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A decipherment of the language, script and inscriptions of Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization ca. 3000 B.C.

The hypotheses and decipherment method outlined in other sections of this website are tested with the following external evidence, i.e., evidence external to the inscriptions:

Step 1: (Semantic clusters)

Indian Lexicon has a semantic cluster related to 'tools, weapons and other metal (mostly copper, bronze and brass) implements' (776kb.). To start with, this semantic cluster is selected from the Indian Lexicon (using the semantic sequence of the Lexicon).

Step 2: (Selection of homonyms)

Homonyms for the lexemes in this 'tools semantic cluster' are selected from the Indian Lexicon (using the alphabetical sequence of the Lexicon).

Step 3: (Hieroglyph-Lexeme concordance)

Phonemic balance is sought to be established in a number of sets of concordance between 'image' words and 'tool' words.

Each concordance set has two categories of lexemes:

Sets of concordance between 'image' words and 'tool' words are:

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

set 11

set 12

set 13

set 14







Step 4: (Inscription clusters)

This step is an identification of the 'keys' inherent in the inscriptions. The principal key is the copper tablet inscriptions which use some 'recurrent' hieroglyphics. The second key provided by these copper tablet inscriptions is the invention by the fire-worker/metal-smith of 'signs' which represent pictorials.

For example, the 'antelope' pictorial is represented by a 'sign' (Sign 184). A 'kneeling adorant' pictorial is represented by a number of 'signs' (Signs 45 to 48)

sign184.jpg (1078 bytes)          sign45.jpg (1087 bytes)sign46.jpg (1096 bytes)sign47.jpg (963 bytes)sign48.jpg (1016 bytes)
The third key is the technique of ligaturing adopted by  the fire-worker/metal-smith, not only for the pictorials but also for the signs yielding, for example, the so-called 'fabulous animals' and a number of ligatured signs such as the 'water-carrier' sign ligatured with 'jar' sign. An analysis of this ligaturing tehnique is provided in the pages of this website. The ligaturing technique is exemplified by the sign 'svastika'

sign148.jpg (977 bytes) This sign is used like a 'sign' and also like a 'pictorial' in scores of inscriptions. Another dominant hieroglyph is the 'dotted circle' which is not identified as a 'sign' in the Parpola and Mahadevan concordances. These signs, 'svastika' and 'dotted circle', constitute the fourth key.

The graphemes of the script are vividly hieroglyphic as seen in many signs.

The sign list in a perspective snapshot presents a number of variants and ligatures which reinforce the hieroglyphic nature of the sign orthography.

Objects containing the inscriptions with these 'keys' or recurrent signs are clustered together in a series of hundreds of snapshots. An analysis of the types of objects used to convey the inscriptions is provided in the thousands of pages and images of the entire corpus of inscriptions documented in this website. (For example, seals, tablets in bas-relief, miniature incised tablets, copper tablets, ivory objects, bangle fragments, Kotda (Dholavira) monumental sign-board, pottery incisions, hieroglyphs of Mesopotamian finds). These snapshots are presented in the series of inscription clusters. (Note that these inscription clusters are sequenced not by sign pairs or a Sign number sequence but are 'clustered' by the keys provided by one or more dominant signs in an inscription set.)

'Tool' lexemes explaining the bronze/brass/copper weapons and tools are related to the following 'group' lexemes:

khan.d.a kanka (Santali); (Ta.);
harku = implements (Kuwi);
a_yattam = war tools (Ta.); a_yudha (RV.)

The 'tools' are made by a

kut.ha_ru = armourer (IL 1813) in
ji_na-s'a_la_ (armoury)

The process of building concordance sets for tools yields a surprising by-product thanks to the semantic clusters in the Indian Lexicon related to flora:

Decipherment of the following treasures of Kubera: mukunda = quicksilver (IL 1973); kunda = boswellia thurifera (IL 1975); s'ankha = perfume (IL 1880); padmaka = redwood tree, prunus cerasoides; kharva = baked pottery  

Step 5: (An Indian Hieroglyphic Dictionary)
A preliminary Indian Hieroglyphic Dictionary is presented with the Sign List, Ligaturing elements and associated tools and weapons represented by the ligaturing elements of the script. 

The Indian Hieroglyphic Dictionary is in five parts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Step 6: (An Appeal to indologists, students and scholars of ancient civilizations)

The website is a small step in the process of establishing the possibility of a definitive decipherment of the script and inscriptions of the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization. This can truly be a collective effort of all indologists using the website as a spring-board for further studies in general semantics and the Indian Linguistic area circa 3000 B.C.

The author would deeply appreciate critical comments and suggestions to further advance/refine this process using and augmenting the resources provided by the website.

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