Dr. Gary Urton is Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian Studies in the Archeology Department at Harvard University. He has decades of experience living in the Andes and has been studying khipu intensely for over 12 years. Dr. Urton has personally recorded spin direction, knot direction, and attachment on hundreds of khipu, augmenting the existing information gathered by the Aschers in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition he has recorded data on many previously unstudied khipu, including the important collection in Chachapoyas. His recent book "Signs of the Inka Khipu" proposes a theory of binary coding as one way to structure continuing khipu analysis.
Carrie Brezine has been database administrator for the Khipu Database Project since its inception. She is presently a graduate student in Archaeology, completing her dissertation on Colonial Peruvian textiles. Her background in mathematics, combined with her skills of spinning and weaving, give her unique tools for describing and analyzing khipu. Ms. Brezine has spent time in the Cuzco region of the Andes studying the indigenous weaving of the area, especially skirt borders and intersecting warps, and served as the textile consultant for the study of the Patrimonial Khipu of Rapaz under the direction of Dr. Frank Salomon.
Manuel Medrano is a researcher for the Khipu Database Project. He is currently a Ph.D. Student and Marshall Scholar in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews, where he is completing a large-scale quantitative analysis of colonial-era khipu data for his doctoral dissertation. His research synthesizes archaeological, historical and ethnographic data from the colonial Andes, with emphasis on the economic transformations endured by the Inkas following the Spanish conquest. His background in applied mathematics, coupled with his native Spanish fluency, gives him notable insights into analyzing khipus and colonial documents. His contribution of newly recorded khipu data to the KDB is ongoing in museums across Europe and the Americas.
Mack FitzPatrick is an undergraduate in his final year at Harvard College studys computer science and archaeology. Currently he is working on the KDB with Gary Urton by creating new tools such as a program that will digitally render khipus in a more comprehensive form. Through this research, he and Dr. Urton hope to further untangle the khipus as an aspect of the Andean media landscape, especially in terms of the so-called non-numerical “narrative” khipus. Mack hopes to combine his technical abilities with more traditional archaeological approaches by pursuing a doctorate in the future.
Jon Clindaniel is an Assistant Instructional Professor of Computational Social Science at the University of Chicago and a computational anthropologist, focused on solving difficult archaeological problems using data science techniques. He has worked on archaeological projects around the world in an effort to better understand the human past and is currently focused on deciphering non-numerical Inka khipu signs.