The Andes Mountain range in South America during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries was home to many tribes of self-sustaining people. Eventually, these people came together to form what is now known as the Incan Empire. This empire boasted extreme size, sophisticated living conditions which were just shy of a utopia and technological advances which solidified them as one of the world's most impressive and underrated empires of all time.
From its northern to its southern boundaries the Incan Empire was about 2,500 miles. But its overall size is said to have been just about 300,000 square miles over six present day countries.(source 3) The citizens of the empire referred to it as Tahuantinsuyu, or land of the four quarters due to the fact that you could have found four different terrains across the empire; the empire covered lands on the coastline, in the mountains, rainforests, and even deserts. Being that the empire covered vastly different lands, it contained vastly different people. There were an estimated one hundred different languages spoken all throughout the empire by its nearly twelve million residents. (Source 1) .
Being that some items could only be from certain lands, one simple invention was thought out to make trade a universal language throughout the empire. The quipu was a knot in a piece of rope with different smaller strings varying in size and color dangling from it. Each size represented different amounts whether it be denominations of ten or one hundred and each color represented different items from foods like corn to fabrics and clothing.(source 2) This simple tool allowed people who spoke completely different languages to communicate easily during trade which kept violence in Incan cities extremely low.
Along with trade the Incas made travel very easy by mapping and maintaining more than twenty-five thousand miles of roads and bridges throughout their lands.