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21

The Khipu—Language Hidden in Knots

Lecture no. 21 from the course: Lost Worlds of South America

The Khipu—Language Hidden in Knots

Taught by Professor Edwin Barnhart | 33 min | Categories: The Great Courses Plus Online History Courses

The Inca used a complex system of records encoded on knotted strings. Study what is known of the khipu, starting with Spanish accounts of their use and the “khipucamayuq” who recorded and read them. Learn how numbers were encoded, and review evidence suggesting that the khipu may contain a form of writing.

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b********m
May 26, 2017

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e********m
June 25, 2016

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j********m
December 3, 2015
The Khipu was one of the oldest ancient writing systems... or knot. It might have been an accounting system that was adopted as a memory aid for Inca historians instead of a full language. If it is a full language and this lecture inspires you, go decipher it and you will become world famous. We might already know if the Spanish hadn't killed everybody who knew how to read the knots.

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