10

Wednesday

In approximately 1442, the Incan people, under King Pachacuti, began conquering their neighbors and rapidly expanding. By the time Francisco Pizarro arrived, in 1532, the Incan empire stretched 2,500 miles, from Columbia to Chile, and tallied an estimated 12 million people. Incans had created 12,000 miles of roads, an accurate calendar, and food storage facilities that could hold a million bushels each. They had neither a written language nor the wheel. No one knows why the Inca were so successful, but might it have been the human sacrifices? Anthropologist Johan Reinhard would be the one to ask. He has uncovered 19 Incan mummies and nearly half of all the clothed Incan statues ever recovered. His most recent discoveries last spring were three human sacrifice victims, extraordinarily well preserved under 5 feet of rock atop Argentina’s Mount Llullaillaco. Reinhard will make his first public appearance since this find to discuss the expedition at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at National Geographic Society’s Grosvenor Auditorium, 1145 17th St. NW. $13. (202) 857-7700. (Janet Hopf)