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Pre-Columbian Studies Spring Workshop

Pre-Wari, Wari, and Inka Khipus: An Investigation of General Andean Cord Recording Principles & Technologies | April 11 and 12, 2014
Pre-Columbian Studies Spring Workshop

A diagram of a Middle Horizon khipu, based on an object from the collections of the American Museum of Natural History (41.2/7679), by workshop participant Professor Jeffrey Splitstoser.

Led by Professor Gary Urton, the workshop explored the bookkeeping that supported the development of state administration and bureaucracy in the Andes, with particular attention paid to the system of Andean cord recording, known by the Quechua term khipu and representing a specialized branch of the fiber arts. Participants focused on the study of the rare surviving early examples of Pre-Wari and Wari khipus as well as the larger corpus of later Inka examples. Invited area experts, including ethnohistorians, art historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists, offered a rich blend of reports on recently excavated field discoveries and the documentation of previously unstudied objects found in museum collections.

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