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Khipu Symposium – August 12th, 2023

Khipu Symposium – August 12th, 2023

One hundred years ago Leland Locke published The Ancient Quipu or Peruvian Knot Record, a seminal work in the study of the khipu, the communications system of colored and knotted cords utilized by the peoples of the Andes in lieu of a script-based writing system.  In celebration of this centennial, the Boundary End Archaeology Research Center (BEARC) is pleased to present this one-day public symposium in which seven khipu scholars will discuss the current state of research, from the khipu’s possible origins in the Middle Horizon (ca. 600–1000 CE), through its importance in the Inka Empire, to its continued use in contemporary times.

Event Location: The Collider, 1 Haywood St 4th floor, Asheville, NC 28801

For a list of nearby hotels, click here.

Event Schedule

8:00-9:15 am:

Checkin and Coffee

9:15–9:30 am:

Opening Remarks

Nelda Issa Marengo Camacho (Executive Director, Boundary End Archaeology Research Center)

Dylan Clark (BEARC Board Member, North Carolina Office of State Archaeology)

9:30–10:15 am:

The Enigma of the Khipu

Galen Brokaw (Montana State University)

10:15–11:00 am:

Context of Khipu in Fiber Traditions and Its Dialogue with Andean Ethnomathematics

Carrie Brezine (Independent Researcher, Ann Arbor, Michigan) 


The First Khipus and Their Predecessors

Jeffrey Splitstoser (George Washington University)

11:45 am–12:00 (Noon):


12:00–1:30 pm:


1:30–2:15 pm:

Inka Khipus: Digital Pattern Recognition at Scale

Jon Clindaniel (University of Chicago) 

2:15–3:00 pm:

Paper Khipus: Colonial-Era Transcriptions of Inka and Post-Inka Khipus

Manny Medrano (Harvard University)

3:00–3:15 pm:


3:15-4:00 pm:

Iconicity in Post-Inka Khipus

Sabine Hyland (University of St. Andrews) 

4:00–4:45 pm:

New Thoughts about Patrimonial Khipus

Frank Salomon (University of Wisconsin, Madison, Emeritus)

4:45–5:00 pm:


5:00-7:00 pm:

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