Sunday, May 06, 2007

A new project regarding the - Ascher-Ascher Database


I've given myself a new project to improve the analysis of the khipu data recorded in the Ascher-Ascher database.

The Aschers themselves suggested that khipus are organized in pendant groups resembling formatted databases. It would therefore be important to determine not merely the frequency of cords of particular color or knot characteristics present in the khipus of the database, but rather to analyze their frequency within pendant groups of particular sizes / characteristics.

In order to do this however effectively, some changes need to be made in the presentation of the information given in the XLS file containing the Ascher-Ascher database.

So I will be adding three columns to the “pendant info” datasheet in the XLS file giving:
(1) the number (identifying label) of the pendant group (within each khipu) to which each pendant cord listed in the database belongs.
(2) the size of the pendant group in question (number of cords comprising it).
and (3) the position of the pendant cord in question within its pendant group (1st, 2nd, 3rd).

With this information, one can far more quickly determine the frequency of pendant cords with particular color, knot characteristics within the pendant groups present in the khipus comprising Ascher-Ascher database.

While I make this improvement to the XLS datafile, I will also expand the information given by the Aschers regarding the attachment characteristics (location) of the subsidiary chords attached to the pendant cords of the khipus in the database.

This also will allow one to quickly identify the various conventions (at least in terms of attachment location) used by the khipu makers in attaching the subsidiary cords to the pendants.

Working at a rate of about 10 khipus a day, I figure it will take me about a month to make the necessary changes, but then the analysis of the information present in this database ought to fly.



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