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Peru

The quipu is a system of knotted cords the Incas and their predecessors in the Andean region used for accounting and storing massive amounts of data important to their civilizations. The Inca Empire was centered in what is today southern Peru and important members of their society were the Quipucamayocs (literally “quipu specialists”) who could interpret the quipus. Approximately 1,000 quipus survive in museums and private collections around the world. Their accounting (numerical) function has been deciphered; work continues on clarifying their literary function.