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Encyclopedia > Indus script

 

Indus script
Type: Logographic
Languages: Unknown
Time period: 26001900 BC
ISO 15924 code: Inds
An Indus Valley seal with the seated figure termed pashupati. The writing above it is inscribed in the mature Indus script.
An Indus Valley seal with the seated figure termed pashupati. The writing above it is inscribed in the mature Indus script.

The term Indus script (Harappan script) refers to short strings of symbols associated with the Harappan civilization (Indus Valley Civilization—most of the Indus sites are distributed in present day Pakistan and North West India) used between 26001900 BC. In spite of many attempts at decipherments and claims, it is as yet undeciphered. That the underlying language is unknown and the lack of a "Rosetta stone" makes the decipherments extremely difficult. A Chinese logogram A logogram, or logograph, is a single written character which represents a word or a morpheme (a meaningful unit of language). ... (Redirected from 2600 BC) (27th century BC - 26th century BC - 25th century BC - other centuries) (4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC) Events 2900 - 2334 BC – Mesopotamian wars of the Early Dynastic period. ... (Redirected from 1900 BC) (20th century BC - 19th century BC - 18th century BC - other centuries) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events Hittite empire in Anatolia 1829 - 1818 BC -- Egyptian-Nubian war 1818 BC -- Egyptian Campaign in Palestine 1813 BC -- Amorite Conquest of Northern Mesopotamia 1806 BC... The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone = sound/voice) is the study of sounds (voice). ... Because of technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... This is a concise version of the International Phonetic Alphabet for English sounds. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Image File history File links This work is copyrighted. ... Image File history File links This work is copyrighted. ... Pashupati(Sanskrit: lord of animals) is a god associated with animals and nature. ... The Indus Valley Civilization existed along the Indus River and the Vedic Sarasvati River in present-day Pakistan. ... Excavated ruins of Mohenjo-daro, Sindh, Pakistan. ... (Redirected from 2600 BC) (27th century BC - 26th century BC - 25th century BC - other centuries) (4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC) Events 2900 - 2334 BC – Mesopotamian wars of the Early Dynastic period. ... (Redirected from 1900 BC) (20th century BC - 19th century BC - 18th century BC - other centuries) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events Hittite empire in Anatolia 1829 - 1818 BC -- Egyptian-Nubian war 1818 BC -- Egyptian Campaign in Palestine 1813 BC -- Amorite Conquest of Northern Mesopotamia 1806 BC... The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum The Rosetta Stone is an ancient stone inscribed with the same passage of writing in two Egyptian language scripts and in classical Greek. ...


The script generally refers to that used in the mature Harappan phase, which evolved from an early Harappan script attested from around 3500 BC,[1] and was followed by a late Harappan script used until around 1100 BC. They are most commonly associated with flat, rectangular stone tablets called seals, but they are also found on at least a dozen other materials. The first publication of a Harappan seal dates to 1875, in the form of a drawing by Alexander Cunningham. Since then, well over 4000 symbol-bearing objects have been discovered, some as far afield as Mesopotamia. After 1100 BC, use of the symbols ended, a while after the final stage of Harappan civilization. Some early scholars, starting with Cunningham in 1877, thought that the script was the archetype of the Brahmi script used by Ashoka. Cunningham's ideas were supported by G.R. Hunter, and a minority of scholars continue to argue for the Indus script as the predecessor of the Brahmic family. However most scholars disagree, claiming instead that the Brahmi script derived from Aramaic. (36th century BC - 35th century BC - 34th century BC - other centuries) (5th millennium BC - 4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC) Events ? - Formation of the Sahara Desert 3450 (?) - Stage IId of the Naqada culture in Egypt Significant persons Inventions, discoveries, introductions ? _ Irrigation in Egypt ? - First use of Cuneiform (script) Categories... 1875 (MDCCCLXXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Sir Alexander Cunningham (23 January 1814–28 November 1893) was an English archaeologist and army engineer, known as the father of the Archaeological Survey of India. ... 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... BrāhmÄ« refers to the pre-modern members of the Brahmic family of scripts, attested from the 3rd century BC. The best known and earliest dated inscriptions in Brahmi are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka. ... Allegiance: Magadhan Empire Rank: Emperor Succeeded by: Dasaratha Maurya Reign: 273 BC-232 BC Place of birth: Pataliputra, India Battles/Wars Kalinga War Emperor Ashoka the Great (Devanagari: अशोक(:); IAST transliteration: , pronunciation: ) (304 BC–232 BC) (Imperial Title:Devanampiya Piyadassi ie He who is the beloved of the Gods who, in... The Brahmic family is a family of abugidas (writing systems) used in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria, and to an extent, Korea. ...

Contents

Script characteristics

The script is written from right to left [1], and sometimes follows a boustrophedonic style. Since the number of principal signs is about 400, midway between typical logographic and syllabic scripts, many scholars accept the script to be logo-syllabic [2] (typically syllabic scripts have about 50-100 signs whereas logographic scripts have a very large number of principal signs). Structural analysis indicates an agglutinative language underneath the script. Boustrophedon is an ancient way of writing manuscripts and other inscriptions in which, rather than going from left to right as in modern English, or right to left as in Arabic, alternate lines must be read in opposite directions. ... An agglutinative language is a language in which the words are formed by joining morphemes together. ...


Attempts at decipherment

Over the years, numerous decipherments have been proposed, but none has been accepted by the scientific community at large. The following factors are usually regarded as the biggest obstacles for a successful decipherment: Decipherment is the analysis of documents written in ancient languages, where the language is unknown, or knowledge of the language has been lost. ...

  • The substrate language has not been identified, nor the language family to which it belongs.
  • The average length of the inscriptions is less than five signs, the longest being one of only 26 signs.
  • No bilingual texts have been found.

Dravidian hypothesis

The Russian scholar Yuri V. Knorozov (or Knorosov), who has edited a multi-volumed corpus of the inscriptions, surmises that the symbols represent a logosyllabic script, with an underlying Dravidian language as the most likely linguistic substrate.[3] Knorozov is perhaps best known for his decisive contributions towards the decipherment of the Maya script, a pre-Columbian writing system of the Mesoamerican Maya civilization. Knorozov's investigations were the first to conclusively demonstrate that the Maya script was logosyllabic in character, an interpretation now confirmed in the subsequent decades of Mayanist epigraphic research. Yuri Valentinovich Knorosov (Russian: Юрий Валентинович Кнорозов; b. ... Logosyllabic refers to a writing system in which symbols can both stand for both sounds, usually syllables and logograms. ... The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 26 languages that are mainly spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka, as well as certain areas in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and eastern and central India, as well as in parts of Afghanistan and Iran. ... Maya glyphs in stucco at the Museo de sitio in Palenque, Mexico The Maya script, commonly known as Maya hieroglyphs, was the writing system of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica. ... The term Pre-Columbian is used to refer to the cultures of the New World in the era before significant European influence. ... The cultural areas of Mesoamerica The term Mesoamérica is used to refer to a geographical region that extends roughly from the Tropic of Cancer in central Mexico down through Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua to northwestern Costa Rica, and which is characterized by the particular cultural homogeneity... The Maya civilization is a culture Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, its spectacular art and monumental architecture, and sophisticated mathematical and astronomical systems. ... Mayanist is a term which has been in widespread use from the late 19th century onwards, to refer to scholars who have specialised in research and study of the Central American pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... Epigraphy (Greek, επιγραφή - written upon) is the study of inscriptions engraved into stone or other permanent materials, or cast in metal, the science of classifying them as to cultural context and date, elucidating them and assessing what conclusions can be deduced from them. ...


The Finnish scholar Asko Parpola repeated several of these suggested Indus script readings. The discovery in Tamil Nadu of a late Neolithic (early 2nd millennium BC, i.e. post-dating Harappan decline) stone celt adorned with Indus script markings has been considered to be significant for this identification.[4] Asko Parpola, professor of Indology and South Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland has specialized on the Indus script. ... Celt (pron. ...


Indian scholor Iravatham Mahadevan who has tried to decode Indus script for many decades admits that Dravidian hypothesis is just that and there has been no conclusive prrof for that. In his interview he says:"we may hopefully find that the proto-Dravidian roots of the Harappan language and South Indian Dravidian languages are similar. This is a hypothesis.".."But I have no illusions that I will decipher the Indus script, nor do I have any regret" http://www.harappa.com/script/mahadevantext.html#14


Script vs. ideographical symbols

If the signs are purely ideographical, they may contain no information about the language spoken by their creators: they would qualify either as a purely logographic script, or as a system of symbols not qualifying as a script in the true sense (pictograms). A Chinese character. ... A logogram, or logograph, is a single grapheme which represents a word or a morpheme (a meaningful unit of language). ... Pictogram for public toilets A pictogram or pictograph is a symbol representing an object or concept by illustration. ...


Steve Farmer, Richard Sproat, and Michael Witzel[5] make the case that the symbols were not coupled to oral language, which in part explains the extreme brevity of the inscriptions. This view has been challenged by Parpola.[6]


Decipherment claims

The topic is popular among amateur researchers, and there are various decipherment claims. Several authors such as R. Hasenpflug (2006 [2]), have attempted to prove that the script encodes Vedic Sanskrit. These theories are not accepted by most scholars. All attempts at deciphering the Indus script remain in infancy, frustrating researchers studying the Indus valley civilisation. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, which are the earliest sacred texts of India,. The Vedas were first passed down orally and therefore have no known date. ...


Late Indus script

Late Indus script found on pottery at Bet Dwarka dated to 1528 BC based on Thermoluminescence dating.
Late Indus script found on pottery at Bet Dwarka dated to 1528 BC based on Thermoluminescence dating.

Onshore explorations near Bet Dwarka in Gujarat revealed the presence of late Indus seals depicting a 3-headed animal, earthen vessel inscribed in a late Harappan script, and a large quantity of pottery similar to Lustrous Red Ware bowl and Red Ware dishes, dish-on-stand, perforated jar and incurved bowls which are datable to the 16th century BC in Dwarka, Rangpur and Prabhas. The thermo-lumenescence date for the pottery in Bet Dwaraka is 1528 BC. This evidence suggests that a late Harappan script was used until around 1500 BC. [3] Other excavations in India at Vaisali, Bihar [4] and Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu [5] have revealed Indus symbols being used as late as 1100 BC.
Image File history File links Late_Harappan_script. ... Image File history File links Late_Harappan_script. ... Gopura of Dwarakadhish Temple Dwarka is a city in Gujarat, India. ... (Redirected from 1528 BC) Centuries: 17th century BC - 16th century BC - 15th century BC Decades: 1570s BC 1560s BC 1550s BC 1540s BC 1530s BC - 1520s BC - 1510s BC 1500s BC 1490s BC 1480s BC 1470s BC Events and Trends 1523 - Traditional date for the beginning of the Shang Dynasty... Thermoluminescence (TL) dating is the determination by means of measuring the accumulated radiation dose of the time elapsed since material containing crystalline minerals was either heated (lava, ceramics) or exposed to sunlight (sediments). ... Gopura of Dwarakadhish Temple Dwarka is a city in Gujarat, India. ... Gujarāt (GujarātÄ«: , IPA: ,  ) is the most industrialized state in the Republic of India with 19. ... Gopura of Dwarakadhish Temple Dwarka is a city in Gujarat, India. ... Rangpur, city in Bangladesh, not to be confused with Rampur, the names of a city and a former state in India. ... Prabhas(born October 23) is a Tollywood actor. ... Thermoluminescence (TL) dating is the determination by means of measuring the accumulated radiation dose of the time elapsed since material containing crystalline minerals was either heated (lava, ceramics) or exposed to sunlight (sediments). ... (Redirected from 1528 BC) Centuries: 17th century BC - 16th century BC - 15th century BC Decades: 1570s BC 1560s BC 1550s BC 1540s BC 1530s BC - 1520s BC - 1510s BC 1500s BC 1490s BC 1480s BC 1470s BC Events and Trends 1523 - Traditional date for the beginning of the Shang Dynasty... (Redirected from 1500 BC) Centuries: 17th century BC - 16th century BC - 15th century BC Decades: 1550s BC 1540s BC 1530s BC 1520s BC 1510s BC - 1500s BC - 1490s BC 1480s BC 1470s BC 1460s BC 1450s BC Events and Trends Stonehenge built in Wiltshire, England The element Mercury has been... Vaishali is a district in Bihar state, India. ... For other uses, see Bihar (disambiguation). ... Mayiladuthurai or Mayavaram is a famous town in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu state of India. ... Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ...


Notes

  1. ^ (Lal 1966)
  2. ^ (Bryant 2000)
  3. ^ (Knorozov 1965)
  4. ^ (Subramanium 2006; see also A Note on the Muruku Sign of the Indus Script in light of the Mayiladuthurai Stone Axe Discovery by I. Mahadevan (2006)
  5. ^ (Farmer 2004)
  6. ^ (Parpola 2005)

References

  • Bryant, Edwin (2000), The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture : The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate Oxford University Press.
  • Farmer, Steve et al. (2004) The Collapse of the Indus-Script Thesis: The Myth of a Literate Harappan Civilization, EVJS, vol. 11 (2004), issue 2 (Dec) [6] (PDF).
  • Knorozov, Yuri V. (ed.) (1965) Predvaritel’noe soobshchenie ob issledovanii protoindiyskikh textov. Moscow.
  • Mahadevan, Iravatham, Murukan In the Indus Script (1999)
  • Parpola, Asko (2005) Study of the Indus Script. 50th ICES Tokyo Session.
  • Rjabchikov, Sergei V. (2006a). A New Key to the Proto-Indian Writing System. AnthroGlobe Journal, 2006.
  • Rjabchikov, Sergei V. (2006b). Protoindiyskoe pis'mo i ego rasshifrovka. Krasnodar.
  • Subramanian, T. S. (2006) "Significance of Mayiladuthurai find" in The Hindu, May 01, 2006.

PDF is an abbreviation with several meanings: Portable Document Format Post-doctoral fellowship Probability density function There also is an electronic design automation company named PDF Solutions. ... Yuri Valentinovich Knorosov (Russian: Юрий Валентинович Кнорозов; b. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Decoding the Indus Script (1250 words)
The script was an absolutely unknown one, it was not found anywhere in conjunction with another known script and the inscrip- tions on the seals were nowhere of any great length than a few letters each...
Then, he decided to examine, without prejudice, those scripts and alphabates of the world which were closest, in time, to the Indus script, to see whether those scripts or alphabates could give any clue as to the sound-value which could be assigned to these basic letters.
While the direct connection between the late Indus script (1600 BC) and the Brahmi script could not be definitely established earlier, more and more inscriptions have been found all over the country in the last few years, dating 1000 BC, 700 BC, and so on, which have bridged the gap between the two.
Indus script - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1021 words)
The term Indus script (Harappan script) refers to short strings of symbols associated with the Harappan civilization (Indus Valley Civilization—most of the Indus sites are distributed in present day Pakistan and North West India) used between 2600–1900 BC.
Cunningham's ideas were supported by G.R. Hunter, and a minority of scholars continue to argue for the Indus script as the predecessor of the Brahmic family.
Indus Script Deciphered by Natwar Jha and N. Rajaram
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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