The Inka never developed writing but instead had a system of tying knots called khipu in which the color, direction and structure of the knots communicated different information. While most of it is numerical, fully cracking the code reveal a phonetic khipu alphabet with records of history.
The Inka Empire Recorded Their World In Knotted Cords Called Khipu
The great South American civilization used complex knots and fibers for record-keeping and communication.
More than 400 pendants hang from the primary cord of a khipu, an example of the complex record-keeping system used throughout the Inka Empire and beyond, even well into the 20th century. | Sam Ogden, Khipu Gift of Robert Woods Bliss and President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, PM# 42-28-30/4532
High in the Peruvian Andes, in the remote village of San Juan de Collata, sits a wooden box that’s sacred to the locals who keep close guard over it. It contains 487 cords of twisted and dyed animal fibers that, according to its caretakers, encode messages planning an 18th-cen… Continue Reading (10 minute read)