Inca Trail Blog

The best trek

How the Incas used they road system (part 2)

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015

How the Incas used they road system (part 2)


These roads provided easy, reliable and quick routes for the Empire’s civilian and military communications, personnel movement, and logistical support. The prime users were imperial soldiers, porters and llama caravans, along with the nobility and individuals on official duty. Permission was required before others could walk along the roads, and tolls were charged at some bridges.
Qollcas were used by the military and were situated along the roads.


Qollcas were long term storage houses for foods in the event of conflicts or shortages in the Inca Empire. The qollcas were constructed with volcanic rock. The bases were around or a little over 30 feet and almost 10 feet high. They were used primarily for the storage of grains and maize. These were food items had an extremely long expiration date which made them ideal for long term storage for the military
To give an example of the degree to which Incas stored supplies, one facility at Huanuco Pampa totaled as much as 37,100 cubic meters and could support a population of between twelve and fifteen thousand people.


The Inca army was divided in the following manner:

Inca rank Current equivalent Number of soldiers

under their command

Awqaq Runa (Aucac Runa) Soldier 0
Pukara Kamayuq (Púcara Camayuk) Castillian 0
Runancha Guide 0
Qipa Kamayuq (Quipa Camayuk) Trumpeter

(wooden trumpet)

Ch’uru Kamayuq (Choru Camayuk) Trumpeter

(conch shell)

Wankar Kamayuq (Huancar Camayuk) Drummer 0
Unancha Yanaq (Unanchayanac) Subaltern 5
Chunka Kamayuq (Chunga Kamayuk) Sub-lieutenant 10
Pichqa Chunka Kamayuq (Piccka Chunka Kamayuk) Lieutenant 50
Pachak Kamayuq (Pachac Kamayuk) Centurion 100
Waranqa Kamayuq (Guaranga Kamayuk) Battalion Leader 1,000
Kamayuk Officer
Apu Rantin (Apu Randin) Captain Lieutenant
Hatun Apu Rantin (Hatun Apu Randin) Lieutenant Commander
Apu Captain
Hatun Apu Brigadier General 4,000-5,000
Apuskin Rantin (Apusquin Rantin) Major General 10,000
Apuskispay (Apusquispay) Army General The whole field army

The largest units in the Inca army were composed of 10,000 men, under the command of a Major General or Apusquin Rantin. This was generally a nobleman from Cuzco who would have been a veteran of several campaigns. The head of the field army was the Apusquispay, he would have been a noble chosen by the Inca and he would have shown himself to have been in good physical and mental condition at the Huarachico trials. In order to give orders the generals used conche blowers, trumpeters or drummers to communicate with their lieutenants.