Speaking Threads: New Evidence about the Mysterious Incan Quipus
Quipus were tied strings used widely in the Incan Empire. We know they were used for record keeping – counting people and livestock and potatoes – but it has long been speculated that the quipus might have been used for storing more complicated information. Could knotted strings have been their writing system? New evidence suggests it was, at minimum, possible. Two quipus have been protected by one remote Andean village since around the time of the Spanish conquest. San Juan de Collata’s village elders recently invited a researcher to study the two quipus the community had carefully preserved for generations.