Khipu Accounting in Ancient Peru

  title={Khipu Accounting in Ancient Peru},
  author={Gary Urton and Carrie Brezine},
  pages={1065 - 1067}
Khipu are knotted-string devices that were used for bureaucratic recording and communication in the Inka Empire. We recently undertook a computer analysis of 21 khipu from the Inka administrative center of Puruchuco, on the central coast of Peru. Results indicate that this khipu archive exemplifies the way in which census and tribute data were synthesized, manipulated, and transferred between different accounting levels in the Inka administrative system. 
Accounting in the King's Storehouse: the Inkawasi Khipu Archive
The site of Inkawasi (or Incahuasi) is located in the Cahete Valley, on the south coast of Peru. It was a major garrison and storage facility for the Inka expansion onto the south coast, built for
Tying the Archive in Knots, or: Dying to Get into the Archive in Ancient Peru
Record keeping in the Inka Empire of the Andes of ancient Peru was based on the knotted-string recording device, the khipu (or quipu; Quechua: ‘knot'). Khipus were produced and consulted by Inka
Recovering Andean Historical Memory and Mathematics
In this work the authors seek to recover the historical memory of a forgotten mathematics—those that structured the Andes before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. The
Sin, Confession, and the Arts of Book- and Cord-Keeping: An Intercontinental and Transcultural Exploration of Accounting and Governmentality
  • G. Urton
  • Political Science
    Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • 2009
My objective is to examine an intriguing and heretofore unrecognized convergence in the history of bookkeeping. The story revolves around an extraordinary parallelism in the evolution of bookkeeping
The Inca Khipu: Knotted-Cord Record Keeping in the Andes
The knotted-stringed instrument used for record keeping in the Inca empire, known as khipu, from Quechua, “knot” [Note 1], was the subject of considerable interest from the earliest days following
El quipu: escritura andina en las redes informáticas incaicas y coloniales
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2015. Major: Hispanic and Luso Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics. Advisor: Luis Ramos-Garcia. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 208 pages.
Mathematics and Accounting in the Andes Before and After the Spanish Conquest
In an article entitled “Western mathematics: The secret weapon of cultural imperialism,” the author argues that Western European colonizing societies of the 15th to 19th centuries were especially
Symbolic and Material Boundaries : An archaeological genealogy of the Urus of Lake Poopó, Bolivia
The thesis focuses on Bolivian Indians who are assimilated into ethnic groups as one of many consequences of the colonial past. An understanding of the complexity of this construction draws from di
Knot-Words or Not Words
Knot-Words or Not Words Frank Salomon, The Cord Keepers: Khipus and Cultural Life in a Peruvian Village. Duke University Press, 2004, 331 pp. The Khipu Enigma I felt a pang the other day when I read
The application of Inca khipuas an accountability and managerial control tool
Purpose – This study aims to present the mechanisms of control and accountability used in the Inca society. Design/methodology/approach – For this purpose, a bibliographical and documental analysis


The Cord Keepers
The Inkan empire did not have writing as it is usually understood. The Inkas kept track of information - including their complex social and political organization - on khipus, knotted cords of cotton
References and Notes
our experimentation could eventually be used to discredit our findings, should they happen not to agree with the original observations. It seems important that all experiments in the rapidly
疟原虫var基因转换速率变化导致抗原变异[英]/Paul H, Robert P, Christodoulou Z, et al//Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
The Cord Keepers: Khipus and Cultural Life in a Peruvian Village
Astron. Astrophys
  • Astron. Astrophys
  • 1996
The Khipu Database project, located in the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, is described fully on the project Web site at http
  • The Khipu Database project, located in the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, is described fully on the project Web site at http
Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser
  • Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser
  • 1995
We thank NSF (grant BCS0408324); the Dumbarton Oaks Foundation; and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, for support; and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for G.U.’s
  • MacArthur Fellowship
  • 2005