Skip to comments.The College Student Who Decoded the Data Hidden in Inca Knots
Posted on 08/11/2019 12:00:49 PM PDT by wildbill
With the help of his professor, Gary Urton, a scholar of Pre-Columbian studies, Medrano interpreted a set of six khipus, knotted cords used for record keeping in the Inca Empire. By matching the khipus to a colonial-era Spanish census document, Medrano and Urton uncovered the meaning of the cords in greater detail than ever before. Their findings could contribute to a better understanding of daily life in the Andean civilization.
(Excerpt) Read more at getpocket.com ...
Wow, this is unexpected!
Medrano comes from a Mexican-American family and speaks Spanish, so understanding the Spanish census document was no problem. Handling numbers and data came naturally to him as well, as an economics major. The challenge, as both Medrano and Urton note, seemed to demand a perfect alignment of his skills and interests. Not every archaeology project operates in Excel, Medrano points out.
This is absolutely spectacular. We have one of those allegedly stupid young kids (/ sarc), combining his love for puzzles and skills in Excel and languages to help solve a riddle - and he's an Econ major!
Without getting all mushy or even SJW-like, THIS is the type of story that makes me love this country all the more...nothing about politics, nothing about racism, nothing about hatred; just an American who innovated his way to making the world a littler more interesting for all of us.
Well. He has his PhD thesis material all set.
DRINK YOUR OVALTINE
Translated, it says, “The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.”
LOL. omg. Excellent.
“Translated, it says, The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.”
It’s amazing that the Andeans, as advanced as they were, couldn’t invent paper, ink, pens and writing to capture information. Or at least cuneiform in clay tablets.
Can you imagine how HARD it must have been to record data in KNOTS? That is a weird way to write things down.
Awesome news! This is an historic breakthrough!
Especially when contemporanous Mesoamerican civilizations had scripts that were carved in stone, cast in metals, and written on paper-equivalents.
Since he is the only one to do it.
If he is wrong how would any body else know.
Professor Edwin Barnhart in The Great Courses: Lost Worlds of South America (copyright 2012) discuses Khipu(s?) in Lecture 21. He states, “Some scholars believe that they (khipu) are simply accounting devices, while others believe that they constitute a true writing system. It seems unlikely that an empire like that of the Inca could have been managed without some kind of writing system.”
Deciphering such a writing system without a similar Rosetta Stone would be another real challenge.
The Khipus are nothing more than accounts receivable and payables between tribes with different currencies.
Sorry, I’ll go sit in the corner now...
64KB of memory ought to be enough for everybody.
I never really cared.
Read the whole article and in just one little paragraph it looks like the cords may represent individuals and their social status. That is an interpretation and decoding? Nice but not much and surely not worth all the discussion.
It looks as though to say diversity is our strength and all that Tommy rot is the theme of this article.
I had hoped to learn something really interesting but was disappointed again.
Lugging stone, metal, and other stuff up and down the Andes sounds a little bulky. Textiles can just be looped around a belt or hung on a hook.
Not the best solution—but not sure I could come up with a better one.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.