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Inca quipu. Source: Claus Ableiter / GNU Free Documentation License.

Unraveling the Mystery of the Inca's Knotted Strings (Video)

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The Inca Empire left behind many mysteries that continue to intrigue and captivate historians and archaeologists today. One of these mysteries is the Quipu, a unique way of communicating and keeping records through knotted strings made of cotton. The Quipu was used by the Inca Empire as a tool for accounting and record-keeping, with knots representing numbers. Only the Quipucamayocs, individuals who were specially trained in reading and creating Quipus, were able to decipher their messages.

Despite the many questions that remain about the Quipu, archaeologists continue to uncover new Quipus in different contexts, sizes, shapes, and colors. With each new discovery, we gain a deeper understanding of the Inca Empire's sophisticated society and their mastery of complex communication systems. The preservation of the Quipus, which have been buried for over 600 years, is a testament to the ingenuity of the Inca and the remarkable way in which they preserved their cultural heritage.

Top image: Inca quipu. Source: Claus Ableiter / GNU Free Documentation License.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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