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Binary Code developed by the Incas
2

Binary Code developed by the Incas

RE: Binary Code developed by the Incas

josephv,

   I have heard about quipu.  They sound similar to what the ancient Sumericans did to record transactions.  They created little clay figurines to represent stuff merchants transported.  If I let you drive thirty six of my sheep to my customer at a market, he would be able to figure out how many sheep I sent.  

   This is the basis for the system of writing they eventually developed.

                       JHG

RE: Binary Code developed by the Incas

(OP)
Thanks JHG for the information on the Sumerians.

Here is a link on the Sumerian script and math:

http://www.ancientscripts.com/sumerian.html

You are right this is similar to the Khipu in the sense that it was used to record transactions. There is a theory that the Khipu eventually became a written system, as well.

Unfortunately, all this information was lost during the Spanish conquest. Right now several scientists are trying to "break" the Khipu code.

Regards,

Joseph

RE: Binary Code developed by the Incas

In case you're curious... using binary numbers, you can count to over 1000 on your 10 fingers...

Dik

RE: Binary Code developed by the Incas

Quote (dik):

In case you're curious... using binary numbers, you can count to over 1000 on your 10 fingers...
Yeah, but you really have to watch out when you get to 4, 128, and 132 would be really bad.

winky smile

RE: Binary Code developed by the Incas

...depending on the circumstances

Dik

RE: Binary Code developed by the Incas

The Chinese have an elaborate form of finger counting, they can get to quite a high number without taking their socks off.

http://www.laputanlogic.com/articles/2004/05/11-0001.html

A very good question is why no one uses base 6, which would get you to 35, without having to worry about gestures.



Cheers

Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Binary Code developed by the Incas



Yupana, the counting board of the Incas.

RE: Binary Code developed by the Incas

josephv,

   Are you sure you are not thinking of the Mayans?

   Definitely, the Mayans had a system of writing.  Almost all of their books were located and burned by the Spanish Inquisition.  No one knows what we lost.

   There have been civilizations in Peru for thousands of years, but the Incas were very recent.  Their empire was something like a century old.  They may not have had time to develop writing.

                      JHG

RE: Binary Code developed by the Incas

Greg,

Knowing American Sign Language allows me to count with my hands to a very large number also.  By glancing at that website, it looks like a form of sign language.

--Scott

http://wertel.eng.pro

RE: Binary Code developed by the Incas

(OP)
Thank you everyone for your contributions, they are all very interesting...

Hi JHG,

You are right the Mayas definitely had a system of writing. If I am not mistaken their system was deciphered, please see this link:

http://www.ancientscripts.com/maya.html

The Khipus were actually used well before the Incas by other Pre-Inca civilizations. Although it is only a theory at this point, it is possible that the Khipus eventually developed into a system of writing.

thanks,

Joseph

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