In the Apple TV Series "See", are the strings they read real? I think the last episode or 2 I heard them called knots.

Just curious if it's a real way of communications or made up. Doesn't look like they use Braille much in the series. Searching Google has been difficult because of the series name.


Yes, it's based on a real mode of 'writing' used by the Incas, known as Quipu or khipu.

enter image description here

©The Trustees of the British Museum

There was an article I remembered reading in the New Scientist a few years ago about it - managed to find the online version…
We thought the Incas couldn't write. These knots change everything
A lost language encoded in intricate cords is finally revealing its secrets – and it could upend what we know about Incan history and culture

  • 1
    beat me by a minute hahaha
    – Luciano
    Oct 5 at 15:47
  • Learned about khipu from a Clive Cussler novel of all places. Oct 6 at 1:29
  • 2
    Strange. I remember reading about native Americans/First Nations recording messages with knotted rope/string when I was a boy in the 1980s. Maybe they knew it was a language but didn’t know how to translate it, and New Scientist just implied otherwise to up the drama a tick. Oct 6 at 1:43
  • 1
    @ToddWilcox For a very long time we thought the knots only recorded numbers - similar to Akkadian shipping logs/accounting tablets in cuneiform. It's only in the last 5 years or so that we have started deciphering non-numeric knots.
    – slebetman
    Oct 6 at 3:19
  • fun kid fact : Quipu would means 'who smell' in French. Yes it's irrelevant.
    – dna
    Oct 7 at 12:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .