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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Gordon McEwan
  • Director Biljana Labovic
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Animator Emma Carré
  • Designer Emma Carré
  • Composer Nicolas Martigne
  • Associate Producer Elizabeth Cox, Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Adrian Dannatt


Additional Resources for you to Explore
What makes the Inca Empire so fascinating to archaeologists and historians is that they specialized in achieving the impossible. They conquered a huge empire without the use of wheeled vehicles or horses to pull them. They had no system of writing but managed somehow to maintain administrative control of far-flung provinces thousands of miles from their capital. Without survey instruments, blueprints, photographs, and machines for construction, they were still able to produce magnificent mountainside terraces, highways, bridges, cities, towns, temples, and royal estates. Many of their projects were built in seemingly impossible places, including sheer cliffs, steep mountain peaks, and raging rivers. And they did this in a remarkably short time of less than 100 years.

Scholars see the Incas as a people who adopted a very successful, alternative approach to some of civilization’s greatest challenges. They offer proof that engineering and social skills can be independently developed in an isolated and challenging environment. Exciting new information about the Incas appears every year as scholars publish their research. Those seeking more information on the Inca can consult my book The Incas: New Perspectives. In it, you will find an extensive list of resources for further study, including a detailed bibliography, a list of scholarly organizations that deal with Inca scholarship, specialized libraries, museum collections, and annual research symposia.
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