Inca quipu counting device, artwork

Inca quipu counting device, artwork

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Inca quipu counting device. Artwork of part of an Inca quipu (also spelt khipu). This counting device was used by the Inca people of South America in the 15th and 16th centuries. It consists of a series of coloured strings attached to a base rope. These strings were knotted to encode numerical information, arranged in columns of numbers. The colour of the strings signify the objects being counted. The quipu could be used to perform simple mathematical and arithmetic calculations, and has been described as a primitive computer.

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Keywords: 1400's, 1400s, 1500's, 1500s, 15th century, 16th century, anthropological, anthropology, arithmetic, artwork, calculator, coloured strings, counting device, cut out, cut outs, cut-out, cut-outs, cutout, cutouts, database, decimal system, false colour, historical, history, illustration, inca, inca quipu, incan, khipu, knots, mathematical calculations, mathematics, primitive computer, quipu, rope, south america, south american, three dimensional accounting

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