View Full Version : Indus Script has been deciphered
03-31-2006, 07:46 AM
:cool: http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mindusscript.html I came across this thread during my search on scripts and languages.
Let me give you the good news. Indus script has been deciphered. The Straight Dope Science Advisory Board is right on the bull's eye. The script is hieroglyphic. :cool:
The language is mleccha (meluhha). QED at
http://spaces.msn.com/members/sarasvati97 (together with albums and writes-up) And notes on the underlying language at http://protovedic.blogspot.com
There will be a presentation at the 5th ICAANE workshop on bronze age trading systems. http://www.uam.es/otroscentros/asiriologiayegipto/5icaane/ws5_prog.html
Since I am only a guest member, I will be happy to respond offline for any follow-up queries. Email: email@example.com
Thanking you for your consideration and with the best regards.
You need to provide significantly better quality links.
The first link goes to a page that is mis-formatted and unreadable in my browser (Opera).
The second link only has a single reference to Indus script that I could find (buried in a huge amount of other stuff.) And the link there goes to a page completely unrelated to the Indus script!
(As a general rule of thumb, never link to bloggers who just collect links. Link to the original articles themselves.)
The third link only has an abstract of a paper. Not enough info to go on.
Want to try that again?
03-31-2006, 10:31 AM
Looking around online, there's a number of sites claiming decipherment, each contradicting the others, but perhaps you're referring to Asko Parpola's Deciphering the Indus Script (1994)? Here's a good review (http://murugan.org/research/salomon.htm) of it, which says: "After all this, the book has something of a surprise ending. Having developed at length his provisional case for a decipherment, Parpola concludes that 'it looks most unlikely that the Indus script will ever be deciphered fully, unless radically different source material becomes available' (p. 278)." The author assumes that it is a Dravidian language, which is plausible but not proven.
03-31-2006, 10:36 AM
The use of the term mlechha makes me suspicious. It's the traditional term amongst Hindus for "spiritually unclean" and can refer to things as well as people (untouchables).
03-31-2006, 05:19 PM
The use of the term mlechha makes me suspicious. It's the traditional term amongst Hindus for "spiritually unclean"
Historically, it's a Sanskrit word for "foreigner", "barbarian", etc.
"Meluhha" is a place name attested in Sumerian texts of the third millennium, seemingly a foreign trade center. Some people have hypothesized that this might refer to the Sumerians' trade contacts in the Indus Valley.
Presumably, the idea would be that this was a place-name in a Dravidian or other non-Indo-Aryan culture, and when Indo-Aryan Sanskrit speakers showed up in that area, they applied the place-name to all those furriner people. Hence Meluhha --> mleccha.
AFAIK, though, this is all still speculation. I'm inclined to think that Farmer and Witzel, whom bibliophage mentioned in his column, might be right that the Indus "script" is a set of non-linguistic signs rather than an actual script. In any case, Indologists in general certainly don't share the OP's optimism that it has been definitively deciphered.
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