peacockbanner.jpg (7739 bytes) SITE MAP Home    Indian Lexicon     Corpus of Inscriptions    Artefacts   Decipherment

Back to Table of ContentsschoolCLR.gif (12855 bytes)

The script decipherment problem

A major problem in establishing the continuity of the Indian civilization beyond ca. 1300 B.C. is the as yet unresolved problem of the decipherment of the inscriptions of the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization.

Underlying hypothesis

The underlying hypothesis of this website is that the Indian languages constitute the core legacy of the linguistic area of this civilization.

The objective of the web is to recognize the ‘sound-bites’ of the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization which flourished for over a millennium, from circa 3000 B.C. on the banks of the two great rivers, Sarasvati and Sindhu.

The web presents and uses   

  • lexemes of Indian languages
  • pictorials in inscriptions
  • signs of the inscriptions on media such as seals, tablets, seal impressions, copper-plate inscriptions, bronze implements,ivory rods, stonewarebangles, potsherds
Signs on an armoury (ji_nas'a_la_)

Ten signs presented on a monolithic sign-board of Dholavira (Kotda):

Dholavira (Kotda) on Kadir island, Kutch, Gujarat22; 10 signs inscription found near the western chamber of the northern gate of the citadel high mound (Bisht, 1991: 81, Pl. IX); each sign is 37 cm. high and 25 to 27 cm. wide and made of pieces of white crystalline rock; the signs were apparently inlaid in a wooden plank ca. 3 m. long; maybe, the plank was mounted on the facade of the gate to command the view of the entire cityscape. Ten signs are read from left to right. The 'spoked circle' sign seems to be the divider of the three-part message.


A simple step is attempted and presented.

The pictorials in inscriptions on media unearthed in archaeological excavations (and taken from the exquisite corpuses of Mahadevan and Parpola) are tagged to the morphemes of the languages of the sub-continent.

Using the rebus principle, homonyms with substantive meanings are identified: such as the tools of jeweller-smithy, turner, silver-trader.


It would appear that many inscriptions were descriptions of weapons made by the metal-/fire-workers of the bronze-age civilization, which matured ca. 3000 B.C.

The Sarasvati and Sindhu rivers in NW India sustained this civilization and the continuity of the Indian civilization into historical periods is confirmed by the underlying semantic unity of the Indian languages.

The fire-workers of the civilization produced the inscriptions related principally to the bronze-age artefacts, principally of weapons.

The fire-workers of the Rigveda worked on one mineral: electrum (soma). The Sarasvati river (which nurtured the bronze-age civilization) is adored in the Rigveda.

The desiccation of the Sarasvati river (ca. 1700-1300 B.C.) led to the migrations of populations away from the banks of this river and principally eastwards and southwards.

The fire-workers of the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization who worked with minerals and the Rigvedic peoples who specialized in processing one mineral, electrum or soma, migrated away from the Sarasvati river due to the desiccation of the river.

This leads to the formulation of two hypotheses:

  • A cooperative society and a continuous culture had existed right from the chalcolithic- age through the bronze-age to the historical periods on the Sarasvati-Sindhu doab and the rest of India.
  • A lingua franca had emerged in the doab ca. 3000 B.C. with intense interaction and resultant cross-borrowings of lexemes of an expansive contact zone (from Tigris-Euphrates to Ganga, from the Caucus mountains to the Gulf of Khambat, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari) constituting the Sarasvati-Sindhu doab and the rest of India as an Indian Linguistic Area.

The formulation of these hypotheses is a plea for unravelling further the as yet untold story of the  formation of Indian languages as an exercise in general semantics.






































Back to Table of Contents




Advertise with us!
This site is part of Dharma Universe LLC websites.
Copyrighted 2009-2015, Dharma Universe.