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