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Inca walls near Otavalo, Ecuador

A ruined Inca wall is covered in moss and flowers near Otavalo, Ecuador.The Inca rulers were relative latecomers to Ecuador. Ecuador had been settled for a thousand years or more before the Incas invaded from Peru in the mid 15th century. The Inca rulers were warlike and built many walls and fortifications to repel invaders and keep peace in their far-flung empire. The walls came to be used mostly to repel the Spanish invaders who arrived in the mid 16th century. While the Spaniards soon overran the Inca empire with superior firepower, many Inca walls and fortifications remain today. In fact, the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru were so well hidden that modern historians only found them in the early 20th century.

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