The Incas: Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Inca Trail


The Quipu Index. Inca Empire.

Quipus or Khipus Index


The Quipu, Inca Empire Index



Quipu Project Mind Map

The Quipu Mind Map,
Interactive Mind Map based on Khipu Database Project by Gary Urton and Carrie Brezine.


The Quipus, San Cristobal de Rapaz, Video

The Quipu or Khipu, San Cristobal de Rapaz, Oyon, Peru, Video.
Mysteries Woven Into Peru's Past


Quipu, Inca recording device

The Quipus, Recording Device.



ROyal Commentaries about the Quipu

The Quipus and The Royal Commentaries of the Inca, 1609
by Garcilaso de la Vega.



Quipu Illustrations by Guaman Poma

The Quipus: Illustrations from 1615 by Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala



Caral: the Oldest Quipu

Caral: Ancient Peru city reveals 5,000-year-old 'writing'
The Oldest Quipu.



Puruchuco Quipu

The Quipus of Puruchuco
These quipus were excavated at the site of Puruchuco, Peru, near Lima, in 1956.



The Quipus and Hiram Bingham

The Quipus and Hiram Bingham
the American Explorer who found Machu Picchu in 1911.



The Quipucamayoc

The Quipucamayocs, the accountants of the Inca Empire.



Mathematics of the Incas: Code of the Quipu
by Marcia Ascher, Robert Ascher

From the Publisher:
Unique, thought-provoking study discusses quipu, an accounting system employing knotted, colored cords, used by Incas to transmit information. Cultural context, mathematics involved, quipu-maker in Inca society, and even how to make a quipu. Fascinating for anthropologists, ethnologists, students, general readers. Over 125 photos and illustrations.


Signs of the Inka Khipu: Binary Coding in the Andean Knotted-String Records (The Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies)
by Gary Urton
Pub. Date: July 2003
Publisher: University of Texas Press

From the Publisher:
In an age when computers process immense amounts of information by the manipulation of sequences of 1s and 0s, it remains a frustrating mystery how prehistoric Inka recordkeepers encoded a tremendous variety and quantity of data using only knotted and dyed strings. Yet the comparison between computers and khipu may hold an important clue to deciphering the Inka records. In this book, Gary Urton sets forth a pathbreaking theory that the manipulation of fibers in the construction of khipu created physical features that constitute binary-coded sequences which store units of information in a system of binary recordkeeping that was used throughout the Inka empire.

Urton begins his theory with the making of khipu, showing how at each step of the process binary, either/or choices were made. He then investigates the symbolic components of the binary coding system, the amount of information that could have been encoded, procedures that may have been used for reading the khipu, the nature of the khipu signs, and, finally, the nature of the khipu recording system itself—emphasizing relations of markedness and semantic coupling. This research constitutes a major step forward in building a unified theory of the khipu system of information storage and communication based on the sum total of construction features making up these extraordinary objects.