Knot direction in a khipu/alphabetic text from the Central Andes
MetadataShow full item record
Khipus are knotted-string devices that were used in the Inka Empire for communication and for recording information. We recently analyzed the names and associated khipu cords in a newly discovered hybrid khipu/alphabetic text from the Central Andes. Results indicate a significant relationship in the text between knot direction and a form of social organization known as moieties, in which S-knots correspond to the upper (Hanan) moiety and Z-knots correspond to the lower (Urin) moiety. This relationship suggests that knot direction was used to indicate moiety in Andean khipus and, as such, may represent the first decipherment of a structural element in khipus since the decoding of the number system in the 1920s.
Hyland , S P , Ware , G & Clark , M 2014 , ' Knot direction in a khipu/alphabetic text from the Central Andes ' , Latin American Antiquity: A Journal for the Society of American Archaeology , vol. 25 , no. 2 , pp. 189-197 . https://doi.org/10.7183/1045-66184.108.40.206
Latin American Antiquity: A Journal for the Society of American Archaeology
Copyright © 2014 by the Society for American Archaeology. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's article reuse policy.
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.