Untangling the Knot

I found this article at Sapiens on deciphering the khipus (also quipus), the knotted cords presumably used in the pre-Columbian Andes as a form of writing, fascinating:

The extraordinary khipu texts of the central Andes, including the logosyllabic animal fiber cords, are a proud testament to the intellectual achievements of Native American peoples, and my research team and I are just beginning our efforts to decipher the Collata khipus. We will be working with the people of the region for years to come, to gain even greater understanding of their fascinating history and culture, and if we are lucky, we might even unlock the mysterious and unique code of their ancestors.

I’ve long assumed that they were pre-writing analogous to the clay cylinders with small figures found inside them that have been found in Mesopotamia, mostly used for accounting.

1 comment… add one
  • Guarneri

    “…analogous to the clay cylinders with small figures found inside them that have been found in Mesopotamia, mostly used for accounting.”

    Heh. I’ve run into some small businesses still using similar systems…….

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