The Inca road system (often spelled Inka road system and known as Qhapaq Ñan meaning "royal road" in Quechua) was the most extensive and advanced transportation system in pre-Columbian South America. It was at least 40,000 kilometres (25,000 mi) long. The construction of the roads required a large expenditure of time and effort.
The network was composed of formal roads carefully planned, engineered, built, marked and maintained; paved where necessary, with stairways to gain elevation, bridges and accessory constructions such as retaining walls, and water drainage system. It was based on two north-south roads: one along the coast and the second and most important inland and up the mountains, both with numerous branches. It can be directly compared with the road network built during the Roman Empire, although the Inka road system was built one thousand years later. The road system allowed for the transfer of information, goods, soldiers and persons, without the use of wheels, within the Tawantinsuyu or Inka Empire throughout a territory with an extension was almost 2,000,000 km2 (770,000 sq mi) and inhabited by about 12 million people.
The roads were bordered, at intervals, with buildings to allow the most effective usage: at short distance there were relay stations for chasquis, the running messengers; at a one-day walking interval tambos allowed support to the road users and the flocks of carrying llamas. Administrative centers with warehouses for re-distribution of goods were found along the roads. Towards the boundaries of the Inka Empire and in new conquered areas pukaras (fortresses) were found.
Part of the road network was built by cultures that precede the Inka Empire, notably the Wari culture in the northern central Peru and the Tiwanaku culture in Bolivia. Different organizations such as UNESCO and IUCN have been working to protect the network in collaboration with the governments and communities of the six countries (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina) through which the Great Inka Road passes.
In modern times the roads see heavy use from tourism, such as the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, well known by trekkers, connecting Ollantaytambo with Machu Picchu.
- "Inca Road System" | 2019-12-01 | 90 Upvotes 26 Comments
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) is a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia Island and a chain of smaller islands known as the South Sandwich Islands. South Georgia is 165 kilometres (103 mi) long and 35 kilometres (22 mi) wide and is by far the largest island in the territory. The South Sandwich Islands lie about 700 kilometres (430 mi) southeast of South Georgia. The territory's total land area is 3,903 km2 (1,507 sq mi). The Falkland Islands are about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) west from its nearest point.
No permanent native population lives in the South Sandwich Islands, and a very small non-permanent population resides on South Georgia. There are no scheduled passenger flights or ferries to or from the territory, although visits by cruise liners to South Georgia are increasingly popular, with several thousand visitors each summer.
The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over South Georgia in 1775 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1908. The territory of "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" was formed in 1985; previously, it had been governed as part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927 and claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938.
Argentina maintained a naval station, Corbeta Uruguay, on Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands from 1976 until 1982 when it was closed by the Royal Navy. The Argentine claim over South Georgia contributed to the 1982 Falklands War, during which Argentine forces briefly occupied the island. Argentina continues to claim sovereignty over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Toothfish are vital to the islands' economy; as a result, Toothfish Day is celebrated on 4 September as a bank holiday in the territory.
- "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" | 2021-08-16 | 18 Upvotes 18 Comments