures failed to see these iron particles because what ultimately we established through the SEM is that these were very small particles that were actually hidden in these small fissures and fractures in the bone. Now Tim and Al have an image of what probably happened. As the musket ball punched into the back of the skull and passed through the head, it left iron fragments deep inside the bone which had stayed there for years.
Honestly, when we were first confronted with the possibility that there was a gunshot wound some years ago, we were skeptical, and as any scientist would do, we sought to disprove that. Simply, there is nothing that we have found or evaluated that is inconsistent with that having been, indeed, a gunshot wound.
It's a remarkable discovery—not only the first evidence of a gunshot wound in the Americas, but support for Willy's belief that the bodies from the Puruchuco graveyard could be the first ever forensic remains of the battles of the conquest.
The questions posed by these precious bones are tantalizing. What other stories do they have to tell? How did he and his people die? As forensic science opens a window on the Spanish conquest of Peru, what more will we see through it? Will it confirm what the Spanish wrote in their chronicles, that courage, along with guns and steel swords, gave a tiny band of conquistadors such an advantage they could vanquish thousands. Spanish chronicles of the conquest underplay one critical fact.
When Pizarro and his conquistadors arrived in Peru, the Inca Empire was falling to pieces.
It had been formed only a hundred years earlier when the Inca had spread out from their capital at Cusco to overwhelm the many different Indian chiefdoms of the region. Bymany of the empire's over 10 million inhabitants were fed up with Inca rule and all too willing to ally themselves with the Spanish in a bid to break free of Inca domination.
For the newly arrived Spanish, this was a great stroke of luck. Even with their huge technological advantages, they were hardly a formidable fighting force. It's a mistake to think of the conquistadors as soldiers. They were not soldiers in the contemporary Spanish sense, let alone the modern American sense. They were absolutely ruthless, but they weren't soldiers. Many of the conquistadors were illiterate, including Francisco Pizarro himself.
From peasant stock in rural Spain, most were men of action, not letters. The task of telling the story of the conquest largely fell to scribes and chroniclers. Over the years, a sort of official version of what happened was composed.
Historians and archaeologists have long suspected that in the process, facts were altered and some conveniently forgotten. The chronicles try to justify the conquest. And in order to magnify the glory of the Spaniards, they exaggerate. The chronicles go to great lengths to paint a dramatic portrait of Spanish hardships and heroism, but largely ignore the help given by their Indian allies. They recount a series of dramatic confrontations in which Pizarro's tiny band confront vast Inca armies and, against all odds, triumph.The Inca Civilization and Pizarro
The most remarkable of these takes place only weeks after the Spanish arrive. At Cajamarca in northern Peru, they come upon the troops of the Inca king, Atahualpa, who are celebrating a successful military campaign.
The Inca are not prepared for battle. The Spanish take them by surprise and massacre them. In the process, they take the king hostage. Pizarro demands a huge ransom of gold for Atahualpa. Once it is paid, he executes him anyway.
With the Inca world in shock, Pizarro pushes on to the capital, Cusco, which quickly falls to the Spanish. Within a matter of months, the Inca Empire is theirs. It takes four years for armed Inca resistance to materialize. InInca armies mobilize and throw themselves at the conquistadors both in Cusco and the newly founded Spanish city of Lima. The great Inca Rebellion has begun. A Spanish tribunal convicted Atahuallpa and sentenced him to die.
On August 29,the emperor was tied to a stake and offered the choice of being burned alive or strangled by garrote if he converted to Christianity. In the hope of preserving his body for mummification, Atahuallpa chose the latter, and an iron collar was tightened around his neck until he died. With Spanish reinforcements that had arrived at Cajamarca earlier that year, Pizarro then marched on Cuzco, and the Inca capital fell without a struggle in November Pizarro established himself as Spanish governor of Inca territory and offered Diego Almagro the conquest of Chile as appeasement for claiming the riches of the Inca civilization for himself.
InPizarro established the city of Lima on the coast to facilitate communication with Panama. The next year, Manco Capac escaped from Spanish supervision and led an unsuccessful uprising that was quickly crushed. That marked the end of Inca resistance to Spanish rule. Diego Almagro returned from Chile embittered by the poverty of that country and demanded his share of the spoils of the former Inca empire. Civil war soon broke out over the dispute, and Almagro seized Cuzco in Pizarro sent his half brother, Hernando, to reclaim the city, and Almagro was defeated and put to death.
Diego el Monzo proclaimed himself governor of Peru, but an agent of the Spanish crown refused to recognize him, and in Diego was captured and executed. Conflict and intrigue among the conquistadors of Peru persisted until Spanish Viceroy Andres Hurtado de Mendoza established order in the late s.