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PCSNY September 7 Lecture-Jeffrey C. Splitstoser

September 7, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Free

The Andean Khipu in Context with other Knotted String Traditions of the Americas

Jeffrey C. SplitstoserAssistant Research Professor of Anthropology, George Washington University and Vice President of the Boundary End Archaeology Research Center

Wari khipu (PC WBC 2016.136). Photo courtesy of Dumbarton Oaks.

Abstract: A search of “knotted string records” produces a slew of references to “Quipu/Khipu,” the information system used by the lnkas to manage their vast South American empire. Yet the use of knotted strings to keep track of information was widespread throughout not only the Americas but the whole world. While khipus may be the most sophisticated example of knotted string devices, they are/were not alone. After briefly reviewing the various knotted mnemonic devices known to have existed in the Americas, this talk will explore in depth the similarities and differences between lnka khipus and a sophisticated, yet relatively unknown, Costa Rican knotted-string census from 1874.

Speaker Biography: Jeffrey C. Splitstoser is assistant research professor of anthropology at the George Washington University and vice president of the Boundary End Archaeology Research Center. He has studied ancient Andean textiles for over 20 years, having recently discovered (with Tom Dillehay, Jan Wouters and Anna Claro) the world’s earliest known use of indigo blue in a 6,200-year-old cotton textile from the prehistoric site of Huaca Prieta. Dr. Splitstoser specializes in Wari “khipus,” colored and knotted string devices that Andean peoples used to record information. He co-curated (with Juan Antonio Murro) the exhibition Written in Knots: Undeciphered Records of Andean Life at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. Dr. Splitstoser’s research includes reproducing the khipus and textile structures he encounters: processing, spinning and dyeing the fibers, as well as growing cotton and dye plants. Dr. Splitstoser is an editor of the journals Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing and Ancient America and was the guest editor of volume 49 of The Textile Museum Journal. He was a junior fellow at Dumbarton Oaks and is currently a research associate of the Institute of Andean Studies and a Cosmos Club Scholar. Dr. Splitstoser received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

 

Thursday September 7, 2023

6:00 pm EST

IN-PERSON and VIRTUAL LECTURE via Zoom

Institute of Fine Arts-NYU

REGISTRATION REQUIRED

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Details

Date:
September 7, 2023
Time:
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Cost:
Free

Organizer

Pre-Columbian Society of New York

Venue

Institute of Fine Arts–NYU
1 E. 78th Street
New York, United States
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