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3-12

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Auditory, Visual

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NOVA

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Grass Bridge

The ancient Inca were a textile society and thus skilled in working with natural fibers including alpaca and cotton. Still, it might surprise people today that their solution to crossing the canyons and gorges of their mountainous empire featured another fibrous material: grass. When you consider how they built a simple suspension bridge, you'll realize that not only was this a practical solution, it was also a safe one. In this video segment adapted from NOVA, watch residents of the Peruvian Andes as they build a traditional and functioning grass bridge—the likes of which enabled the ancient Inca people to flourish for several hundred years.

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