Defining Disk Image Dump Standard

From: Sellam Ismail <>
Date: Thu Jun 1 04:44:32 2000

On Thu, 1 Jun 2000, Pete Turnbull wrote:

> I know. Aside from jibes at those who so vehemently insist that there
> should be one particular form of archive, I'm not sure anyone really knows
> how to read quipus, though.

Actually, I do. I did a paper on the Quipu for a history course I took in
Peru in the summer of '99 and it's been a low-bandwidth pet research
project of mine ever since. I gave a talk based on my Quipu paper at VCF
Europa and exhibited the Quipu I constructed while in Peru.

The quipu structure was decoded during the first quarter of this century
by Leland Locke. His book _The Ancient Quipu_ (1923) explains how the
data on the Quipu is encoded.

A husband & wife team, Marcia & Robert Ascher, published _Code of the
Quipu_ in 1981 which expands on Locke's work.

Numbers are encoded on the strings in decimal (base 10) format. No knots
represent zero (that the Inca's understood the concept of zero is
significant). The color of the strings was also significant, most likely
representing categories of data.

The problem is that no one knows just what the numbers represent on the
quipus known to exist since the context has long been lost and the dumb
Conquistadors basically destroyed any evidence of the Inca civilization
that might have shed some light on it.

I could go into way more detail but right now I am extremely tired so if
anyone is truly interested I will be happy to explain more, and also shoot
you a copy of the paper I did which is a good overview.

Sellam International Man of Intrigue and Danger
Looking for a six in a pile of nines...

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Received on Thu Jun 01 2000 - 04:44:32 BST

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