Meaningful materials in the khipu code

The project

Starting in 2020, Meaningful Materials in the Khipu Code is pan-European, multi-project research aiming to expand our understanding of khipu technology.

Stemming from Lucrezia Milillo’s PhD project at the University of St Andrews, it now includes two IPERION-HS projects led respectively by Lucrezia Milillo and Marei Hacke. We collaborate with IPERION-HS laboratories, independent laboratories and six European museums.

In the drop-down menu, you can find the latest updates regarding this ongoing research project.

Cover photo by Beatrice Törnros | Världskulturmuseerna

The team

Lucrezia Milillo is a PhD student and Wolfson scholar at the University of St Andrews in the Social Anthropology department. She works on khipu technology with an interest in how meaning is produced in the making and in how Andeans used materials to convey meaning. She is the group leader of the first IPERION-HS project.

Marei Hacke is a conservation scientist at the Swedish National Heritage Board. Her areas of expertise include scientific investigations of cultural heritage and conservation methods with a focus on organic materials (textiles, paper, plastics, mordants and dyes) as well as the strategic development of heritage science in Sweden. She is the group leader of the second IPERION-HS project.

Sabine Hyland is an anthropologist and ethnohistorian of the Andes and a world-leading expert on khipu studies. Her research focuses on understanding indigenous South American systems of inscription, including both khipus and Andean pictographic script. Currently, she is a professor of World Religions at the University of St Andrews.

Sara Norrehed is a conservator scientist at the Swedish National Heritage Board. Her background is in organic chemistry, which she also combines with her mastery of photographic techniques. Her main focuses are organic materials, material emissions and chemical safety in museums.