L4 Inca Bridge Building Challenge

Tuesday 5th June 2018

Last week L4A continued to develop their knowledge and understanding of the Inca Empire by building their very own Inca-style rope bridge.

The pupils learnt about Q’eswachaka, the last Inca rope bridge, which continues to be rebuilt each year by the local Peruvian communities. Inca bridges were hand weaved from grass and llama hair, with recent studies showing that a bridge could typically hold 56 grown adults evenly spaced! After watching a short documentary to see how the Q’eswachaka is built, the L4 had to apply these methods to their own engineering task: building a bridge of approximately 60 cm using only newspaper and string. To start with, bridge designs quickly collapsed when tested with weights (kindly leant to history by the physics department) but this did not stop L4A. By applying methods such as twisting and plaiting, bridges soon became so strong that Miss Swindells could not break them, despite applying over 1kg of weight!