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The Weirdest Language Of All Time Is FINALLY Being Deciphered

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  • čas přidán 20. 02. 2024
  • Use code JOESCOTT at the link below to get an exclusive 60% off an annual Incogni plan: incogni.com/joescott
    When the Spanish Conquistadors encountered the mighty Inca empire, they found thousands of knotted-up ropes called quipus. Encoded in these quipus were tax records, census data, and the entire history of the Inca empire. But the secret to these ancient computers have been lost to time. Today, scientists are trying to crack the unbreakable code in these strings and bring the history of this great empire back to life.
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    LINKS LINKS LINKS
    www.theguardian.com/news/data...
    www.iesalc.unesco.org/en/2022...
    www.britishmuseum.org/blog/ev...
    sacred-texts.com/egy/trs/trs0...
    www.discover-peru.org/who-were...
    www.worldhistory.org/Inca_Civ...
    www.thoughtco.com/introductio...
    www.thoughtco.com/introductio...
    news.harvard.edu/gazette/stor...
    www.peruforless.com/blog/quipu/
    courses.lumenlearning.com/way...
    lithub.com/how-the-inca-used-...
    www.journals.uchicago.edu/jou...
    www.sapiens.org/language/khip...
    www.harvardmagazine.com/2021/...
    www.si.edu/stories/why-langua...
    www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-...
    nebula.tv/how-to-make-a-real-...
    www.omniglot.com/writing/indu...
    www.livescience.com/59851-anc...
    eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infoped...
    www.roots.gov.sg/en/stories-l...
    www.bbc.com/travel/article/20...
    TIMESTAMPS
    0:00 - Intro
    1:48 - The Rosetta Stone
    5:47 - History of Quipus
    7:11 - Tangent Cam
    7:31 - Quipu Creation Date
    9:18 - Professor Gary Urton and Manny Medrano
    12:36 - How To Read A Quipu
    19:14 - Sponsor - Incogni
  • Věda a technologie

Komentáře • 2,8K

  • @MomotheToothless
    @MomotheToothless Před 3 měsíci +1759

    I love how there's the universal human trait of recording information, but the WAY it is recorded is so varied across cultures.

    • @brandonhoffman4712
      @brandonhoffman4712 Před 3 měsíci +105

      I love the Egyptians method of only recording positive information.
      All success and greatness over here! Lost what battle? Nothing to see, nothing to see!

    • @equilibrum999
      @equilibrum999 Před 3 měsíci

      reminds me of the ZSSR and North Korea's long aged recording of information@@brandonhoffman4712

    • @ImVeryOriginal
      @ImVeryOriginal Před 3 měsíci +28

      It's far from universal, most human cultures in history relied on oral transmission of knowledge.

    • @creativeideas012
      @creativeideas012 Před 3 měsíci +26

      @@brandonhoffman4712 lots of lies as well
      Remember, people who have a humongous enough ego to force others not only to worship them but also build temples for the very same, dare not have |ow|¡fes aka 'non-gods' upset them with their truth
      Edit: it does baffle me how archeologists can take records from tombs & similar sources built by these very folks to glorify themselves, as facts/proofs

    • @John-lp5xh
      @John-lp5xh Před 3 měsíci +1

      Universal? Sub saharan Africa called 😂

  • @sassulusmagnus
    @sassulusmagnus Před 3 měsíci +2076

    Subtle differences in worldview are sometimes implicit in a language. In English one might say "You are a student." whereas in Gaelic the sentence would translate as something like "There is a student in you." The English suggests that you are one member of a larger category (students), whereas the Gaelic suggests that "student" is one aspect of the larger reality that is you. It's a subtle but powerful difference in perspective.

    • @vincentdreemurr
      @vincentdreemurr Před 3 měsíci +74

      gaelic one kinda makes sense still

    • @s.h.i.h.t.z.u
      @s.h.i.h.t.z.u Před 2 měsíci +92

      Oh I love that! I like how it automatically suggests that you are much more than just one specific label :D

    • @t.c.2776
      @t.c.2776 Před 2 měsíci +50

      "There is a student in you." could also be more literal and mean they are cannibalistic and just ate a student...😲

    • @richard--s
      @richard--s Před 2 měsíci +18

      That's interesting - and there might be many differences in languages that are not intuitive. For example in German the word "Student" means a person who is stuyding at a university.
      Below the university the people are "Schüler". A totally different word.
      But we get used to the meaning of "student" in english conversations. But some Germans might get it wrong.

    • @catulusinferni8612
      @catulusinferni8612 Před 2 měsíci +21

      ​@@richard--s Also, nouns in german have genders, so a Student and a Schüler both mean a male person. A female Student is a Studentin, a female Schüler is a Schülerin. A female group is Schülerinnen or Studentinnen and a male or mixed group is Schüler or Studenten. Trying to remove the gender of a person from the gender of a noun ist often done by transforming a verb to a noun. So one would not use Studenten and Studentinnen, but Studierende, meaning "the ones who currently study". Same can be done for almost every group of people doing anything. This is a political issue in germany, some do it, some won't, some feel forced to do it either way, most don't really care. But this is talked about more often in media than in real life and maybe in a few hundred years historians will study the "documentation" of a process, that isn't really there. And also it's common in german to make a noun from a verb to describe a group of people. It was used in music and poetry and even in documents for as long as the group of languages that later formed german exist. I really find that discussion that is so heated at the moment amusing, because people are so emotional about a topic they clearly know not much about.
      Also, there a far more words for the different kinds of Schüler.
      Grundschüler, Mittelschüler/Mittelstufler, Hauptschüler, Sonderschüler, Abiturienten, Maturisten, Berufsschüler...4 gramatical cases in singular, 4 gramatical cases in plural, and everything again for the female version, too. And every word means a different kind of Schüler... learning german is really fun...

  • @OlOleander
    @OlOleander Před 2 měsíci +664

    When he got to texture conveying meaning, comparing it to Braille, it struck me how genius that is: quipu can convey information even if you are blind or deaf, discounting the colored strands for the former. The knots are spaced regularly and distinctly enough to read in the dark or the rain, silently. As elders slowly lose the use of their senses, they can still use the quipu until their hands can no longer make out the knots.

    • @diegopena4773
      @diegopena4773 Před 2 měsíci +66

      Yeah! And thats specially necessary in the latinoamerican continent because the weather changes drastricly. In one moment you are in the rainiest jungle on earth, one day of travel later now you are burning in the dessert, two days past and now is freezing cold at the andes mountain. There is an engineer i all humans that can decode a way out for everything

    • @Julia-lk8jn
      @Julia-lk8jn Před měsícem +18

      There's tv-show playing in a dystopic future where (almost) all humans are blind. It's kind of not problem because since everybody is blind, everything man-made is adapted to blindness, and the producers got input from blind people into the design. Letters still exist, and what do you know; they're basically quipu.

    • @chucklesdeclown8819
      @chucklesdeclown8819 Před 22 dny +1

      That's what I was thinking, ancient braille with knots

    • @Joaking91
      @Joaking91 Před 18 dny +2

      ​@@diegopena4773 lol youre absolutely tripping. I live in South America. Need to drive 4 hours to see a hill, 5 hours on a different direction to see the sea, 15 to see a mountain, and 18 to get to a jungle.

    • @diegopena4773
      @diegopena4773 Před 17 dny +1

      @@Joaking91 yeah i ment travel by car xd, its still much more varied than traveling across europe

  • @gianella4557
    @gianella4557 Před 3 měsíci +473

    Im Peruvian and my grandpa was a historian he spend most of his life trying to understand quipus he wrote several books about it. It’s so exiting to know we are finally here 🇵🇪

    • @AlloAnder
      @AlloAnder Před 3 měsíci +7

      What are the names of these books?👀

    • @nixi7688
      @nixi7688 Před 2 měsíci +6

      I'd read that. This is so fascinating!

    • @isabel.bolivia
      @isabel.bolivia Před 2 měsíci

      Exciting*

    • @L.P.1987
      @L.P.1987 Před 2 měsíci +6

      ¿Quién es tu abuelo?

    • @DardS8Br
      @DardS8Br Před 2 měsíci +10

      It’s so sad that only 100 years before there was likely someone who could read and write them

  • @NamelessFurry
    @NamelessFurry Před 3 měsíci +220

    Hi, i'm a peruvian and i lived most of my life in pisac perú, alot of locals speak quechua and they actually teach it in some schools, not only that but if you're lucky, you can get "how to read a quipu" as a class asignment, but they only teach the numbers part, other than that, the locals are very welcoming and friendly

  • @jerotoro2021
    @jerotoro2021 Před 2 měsíci +69

    Written language has two main drivers: the need to enhance/expand our communication abilities, and the intrinsic desire to live forever and immortalize yourself in some form. Kinda sad that so many of those stories were casually destroyed like that.

  • @sammarchant2703
    @sammarchant2703 Před 3 měsíci +5742

    My wife is from Ayacucho Peru. Her first language is Quechua and my mother in law still only speaks Quechua. We plan on sending our daughter to live with her grandma for several months of the year until she can master it and keep it alive. It’s sad because speaking Quechua instead of Spanish is associated with being uneducated and unsophisticated so there really isn’t a push to keep it alive. Everyone that can tries to speak Spanish and forget Quechua.
    Also, btw, the two different spellings are because the Spanish were trying to write down words in Quechua that have sounds that don’t exist in Spanish. Quechua has a sort of gutteral sounds that they often use a Q to represent, but there isn’t really a perfect way to spell it. My wife’s maiden name is Quispe which also uses that sound.

    • @AlvaroMarquezArango
      @AlvaroMarquezArango Před 3 měsíci +502

      I'm a community interpreter for Spanish, so I often get called to interpret for Central American immigrants who speak Spanish as a second language, but their first is usually a form of Mayan. I don't deny my help, but I do encourage them to ask for a Mayan interpreter, I think just as any other language, theirs have a place in the world.

    • @riichobamin7612
      @riichobamin7612 Před 3 měsíci +357

      I feel you. I belong to the Apatani tribe, from India, and Hindi and English are slowly replacing our language. I am also doing my best to learn my language, keep it alive, and hopefully be able to pass it on to my kids.
      I REALLY appreciate what you are doing.

    • @bradyanselmi
      @bradyanselmi Před 3 měsíci +254

      Please Please Please send your daughter to learn Quechua! And, I assume your wife speaks Spanish, please have her speak to your daughter only in Spanish while you only speak English to her (unless you're fluent in another language too). My cousin (we're Cajun) spoke only Cajun French to his boys and their mom (Brazilian) only spoke to them in Portuguese. They grew up trilingual and now that they're older are multi-lingual because their brains were primed for language at such a young age.

    • @CharlieTheNerd91
      @CharlieTheNerd91 Před 3 měsíci +71

      I grew up speaking 3 languages (German, English and Serbian), with Sebian I also understand most of the Balkan languages. I work as a linguist / Translator. From my POV, although it is sad to lose languages, with each one we lose we actually grow closer as a civilization, more and more people speak the same language. It is also worth noting that out of the 6700 endangered languages, many are likely just glorified dialects rather than completely unique languages. Many are simply wrong forms of another major language (often the case in rural/less educated areas), that is why the "uneducated" stigma exists for many of these. So I for one embrace the gradual change. May of these languages are effectively useless today and would not have any value in the future, for example minor languages spoken by small cultures. In these cases, we often have a somewhat complete understanding of their history, so keeping the language alive is not very useful to anyone.
      EDIT FOR THE HATERS:
      Read my other comments before dropping any "You are racist" or any Balkan war related stuff, I made myself abundantly clear.

    • @almafuertegmailcom
      @almafuertegmailcom Před 3 měsíci +49

      There isn't anything wrong with that, though. That's how Spanish became a thing, isn't it? What we call Spanish today is so radically different from what it was a thousand years ago. Latin mutated into many things before it became Spanish, and all of those intermediate languages are mostly dead. The same is true about most languages, and yes, that also includes Quechua.
      And when I say "that also includes quechua", what I mean is that the Incas would come in, conquer a civilization, most times brutally (rape the women, kill the men, etc), and then whoever survived was forced to adopt Quechua. Their previous language, dead, forgotten.
      That's the story of the world. And it makes perfect sense, humans need to progress, and you can't really progress if you're always trying to keep the past alive. If we all tried to keep all of our ancestor's languages alive, none of us would be able to talk with one another.
      And, yes, speaking Quechua instead of Spanish IS a very clear sign of being uneducated and unsophisticated, just as speaking anything but Quechua was a sign of that back in the times of the Inca. Same as not understanding English today is a sign of being uneducated. Just as once Latin was the language of the uneducated, and the educated spoke Greek, and after that it was Latin for the educated, Spanish for the unwashed masses. Once French was the educated language, and English was for the common folks. That's how culture works.
      The world would be an awful place if tradition was actually more important than progress.

  • @miserablepile
    @miserablepile Před 3 měsíci +81

    Magnetic core memory was one of the earliest forms of digital information storage. It consisted of woven wires strung with lots of tiny donut shaped magnets which could be flipped into off and on states, they would stay in their encoded states after the system turned off. Kind of cyclic how an early recorded language used lengths of rope and knots while early digital records weren't too dissimilar!

    • @marcalvarez4890
      @marcalvarez4890 Před 25 dny +3

      The Apollo Project engineers approve of this message!

  • @nestorjuandediosgomezrojas9197
    @nestorjuandediosgomezrojas9197 Před 3 měsíci +81

    As a Peruvian I highly appreaciate this video and your content. It is sad that loads of information had been lost but it gives hope knowing that there are still intelectuals trying to decipher quipus.

  • @ateneamaurtua
    @ateneamaurtua Před 3 měsíci +61

    I am from Peru. Thank you for making this video. You don't know how many times I've wanted to scrag some of my fellows because they try to deny that the Quipus are a writing system. Literally every time i hear that "our ancestors didn't have a writing system but were great either way" or that they were stupid because they didn't get to develop one, because yeah i heard that one too... i get mad, because it's simply most likely not true! Here everyone always says that the Quipus were only a counting and registering tool, no one ever divulgates that it was most probably also a writing system solely because it can't be translated yet. It's very annoying. Due to the will of certain people to be seen as factual and academic they don't talk about the writing system "theory" at all in museums and schools and most people don't know anything about it, even some university teachers apparently lack this information.

    • @dugebuwembo
      @dugebuwembo Před 2 měsíci +3

      Not to mention that writing alone as a marker for civilisation ignores a lot of civilisations. When you look at the history of writing the innovation of it is actually very rare, there are only 4 writing systems that developed independently world wide within the last 12000 years, & even Europeans use a writing system that is borrowed; Latin Alphabet ultimately descends from Ancient Egypt via proto sinatic script.
      Most people adopted writing systems that had been innovated in one of the 4 cradles.

    • @AllenHarris-xk9ny
      @AllenHarris-xk9ny Před 2 měsíci

      They called mine a craft. 12/19/23 8am pst - Chanda Maggie 🤟

  • @iesika7387
    @iesika7387 Před 2 měsíci +7

    As a fiber artist i can tell you something interesting about knots as records - when you unknot a previously knotted cord, you can easily see where the knots were. That’s built in tamper detection.

  • @judilynn9569
    @judilynn9569 Před 2 měsíci +486

    Interestingly, African slaves also used a type of "knot" system when braiding each other's hair. The different designs braided into the hair gave instructions for escape routes and other secret messages to be passed along. This video had me thinking about that.

  • @D-Rock420
    @D-Rock420 Před 3 měsíci +970

    "You're a language?"
    "I'm a frayed knot...."
    Ok, I'm done 😆

    • @Gizathecat2
      @Gizathecat2 Před 3 měsíci +8

      Good one!😂

    • @mnemosynevermont5524
      @mnemosynevermont5524 Před 3 měsíci +6

      *WHACK* With a rolled-up newspaper...

    • @willmfrank
      @willmfrank Před 3 měsíci +1

      Sir, this is "Answers with Joe," not "Scott, Prop & Roll." 😉😁

    • @randolphfriend8260
      @randolphfriend8260 Před 3 měsíci +1

      🙉 🤣
      🩷

    • @Rain-Dirt
      @Rain-Dirt Před 3 měsíci +7

      Want to learn a new exotic language for free? No strings attached! But we promise it'll be "knots".

  • @LadyTsunade777
    @LadyTsunade777 Před 2 měsíci +16

    Having a language be recorded by knots in ropes and strings is quite unique, and it's always amazing to me how early cultures recorded things.
    Ogham for example, is an early Irish method of recording language where it was recorded _on the corners_ of standing stones or doorways. Like, you'd make marks on one side, the other, or both, for different letters.
    Because it's so unique and different, for the longest time it was thought to just be ritualistic decoration, not an actual recorded language. Most languages we know are either written on flat paper or cloth, or impressed upon flat tablets; but Irish Ogham was entirely different, just like this Incan Quipu.
    Tom Scott has a great video on Ogham titled:
    ᚛ᚈᚑᚋ ᚄᚉᚑᚈᚈ᚜ and ᚛ᚑᚌᚐᚋ᚜

  • @Sean.Cordes
    @Sean.Cordes Před 2 měsíci +32

    Good video. Along with the Rosetta Stone, another critical ancient text that IS an absolute banger is the Behistun Inscription - written in Elamite, Akkadian, and Old Persian, which allowed scholars to translate the vast wealth of Akkadian tablets and other sources we have from Mesopotamia [along with [cuneiform] Elamite and Old Persian records of course].

  • @Wolberg143
    @Wolberg143 Před 3 měsíci +20

    I remember learning about quipu at school ~20 years ago. There was a photo with an annotation that to this day this language has not been deciphered. I accepted that it's one of those lost secrets we'll never uncover, so hearing about this is very exciting, even if it's just the beginning.

  • @isaacbruner65
    @isaacbruner65 Před 3 měsíci +26

    I believe the reason that there are two different spellings is that quipu is the more traditional spelling based on Spanish orthographic conventions, while khipu is based on the revised spelling system that is supposed to more closely reflect the native pronunciation. The new spelling system was adopted by the Peruvian government in 1975 and if I'm not mistaken, it's now illegal in Peru to spell indigenous place names with the old Spanish system on official maps.

    • @ReinoldFZ
      @ReinoldFZ Před 2 měsíci +3

      There are different dialects of Quechua as well, as different as Spanish from French or English from Norse.

    • @wafaatqiya
      @wafaatqiya Před 10 dny

      Damn! That's a really great law, same how in Java it's mandatory (If I'm not mistaken) to write street names in Javanese alphabets, not only latin.

  • @skypig353
    @skypig353 Před 2 měsíci +29

    In a book series I love called 'The Kingkiller Chronicles' theres a language called yllish which utilised 'story knots' before other forms of writing were made. I loved the idea of a physical language like this and how it was used in everyday objects in the book such as the pattern on a ring or a braid in ones hair. Its really cool to see that this is an actual part of our history.

  • @regrettablemuffin9186
    @regrettablemuffin9186 Před 3 měsíci +1503

    The idea that 6700 of our current 7000 languages are threatened is horrifying to me. I’ve been obsessed with languages since high school and one of the things that no one can really understand until they study a language to the point of fluency is that languages are not just a bunch of different words for the same thing. Every language is a different interpretation of the world. Every language has words that can’t be translated into other languages because that concept simply doesn’t exist outside of that language. Just think how many ideas and perspectives we will lose if those languages die out.

    • @orchdork775
      @orchdork775 Před 3 měsíci +55

      Hopefully with our current technology we will be able to preserve these languages in some way so that they never fully dissappear. We could collect/film many recordings of native speakers teaching us how to speak the language or even just of them conversing with eachother, though that would still rely a lot on translation, which like you mentioned isn't ideal. Maybe we could use AI language models to create chatbots based on endangered/extinct languages, allowing us to converse with it in those languages. We probably wouldn't have enough data for that, though, because of how rare the languages are, but maybe we could take a proactive approach and start collecting data for every single language that exists right now, and then in the future when some of them go extinct, we will have enough data to properly document and preserve that language for future generations. The only issue is that this wouldn't do anything for the languages that are currently close to disappearing, but it's better than nothing. Either way, it's certainly cool to think that maybe in the future it will be possible to preserve languages for thousands of years so that future humans can learn English or Spanish or Japanese and then actually converse with the ai as if it is person from the 21st century.

    • @johannageisel5390
      @johannageisel5390 Před 3 měsíci +44

      @@orchdork775 But for that somebody needs to fork out the money to go to every remote tribe and do lenghty work there.
      And sadly, within our capitalist system, everything that does not directly result in profit for the ruling class has a low priority.

    • @BASCILLICUS
      @BASCILLICUS Před 3 měsíci +41

      One of the most fascinating things about languages (and by extension, the tragic nature of losing these languages) is that the way a person learns and uses language can very much alter their perception of the world. Losing languages is losing a way of thinking as much as it is a loss of information. Mode of language shapes personal expectations of the world around us and how we react to stimuli presented to us and is very much subconscious in many ways. World perspectives of dead languages are gone forever because the psychology associated with growing up with that language can never be replicated. Even if you were able to decode a dead language completely, you can never replace the context in which those languages arose and shaped the way the speakers/writers saw the world as a consequence of their word use.

    • @evanhylland2481
      @evanhylland2481 Před 3 měsíci +5

      Couldn't have said it better myself. Ditto to all of that

    • @j.d.buchanan4897
      @j.d.buchanan4897 Před 3 měsíci +8

      Ah, the good old strong Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

  • @kbck884
    @kbck884 Před 3 měsíci +17

    In 2005, 21 quipu from Puruchuco were examined, and the ones that weren't just for local use shared a non-numeric three-knot sequence that may have been a place-name designation for Puruchuco. If so, it is the first deciphered word in pre-Conquest quipu.

  • @julesgosnell9791
    @julesgosnell9791 Před 3 měsíci +56

    I heard about Quipus a long time ago and always assumed that they would be really complicated - apparently KNOT :-) Thoughts:
    - I'm surprised that Inca's used base-10 - I think the Mayans used base-20 - so perhaps they both invented their own maths independently from each other
    - Are we to credit the Inca's or their forebears with the invention of '0' ?
    - Quipus could be read in the dark 🙂
    - 95 symbols is probably enough for a syllabary and a few other perhaps logographs, numbers, punctuation marks etc... With a big enough corpus to analyse you might be able to begin to read these quipus
    - it sounds like each Quipu may have needed some variable extra contextual knowledge about e.g. string colour, material etc to fully understand its meaning - this makes things harder...
    - it sounds like Quipus may have developed in much the same way as Cuneiform - originally to record numbers, later somehow making the leap to sounds

    • @rodjacksonx
      @rodjacksonx Před 2 měsíci +3

      "95 symbols is probably enough" -- Well, considering we're literally communicating via machines translating binary, yes, 95 is definitely more than enough.

    • @any1alive
      @any1alive Před 2 měsíci +1

      yeah, 95 is mroe than enough for every noise a mouth can make the I.P.A. International Phonetic Alphabet
      I had to google it,
      butyeah that makessence

    • @ReinoldFZ
      @ReinoldFZ Před 2 měsíci +1

      So far we understand the communication was as hard as the Roman empire with China. When Spaniards arrived to Panama the Inca empire was like a mythical place, and only because the few traders that would get through ships in the ocean to there.

    • @barbthegreat586
      @barbthegreat586 Před měsícem +3

      I'm sure Mayans used '0' in their math. I clearly remember from the exhibition I saw long time ago.

    • @julesgosnell9791
      @julesgosnell9791 Před měsícem +2

      @@rodjacksonxknotting in binary would be impractical 😂

  • @lizbaena2012
    @lizbaena2012 Před 2 měsíci +16

    Your comedy was perfect for this episode. Also “he needed harder than any nerd has ever nerded in the history of nerdom,” was an understatement.

  • @Nulli_Di
    @Nulli_Di Před 3 měsíci +16

    It's interesting how writing, or Quipu, evolves in similar ways across cultures. Sumerian writing, the Jiahu symbols in China and Quipu all began as a way to keep records of commodities, such as counting livestock or bags of rice. Mercantile transactions, basically. Then they evolve into more complex logograms, such as cuneiform or hieroglyphs or Hanzi and whatever the equivalent is in Quipu.

  • @qrfarchaeology9391
    @qrfarchaeology9391 Před 3 měsíci +9

    I use simple versions of this for counting distances and other things. Mine is a bit faster because I use beads but this means the recordation is not as perminant. More recently I used it to record shovel test pits I did a day and their hole number. After watching this I realized I can record a whole crew's actvity throughtout a day with it.
    As for recording someone's whole life on a string, I think it it would make sense to think about what kind of information would be recorded on a "whole life document" and consider what could be encoded on a string, things like dates, relationships, income, and perhaps even address.
    Something I've thought about with quipus is their potential to map things in terms of distance or relation to geographical features like ridges and drainages.

  • @hardcoreherbivore4730
    @hardcoreherbivore4730 Před 3 měsíci +924

    As a farmer, the Inca have always amazed me with their agricultural achievements.

    • @olliefoxx7165
      @olliefoxx7165 Před 3 měsíci +43

      They way they integrated the terrace farming into the sides of mountain is inspiring and beautiful. Like functioning art. Impressive engineering by Llama and their own back/hands.

    • @shruggzdastr8-facedclown
      @shruggzdastr8-facedclown Před 3 měsíci +18

      Isn't it they who first domesticated the potato?

    • @bbergan2169
      @bbergan2169 Před 3 měsíci +28

      @@shruggzdastr8-facedclownyup, the potato is from South America

    • @shah9394
      @shah9394 Před 3 měsíci +7

      yeah but without a grinding wheel they could only do so much and never really could grow.......note corn meal is easily digestible while corn in curnel form....not so much.

    • @hardcoreherbivore4730
      @hardcoreherbivore4730 Před 3 měsíci

      @@shah9394 They didn’t have a need, they had a different process called nixtamalization. Mills are labour intensive, which is fine when you’ve got a windmill or a gristmill.
      “There is no precise date when the technology was developed, but the earliest evidence of nixtamalization is found in Guatemala's southern coast, with equipment dating from 1200-1500 BC”
      “Nixtamalized corn has several benefits over unprocessed grain: It is more easily ground, its nutritional value is increased, flavor and aroma are improved, and mycotoxins are reduced by up to 97%-100% (for aflatoxins).”
      Considering that the Incan empire spanned over 4 climate zones, unlike any other ancient empire. You should reconsider your position on their accomplishments.
      Not convinced?
      “They developed resilient breeds of crops such as potatoes, quinoa and corn. They built cisterns and irrigation canals that snaked and angled down and around the mountains. And they cut terraces into the hillsides, progressively steeper, from the valleys up the slopes. At the Incan civilization’s height in the 1400s, the system of terraces covered about a million hectares throughout Peru and fed the vast empire.”

  • @dunzerkug
    @dunzerkug Před 3 měsíci +8

    For quipus being used for official records I like the idea they could use the same one as a living record. Like in the sheep counting example, someone sells 100 sheep to a neighbor just retie the knots for each and the record is updated.

  • @jomiar309
    @jomiar309 Před 2 měsíci +8

    Your explanation of why losing languages matters was beautiful. Many talk about how language shapes our thoughts (only slightly true), but the more powerful argument is that connection to our past. I have a love of languages, and the biggest draw is that connection to other people, to other times. I speak a fairly small language (Latvian--about 3.5 million speakers globally), and the connection I feel to others who know it when we're talking about simple things is far more powerful than the words being stated.
    This video was incredibly fascinating! Never new about Quipus, and now I'm very interested in them.

  • @kimyoonmisurnamefirst7061
    @kimyoonmisurnamefirst7061 Před 3 měsíci +8

    There's also the Micronesian stick charts telling how Ocean currents work, which would also be fun to cover, no? And the thing is those charts are used to teach children, but not used at sea... Ever since I heard about Polynesian navigation I had a ton of respect for them.
    For those who haven't seen one or heard it explained--you're in for a treat.

  • @anicoleww
    @anicoleww Před 3 měsíci +9

    This was a lovely video. I used to want to learn "ALL the world's languages" lol (if I actually could I would still love to, but it's just not plausible). Thank you for the video, love the editing! Sad to think about losing so many languages and so much knowledge, but lovely to know this one is a little closer.

  • @davidmfriedman
    @davidmfriedman Před 3 měsíci +4

    hey joe... we're going to have the same problem of lost historical data in the digital age as well..
    over just the last 40 years, we've been through 8" floppys, 5 1/4" floppys, 3 1/2" floppys, zip disks, jaz disks, bernoulli disks and more,
    even if you still have the drives that used those disks, no modern computer has drivers to talk to the drives to read the disks and access the data.
    a variation on the concept of 'language' but similar in the concept of loss of information.

  • @bimblinghill
    @bimblinghill Před 3 měsíci +724

    What's surprising about how this was forgotten is that in much of the old Inca empire, a lot of the culture is still very much alive. I backpacked through Chile, Peru & Bolivia in 2005. Huge numbers of people still speak Quechua, wear the traditional clothes and attend religious and cultural ceremonies. I suppose quipu literacy was not widespread, so the conquistadors were able to snuff it out.

    • @joescott
      @joescott  Před 3 měsíci +154

      Yeah, I think it was only a small class of people who could read it.

    • @kris1123259
      @kris1123259 Před 3 měsíci

      Before firearms built the current nation state governments had little incentive to teach the populace to read and write. It's easier to rule over people if you only allow the elite to use them. The incas were no different.

    • @celdur4635
      @celdur4635 Před 3 měsíci +35

      Your lack of knowledge is fooling you. I'll explain what you saw: Inca empire is not old, its 1400-1550. Quechua being spoken was a majority of the Peruvian population until the 1960's and mass migration to cities. All those clothes are European traditional clothes, and the ceremonies are Catholic ceremonies from hundreds of years ago that are still alive today.
      Conquistadors used Quipu, its just easier to write, and so the native elites also abandoned the Quipu, since most were allied with the Spanish anyway.

    • @lorenapacora1526
      @lorenapacora1526 Před 3 měsíci +45

      ​@@celdur4635ma dude la ropa tradicional de las provincias no son europeas wtf

    • @bimblinghill
      @bimblinghill Před 3 měsíci +36

      @@celdur4635 Oh no we've got a tradcath in the thread

  • @timsawyer9231
    @timsawyer9231 Před 3 měsíci +4

    2:34 There's so much more to it than that. Language isn't just a way to communicate, it's a window into how entire cultures view the world. This leads to a totally different life experience and way of thinking. Losing that is not only a shame regarding the history of it, but it makes people more narrow minded, which in turn will result in less creativity and problem solving.
    This is why you can't just translate to learn a new language, you have to change your thought process altogether. It's pretty cool stuff.

  • @wallykramer7566
    @wallykramer7566 Před 2 měsíci +8

    Joe! This is very interesting and fresh content! I had no idea there was such a thing even though in my youth I was fascinated with ciphers and encoding. Now I much to think about and relate to other things!

  • @RedDragon91
    @RedDragon91 Před 2 měsíci +4

    Its kinda been a blessing in disguise the Rosetta stone was so "long" and went on and on about the pharaoh and the gods because that gave more information to help learn how to read a beautiful language. So much has been learned from that one tablet. So much history has been leaned because of it. It has been invaluable. That would be a cool video idea. Individual items that provided the most to historical and or scientific knowledge.

    • @share_accidental
      @share_accidental Před 7 dny

      i’ve always wondered if the stone was written by one person, or a group of people? assuming it was one person, that person somehow knew how to write in all 3 languages!

  • @landonmcgaugh3125
    @landonmcgaugh3125 Před 2 měsíci +2

    “Hey cool metal suit bro” that line killed me 😂😂😂

  • @thelegend8570
    @thelegend8570 Před 2 měsíci +3

    It's 770 AD, you've spent the last few hours adding the names of recently born children to the census. A woman walks in with her child, she tells you his name and you begin tying your knots. Only when you make the last loop and the entire line tangles itself up do you realize your mistake. Bobby tables strikes again.

  • @Hydde87
    @Hydde87 Před 3 měsíci +548

    Impressive, the Inca's had multithreaded applications long before we did. Too bad everything had to be written in knot net, and the only date type you could effectively work with were strings.

  • @SashaInTheCloud
    @SashaInTheCloud Před měsícem +2

    Mind. Blown. In computation, we call human text input a "string" of "characters". I never thought I would see a tangible string describing actual characters.

  • @fredreeves7652
    @fredreeves7652 Před 3 měsíci +4

    Very interesting concept!
    So, here is how we begin to solve the rope language, turn the project over to a group of 6th graders nationally.
    A sixth grader’s mind is imaginative, creative, yet still simplistic, and plastistic.
    The project needs to be done in small steps or phases for control, data, and statistical purposes.
    The first phase is the deciphering rope phase. That is, each elementary school will choose one 6th-grade student to try to decipher the first of 12 language ropes throughout the year. The ropes will be exact replicas of the real ropes. Although they will be receiving one real rope, they will also receive high-definition photos of the remaining 12 ropes they will be receiving throughout the year for comparison.
    First, give them a full year to attempt to decipher each of the rope codes/stories. Therefore, if two or more kids come up with the same story or reading of the rope, then you know they are going at it similarly or in the same way, thus assuring each kid is coming from the same reference points that can be repeated or duplicated.
    Make the reading of the ropes a year-long project. Keeping both phases at a year is important because that should be sufficient time to amass the data needed, and enough time for any patterns of practice to emerge, along with the student’s technique of deciphering.
    On to part or phase two. If the above test or theory does not work, then on to phase two. In this phase, having had a year to critically study the ropes, and understand the nature of each piece; have each kid attempt to make up their own but truthful story, but the tale or story or autobiography or biography, etc. has to be told within 15 minutes, and no more. Simplicity of the stories is key. Kids develop their own communication codes all the time in play, and to speak with one another, so the task of making up codes or stories using the language ropes should come easy to them.
    And, yes, exact replicas should be sent to each student. I propose one student volunteer from one elementary school from every county in the U.S. to participate in the contest. Also, they must not collaborate with anyone from the other school district. They can and should collaborate with their own peers from their own school, but no one else outside of their own school. This restriction should be the same for both tasks, 1.) Attempting to read the story from the existing rope, and 2.) Writing or creating their own true story or true tale using the same items found on the real ropes.
    If this experiment is done correctly, what will happen is similarities in predictions and methods and deciphering will begin to match and replicate one another, and that replication in both the initial attempts to decipher the rope message and how they create their own stories using the rope’s ingredients will emerge at the end of each year.
    The entire project should be administered as a national 6th-grade project or contest administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
    Like President Biden has always said, “We are the United States of America, and there is nothing we cannot do when we do it together”.
    😊

  • @WthyrBendragon
    @WthyrBendragon Před 2 měsíci +2

    When you learn a new language you learn new ways to express yourself. As a person who writes computer code for a living I can confirm that this extends into technology. Different languages give additional ways to approach a problem. Learning OOP methodologies made me a much better Perl coder - and thus improved my Sys Admin scripting.

  • @FS.DJParty
    @FS.DJParty Před 3 měsíci +4

    I first heard about them while reading Inca Gold, a novel by Clive Cussler. I have been fascinated by them ever since. i was excited when i read about Manny's breakthrough. Unlike the aztec codices that were destroyed and all that was stored in them, there are so many Incan quipos that the potential knowledge stored in them could tell us a lot about that time.

  • @kathleenjohnson3645
    @kathleenjohnson3645 Před 2 měsíci +5

    This is so exciting to see a breakthrough in reading the Quipu. I have been to Peru. Lots of people still speak Quechua in the cities and countryside. I always wondered why a computer program was not made to translate Quipu’s. With today’s A.I robots and high definition pictures it should happen soon. Of course the Catholic Church burned many Quipu’s but they didn’t get them all. A selection of fables must exist somewhere in a museum. I hope I’m still alive when the find comes. ❤

  • @Ade_1
    @Ade_1 Před 3 měsíci +43

    Its ironic a knot is an old fashioned memory aid, so a language of knots being forgotten just seems to be fates cruel streak flexing

  • @topherthe11th23
    @topherthe11th23 Před 2 měsíci +4

    This means that there's another civilization that independently (most likely, but you never know) chose to count in Base 10. (The odds are monumentally against it, but maybe some day we'll find out that counting in Base 10 arrived either in South America by coming from Asia, or arrived in Asia by coming from South America.)

  • @hilohahoma4107
    @hilohahoma4107 Před měsícem +1

    I can hardly believe you just did a piece about Quipu U R awesome Joe. I have an indigenous feeling that the more we uncover/recover about Quipu the more amazing secrets it will reveal. Ty

  • @squidikka
    @squidikka Před 3 měsíci +3

    Incredible. They knew string theory far earlier than ever thought possible.

  • @nicklanders5178
    @nicklanders5178 Před 3 měsíci +2

    There’s a great video from a channel called ancient americas about khipus and the civilizations which used them more broadly, very worth a watch

  • @jjohnson6252
    @jjohnson6252 Před 3 měsíci

    I loved that Indiana Jones clip! I'm imagining you saying, "I was studying a topic," with your face wearing a slightly smirky smile super imposed on Luke Skywalker practicing the lightsaber vs Obi Wan's little target droid. As Picard would say, "Make it so!"

  • @AnOtterNamedMoMo
    @AnOtterNamedMoMo Před 3 měsíci +401

    If I'm not mistaken, the Spanish used the quipu and the Quipucamayocs to maintain records during the conquest. They had them directly translate the quipu into Spanish for their own documents that they held onto and used the quipu directly in the villages. And I'm fairly certain that they had portions of the bible translated by the Quipucamayocs and had them carried around because they resembled prayer rosaries. So we were aware that there are translations of them, but not necessarily how to translate them because the quipu that we needed were missing, destroyed, or were in the possession of museums but not realized for what they were.

    • @julesgosnell9791
      @julesgosnell9791 Před 3 měsíci +71

      That might prove very useful - if some person (or AI) could match a portion of a Quipu in the database to a portion of the Bible then we would have our Rosetta stone. A good way to start this would be to figure out the transliteration of common biblical proper names like Jesus, Mary, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John etc... into old Incan then search for sequences that might correspond to these in the Quipu database.

    • @qrfarchaeology9391
      @qrfarchaeology9391 Před 3 měsíci +10

      @@julesgosnell9791 You are on to something. However you need to keep in mind the layers of translation.

    • @julesgosnell9791
      @julesgosnell9791 Před 3 měsíci +17

      @@qrfarchaeology9391 true - you should perhaps take the Spanish names (with adjustments for the pronunciation of the period ) transliterate them into old Incan equivalent pronunciation then look for similar patterns in the db - thinking more about it, the longer the name the stronger any match would be, so something like Bethlehem, or Jerusalem would be a good candidate… Was it Jesuits in Peru ? If they had particular favourite verses of the Bible that might help - if they had long names in them. There is a lot to be learnt from the way that other scripts and codes have been cracked so this is worth studying too 😀

    • @trufflefur
      @trufflefur Před 3 měsíci

      ​@@julesgosnell9791 You can use a quechua-spanish dictionary from 1586 called "Arte y vocabulario en la lengva general del Perv llamada Quichua, y en la lengua Espanola" I peeked it just right now, as it's free to download in the internet (just make sure to find the right version which has spanish-quechua and quechua-spanish), and there are biblical words for God (Dioſ), Angel (Angel), Saint virgin (Virgen ſancta), Christ (Chriſto) and more which got adapted, nevertheless there's not a rigurous phonetical description in these early texts. K wasn't used in spanish at that time but instead C for A, O and U (ka, ko, ku) and QU for E and I (ke, ki), while in quechua there are three types of K sound and another three for Q sound, one version is the spanish K, the other one is the english K (written in modern quechua as KH) and a clicking K written is modern quechua as K'. In the text, apparently, no matter if they are KA, KHA, K'A, QA, QHA or Q'A they all seem to be transliterated as simply KA.

    • @genghiskhan6809
      @genghiskhan6809 Před 3 měsíci +5

      I would unironically buy a quipu of the entire bible.

  • @InservioLetum
    @InservioLetum Před 3 měsíci

    THAT TEXT IS LOOPED you sneaky so-and-so.... almost got me! 😂😂😂
    I was wondering why there were that many pages, given the size of the Rosetta Stone itself.

  • @tinjadog
    @tinjadog Před 2 měsíci +1

    Found the article about the professor. So depressing. Reminds me of when I was in college. Some people just do not know how to behave and it ruins their careers. I hope his work is picked up others who don’t sabotage their own careers or the careers of others.

  • @PollyAlice2000
    @PollyAlice2000 Před 3 měsíci +1

    I am so very glad that scientists and historians are working on interpreting these priceless artifacts. The history of people around the world is very interesting to me.

  • @ivanfranco2363
    @ivanfranco2363 Před 3 měsíci

    Good stuff, Joe. I enjoy your content. Been subbed for years now. I like the new background

  • @lesleyflores1582
    @lesleyflores1582 Před 3 měsíci +2

    Horrifying to think of how many endangered languages there are and what information could be lost with them.
    I'm currently trying to learn some Nawat (or Nahuat). It is on the verge of extinction but has had a revival in interest in the last decade or so. My great grandmother could speak it and it's such an integral part of our culture that it pains me to think of it being lost to history.

  • @rhov-anion
    @rhov-anion Před 3 měsíci +443

    I remember first learning about Quipu in the 80s cartoon, "Mysterious Cities of Gold." They find a golden quipu, and the Inca girl Zia is the only one who can read it. The whole series was part history, part Native American anthropology, part science fiction (ornithopter, fusion reactors, Atlantis, all in the 1500s) and as a tiny child unable to even read yet, I loved the idea of a textile reading system.

    • @thomashenderson3901
      @thomashenderson3901 Před 3 měsíci +13

      That was such a great cartoon! We were very fortunate to grow up watching it.

    • @jumpingelephantfixtures7273
      @jumpingelephantfixtures7273 Před 3 měsíci +7

      It was awesome! A very thoughtful cartoon.

    • @chrystals.4376
      @chrystals.4376 Před 3 měsíci +6

      That was my favorite show when I was a kid, and I've yet to see a series with an ending that perfect-then again I'm speaking of Season 1.

    • @chrisholdread174
      @chrisholdread174 Před 3 měsíci +12

      Googles "Mysterious Cities of Gold."..... HOLY CHRIST!! you just unlocked one of the earliest memories i had, and i'm 42. Here i thought the flashes of memory of some cartoon was when i was really young was just the product of my imagination

    • @thomashenderson3901
      @thomashenderson3901 Před 3 měsíci +5

      @@chrisholdread174 So glad we could help!
      I'm 44. It holds a similar grip on me and has a special nostalgia all of its own.
      Such an amazing series and there were many more planned that never got off the ground.

  • @topherthe11th23
    @topherthe11th23 Před 2 měsíci +1

    7:17 - The correct way to spell "Quipu" is 1 knot at the top of the first string, 2 knots lower down on the 2nd string, 6 knots evenly spaced on the third string, from the fifth knot of which depends the first string that connects to another rather than to the knot at top...

    • @topherthe11th23
      @topherthe11th23 Před 2 měsíci +1

      Joe Scott, I don't know why I must review this with you. I sent you 3/4 of the explanation of the spelling of "Quipu" two weeks ago, and then had to stop writing for awhile because my string ran out. But I sent you the remaining 1/4 only one week ago. You should have it buy now.

  • @ZeroFuell
    @ZeroFuell Před 2 měsíci

    My wife and I got the updated LG Washtower with full size heatpump dryer you mentioned WKHC202HBA model from Lowes on sale last year for $2600, it's now $1800 on the current sale.
    Works pretty well, fits a ton but drying cycles avg 2 hours so it's not great for doing load after load.
    It also has a smart phone app that is vaguely useful with numerous extra cycles but a bit too many functions are offloaded to the app, even perm press is not on the panel.
    Pretty happy overall, already had 220v outlet and upgraded our whole panel when doing a home mini split heat pump system so that was no worries.
    Got $300 back on the dryer and $50 back on the washer from PSEG LI in NY which I wasn't sure if would be available since it was one unit but it worked out.

  • @Julia-lk8jn
    @Julia-lk8jn Před měsícem

    I love that the tv-show ''See'' used that for writing. and hey, it keeps lot better than paper, doubly so under humid conditions. There aren't that many other forms of storing information that you can throw down the stairs or accidentally put into the laundry machine without completely ruining them.

  • @lauragraham170
    @lauragraham170 Před 2 měsíci

    Quipus are fascinating and a brilliant way to record information. Thanks for sharing your interest in them, Joe!

  • @secret3957
    @secret3957 Před 19 dny

    Very interesting subject, thank you for making this video about it. When you mentioned the 3D writing type it made me think of sign language, as they have multichannel signs, that are one sign that expresses a saying or a feeling or expression. I love your video 😍

  • @WingedAsarath
    @WingedAsarath Před 3 měsíci +225

    I wish I'd learnt about Quipus when I was doing my linguistics degree. As you said, the implications on how we define "writing" are monumental. Its tragic when a language or writing system is lost like this.

    • @Maungateitei
      @Maungateitei Před 3 měsíci +6

      This is Waitaha language. They still speak and use the quipu knot language here in NZ.
      The "Cloud people" and come heads of the Paracas culture are their decendants and ancestors.
      They are the stone workers of ancient Africa, Americas, and Rapa Nui.

    • @orchdork775
      @orchdork775 Před 3 měsíci +2

      ​@@Maungateitei Why does Joe say that people are struggling to translate it, then?

    • @Maungateitei
      @Maungateitei Před 3 měsíci

      @@orchdork775 The politics of western European exceptionalism.
      And New Zealand Political system where since the 1970s the existence of the indigenous peoples, that are well documented and still have organised tribes such as the Ngati Hotu has been denied.
      Despite their records of 500 thousand year occupation of New Zealand being carve into the stone, any of the scientific records of their history and language are not allowed to be discussed, to protect the private ownership of NZ by the British Crown under the "right of conquest", "pact of the two invading nations" deal between the Maori and English invaders who teamed up to end the 1500s to 1800s "Maori Wars" period, in which over half the countries forests were burnt, and 99% of edible species were eaten to extinction by the arms race of breeding with captured indigenous slaves, that had many of the "Maori Warrior" caste fathering thousands of children.

    • @salgueddie
      @salgueddie Před 3 měsíci

      @@Maungateiteiwhere is all this info found, any documentaries ? Books?

    • @thomgizziz
      @thomgizziz Před 3 měsíci

      Why? Were you going to use it to write your diary? No? I get preservation but this isn't tragic and you aren't special for caring about something like this. Stop the bull.

  • @VGobaira
    @VGobaira Před 3 měsíci

    You have such an interesting channel and so many amazing things that you talk about but this one takes the cake. I love this video. Thank you so much joe

  • @lulumoon6942
    @lulumoon6942 Před 3 měsíci

    SO thrilled to see you cover this! & Economists are great pattern recognizers 👍

  • @auslandermercury972
    @auslandermercury972 Před 3 měsíci

    That ‘Good Will Hunting’ joke was priceless 🤣

  • @topherthe11th23
    @topherthe11th23 Před 2 měsíci +1

    I'm thinking about security-measures. There are some REALLY old baked-clay spheres that some think contained an assemblage of objects to represent the terms of a contract. I don't think people break them to get into the stuff, but it's likely many have been found broken. The baking of the sphere made it impossible for either party to alter the terms of the contract without it being obvious that this was done. Perhaps both parties were present when two such spheres, a copy for each, were assembled and put in the kiln. Contracts written on clay tablets couldn't be altered either. I'm noticing that the knots used here were NOT the kind you could tie without having access to an end of the string. (Technically, a knot that can be tied in the middle of a string without accessing an end (a loop pulled through another loop, and variations and elaborations on that) isn't a knot.) If a string with knots (real knots, not pulled loops) has both of its ends embedded in a clay ball that is then kiln-fired, the pattern, well, this idea has a lot wrong with it. One issue would be firing the clay without burning the strings. But you could use a ball of molten metal instead. And while a string (with inaccessible ends or ends joined together) with a certain amount of overhand knots on it can't ever be manipulated into a string with no knots on it, it can still be manipulated (without touching the ends) into a string with a DIFFERENT pattern of knots on it. The knots can be relocated or passed through each other. Still, one wonders, given the extra effort involved in making knots that require passing the ends through loops vs. pseudo-knots that can be made sorta like crocheting without access to an end, if the use of "real" knots was some kind of security-measure against alteration.

    • @topherthe11th23
      @topherthe11th23 Před 2 měsíci +2

      Topher The11th: Also, some strings are colored. BEFORE, or AFTER, the tying of the knots? If they were colored after the tying, THAT could be a security-measure against alteration, as the dye wouldn't get into the interiors of knots. Move a knot, and something iffy about the way the string is colored (and small places where it's NOT colored) will give away the fact that the string has been altered. So it matters whether the coloring was before or after the tying.

    • @markusgorelli5278
      @markusgorelli5278 Před 2 měsíci +1

      @@topherthe11th23 Tie dye works on this concept. What an excellent idea you have!

  • @jeremylastname873
    @jeremylastname873 Před měsícem +1

    I’m flabbergasted by the simple fact that they used the decimal system. This may point to a (much earlier) common origin of the principles of accounting.

  • @HenryoShelton
    @HenryoShelton Před 3 měsíci +256

    Can’t believe that student was able to even partially decipher a centuries old language over spring break! Some much you can do when you put your mind to work! Great video as always

    • @ojotavera
      @ojotavera Před 3 měsíci +7

      Impressive indeed. Thought it's not a language but a writing system

    • @loquat44-40
      @loquat44-40 Před 3 měsíci +2

      You should read Watson's book on how the DNA code for amino acids figured out. The Nobel prize article was just about page and half or so long in 'Nature'.

    • @rodjacksonx
      @rodjacksonx Před 2 měsíci

      To be fair, it sounded like he "only" deciphered their numbering system.

    • @ojotavera
      @ojotavera Před 2 měsíci

      @@rodjacksonx for quipus* It is consistent with Quechua language's decimal numerrals

    • @kenenigans
      @kenenigans Před 2 měsíci +1

      I feel like these things should be public instead of private, so everyone who wanted to could have a go at it. You never know if someone from a random town in a random country could be the one to decipher it.

  • @invisible_d_r
    @invisible_d_r Před 2 měsíci

    "Nerded harder than any nerd has ever nerded in the history of nerdom" had me rolling 😂😂

  • @cgoodson2010
    @cgoodson2010 Před 3 měsíci

    Amazing!! The placement and types of knots remind me of an abacus. Thank you for this great video!! And, yay, "1491" is a marvelous book!

  • @CarlosSantiagoFigueroaLondono

    Thank you so much for making this video, Joe ❤

  • @nightismonochrome
    @nightismonochrome Před 3 měsíci +1

    I'm guessing the animated movie "Maquia" possibly took inspiration from this. Also makes it that much crazier that a language and history encoded in fabric is actually possible.
    If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend the movie.

  • @stephenlignowski1915
    @stephenlignowski1915 Před 2 měsíci +1

    I recall the Clive Cussler novel, Inca Gold, where a quipu featured prominently in the plot, and which was ultimately decoded with the aid of a computer (much too easily of course, but this was adventure fiction)

  • @jenniferwintz2514
    @jenniferwintz2514 Před 3 měsíci +166

    Oh! I am a woman who hand spins with a drop spindle, mostly sheep wool, but I've tried other fibers. It's a visceral experience, and I am convinced that it is vital to the human experience. Some archeological evidence goes back over 30K years. A person versed in fibers can glean so much from a string, thread, or yarn. I've long followed the lore surrounding Quipu.

    • @Megalomaniakaal
      @Megalomaniakaal Před 2 měsíci +11

      I wonder if the original inventor might have been a blind or hard of vision person. This seems like a very vision impaired friendly system for storing and reading information.

    • @Cryptoson710
      @Cryptoson710 Před 2 měsíci

      Isn’t there a board that is coronated with the alpha bet

  • @gunraptor
    @gunraptor Před 3 měsíci

    Sir, this video earned you a subscribe.
    As a note, the "figure-eight knot" appears to serve a dual purpose of serving as a punctuation mark, and preventing the rope from fraying.

  • @sandrataylor3723
    @sandrataylor3723 Před 2 měsíci +1

    This is fascinating. It's a shame we can't crack the language. Wish I could take a crack at it but alas, I can't even speak, read or write my language very well which is English. Keep giving us interesting things to think about Joe.

  • @meredithjohnson2843
    @meredithjohnson2843 Před 3 měsíci

    This was fascinating! Amazing video as always!

  • @finpin2622
    @finpin2622 Před 3 měsíci

    Its amazing to think of all the meanings you can encode with the physical material, texture, and color of the Quipus, but devestating that we might never know what those meanings actually were. Theres so much history out there that we'll bever be able to know but somehow it hurts more when there are records sitting there full of information and we just cant read them...

  • @LadyhawksLairDotCom
    @LadyhawksLairDotCom Před měsícem

    I read about these in an historical fiction novel...always pictured them as nearly thread-sized, much smaller than they actually were. Neat to see them.

  • @touchstoneaf
    @touchstoneaf Před 3 měsíci +198

    Twenty-odd years ago in my North American archeology class we got on the subject to quipus, and that particular moment I decided, "I'm sure it's a textile language record / system, not just an accounting system". I was basically told, "yeah sure, think big,kid"... so I'm chortling in my head rn thinking about how right I was whenever somebody else told me I was crazy. That you can't encode that much information in that method, etc. I've seen people encode crazy amounts of information in patterns in knitwear, so yeah. And when you think about it, binary code actually started because people modeled it off of the warp and weft of a loom, the way they wove the copper wire over and under to create the data for the data cards. So anybody who says this is impossible is basically an idiot.
    I know; strong words, but it frustrates me when people simplify this amazing ancient concept because they can't expand their minds enough to understand it... Or because they've mentally oversimplified ancient civilizations as less inventive and intelligent than humans are in current society.
    Edit: also, everyone should read 1491. Life-changing.

    • @nixi7688
      @nixi7688 Před 2 měsíci +25

      It's funny, textile arts as a "feminine" art were so underrated. But it's so interesting. I heard of someone using crochet to model topology concepts and build hyperbolic shapes. This in turn made it so easy to understand how wormholes would work based on the idea that space may have hyperbolic topology

    • @Hellspooned2
      @Hellspooned2 Před 2 měsíci +15

      Should have responded with that all of human knowledge, science and culture can be encoded with ones and zeroes, why would quipus be any different?

    • @euodiaclitterhouse4726
      @euodiaclitterhouse4726 Před 2 měsíci +7

      @@nixi7688 That is absolutely fascinating. Nowhere near the same level, I always thought it fascinating that different textile artforms have been used by women for generations to pass down their stories (quilts, etc) in patriarchal societies that only recorded male authors. One of the most beautiful is that quilted lifestory of the Queen Liliuokalani, a very meta example of that erasure.

    • @RogerS1978
      @RogerS1978 Před 2 měsíci +2

      The problem would be information density, would be fascinated to know how it compares to written text

    • @RogerS1978
      @RogerS1978 Před 2 měsíci +2

      there are so many variables that it could be high

  • @MediHusky
    @MediHusky Před měsícem

    I remember the first time I was introduced to these things was a french cartoon called "Les Citées d'Or" (Cities of Gold). One of the trio was able to read them and they always had easter eggs or info that lead to sick ancient treasures like a solar powered boat that shoots deathsunbeam. Neat show.

  • @sifridbassoon
    @sifridbassoon Před 2 měsíci

    Fascinating! I came across quipos years ago in a very old encyclopedia and was always mystified by the idea of a string language.

  • @kurtjohnson4816
    @kurtjohnson4816 Před měsícem

    Great stuff, as always. First I've heard of these fascinating objects.

  • @Request_2_PANic
    @Request_2_PANic Před 3 měsíci +1

    Depending on how data dense we can get it, we could probably use the same medium they did to store data today for archiving and time capsules.

  • @paris_2518
    @paris_2518 Před měsícem

    4:30 you forgot to mention that they also used Coptic to decipher the cursive and match to the hieroglyphs. Coptic wasnt used as a spoken language but it was used as a liturgical language for Egyptian Copts that still use it today

  • @mellissadalby1402
    @mellissadalby1402 Před 3 měsíci +307

    Are you stringing us along here?
    You're right, Quipus are fascinating.

    • @INXS1985
      @INXS1985 Před 3 měsíci +40

      He’s knot lyin’

    • @joescott
      @joescott  Před 3 měsíci +74

      This is quality sh*tposting.

    • @atoth62
      @atoth62 Před 3 měsíci +28

      So, does this mean the people who are trying to figure out quipus are string theorists?

    • @aserta
      @aserta Před 3 měsíci +5

      @@joescott Aye, certified top shelf Sh!tposting.

    • @BackYardScience2000
      @BackYardScience2000 Před 3 měsíci +8

      I can knot believe this.....

  • @meagansefner3215
    @meagansefner3215 Před 2 měsíci

    Getting caught up on the channel after a depression EP, but this IS FASCINATING!!!

  • @gregbeck906
    @gregbeck906 Před 3 měsíci

    This was awesome, thanks Joe! 👍

  • @alainaaugust1932
    @alainaaugust1932 Před 3 měsíci +1

    When we lose a language, we lose the way a people thinks. Then we start to think that the way we think is the only way to think. But all those lost languages whisper “It’s not.”

  • @lilapy1430
    @lilapy1430 Před 11 dny

    There's a game called Book of Travels on steam and for the longest time, I've wondered why npc's gives you knots which are used as messages.

  • @cexeodus
    @cexeodus Před 3 měsíci +1

    It is nice to know some information of my ancestors has made it into modern days, albeit mostly still unreadable. However, it is also fun to demystify things such as this, so its going to be awesome watching the developments into decyphering it all. I always knew my natural cryptographic analysis abilities werent for nought. It seems now that maybe it was just in my blood this whole time. Amazing 🎉

  • @lettersnstuff
    @lettersnstuff Před 3 měsíci +78

    I recently watched a video from Chinese Cooking Demystified where the host said something that has really stuck with me, when you learn a language, you make it harder if not impossible to exoticize the people that speak it, when we lose a language we lose the human connection we might have had with a culture

    • @Vaeldarg
      @Vaeldarg Před 3 měsíci

      It's part of the CCP censorship strategy, though, for the language to be purposefully difficult to understand by foreigners. "The China Show" gave a great example, where a "weather balloon" company's website set to English looked normal, but then when set to "Chinese" the site was one plastered with the hammer/sickle symbol and boasting about the military capabilities of these "weather balloons" to carry payloads like weapons of mass destruction.

    • @thhseeking
      @thhseeking Před 3 měsíci +2

      Hong Kong children are apparently taught Mandarin, not Cantonese. Eventually, the younger generations will not be able to communicate with their elders. I watch "Cooking with Lau", and the son can only speak Cantonese, so when he travelled to Beijing with his Dad, his Dad had to act as translator.

    • @asinglebraincell6584
      @asinglebraincell6584 Před měsícem

      This is a great channel, those people showing how to make food are really great teachers

  • @S.Waters.
    @S.Waters. Před 3 měsíci

    What an interesting way to record things. I’m adding this video to my Amazing Language playlist and subscribing to your channel.

  • @theyxaj
    @theyxaj Před 3 měsíci

    These kind of remind me of textiles with information woven in, like temperature blankets. It's knotted strings of information as well, just a different configuration. But yes, string as a carrier of information seems so practical, especially with the ability to shove it anywhere. Though, with paper and rocks, your works can't get all tangled together.

  • @Antifag1977
    @Antifag1977 Před měsícem

    The DR. WHO Christmas special had little goblins that used knotted ropes as language and as wiring of sorts.

  • @chris-terrell-liveactive
    @chris-terrell-liveactive Před 3 měsíci

    Very interesting video, thanks for covering this topic. My class at secondary school studied the Portuguese and Spanish empires and I did a project assignment on the Incas as part of this, I found the accounts of their society fascinating and sad to see the ignorant destructive nature of the European invaders. I'm glad the researchers are revealing more depth of that amazing society and culture.

  • @rainlupine
    @rainlupine Před 3 měsíci +1

    How cool would it be if a Rosetta Rope could be located? I saw strings like this once in a comic and I always wondered where the idea came from.

  • @tonydeveyra4611
    @tonydeveyra4611 Před 3 měsíci +87

    for the past year, I've been writing a fantasy novel where knotting quipus is the main form of writing for the fictional civilization. It's been cool to see that so much work is being done to decrypt them!

    • @TrueLadyEvilChan
      @TrueLadyEvilChan Před 3 měsíci

      I'd be interested to learn more about that fantasy novel!

    • @betweentwomillennium5057
      @betweentwomillennium5057 Před 2 měsíci +1

      I would love to see the book Ulysses by James Joyce written in a Quipu.

    • @mcd08
      @mcd08 Před 2 měsíci

      There's a show called "See" eith Jason momoa where they use knotted ropes as their "written" language, really cool!

  • @strivingstruggle3797
    @strivingstruggle3797 Před 3 měsíci

    That was super intersting! Thank you for the video. The number system reminds me a lot of an abacus.

  • @bouldlad
    @bouldlad Před 3 měsíci

    Great Video Joe.. Hadn't seen you in ages.

  • @PashaSlavaUkraine
    @PashaSlavaUkraine Před 2 měsíci

    This is incredible video. So much information. Well done 👍 liked