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Scholars at odds over mysterious Indus script

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posted on May, 26 2009 @ 02:49 AM
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The Indus valley civilization is one of the oldest and mature civilizations of the world. The Indian religion and society derive heavily from the Indus civilization.


An as yet undeciphered script found on relics from the Indus valley constitutes a genuine written language, a new mathematical analysis suggests.

The finding is the latest chapter in a bitter dispute over the interpretation of "Indus script". This is the name given to a collection of symbols found on artefacts from the Indus valley civilisation, which flourished in what is now eastern Pakistan and western India between 2500 and 1900 BC.

In 2002, a team of linguists and historians argued that the script did not represent language at all, but religious or political imagery.


Source: www.newscientist.com...




posted on May, 26 2009 @ 03:25 AM
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reply to post by sunny_2008ny
 
Good post
It seems that both sides of the debate have points that make it hard for simple enthusiasts (like me) to favor one over the other. Instead, the new findings offer possibilities. They don't conclude that it's definitely a written language, rather the lack of random characters suggest so. The analysis doesn't offer any avenues of investigation for why the Indus Script features so many limited characters. The average example of Indus Script contains fewer than 5. Hopefully, the further studies suggested by Rao. Farmer et al's arguments against the Indus civilization being literate are pretty emphatic...

So what the heck are the symbols??!



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 04:35 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


The corpus of epigraphs is presented in 8 albums at sites.google.com...

The intensely pictographic script is composed of both signs and pictorial motifs. Both these categories can be read rebus in mleccha (meluhha) relating the words to the repertoire of mint workers and mine-workers. The inventors of alloying also invented the writing system.

The decoding is at sites.google.com...

Also cited in wikipedia entry on indus script.

kalyanaraman



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 06:12 AM
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reply to post by kalyan97
 

Your links are very interesting. I particularly like the Epigraphica and the presentation makes for an excellent resource. It's very good and I noticed who designed it too


The response of Rajesh P Rao to Farmer's paper is enjoyable. As I implied in the above post, I've no particular bias and find any new discoveries or interpretations of equal interest. For this reason, I'm reading the script/indus-writing PDF to gain more insight. I felt that Farmer's alleged quote (New Scientist link above) was fairly at odds with an unbiased approach to history and science, "There's zero chance the Indus valley is literate. Zero." Nevertheless, I'll read his paper carefully when I've read the pdfs linked by you.

If you are the person I think you are, I'm afraid you know more about the subject of the Indus Script and the Saraswati Basin than anybody on ATS. That isn't to say that you would be necessarily correct in your theories, just that nobody shares your subject knowledge to offer a decent counterpoint.

Thanks for the links. I'll post any questions when I've finished reading the pdfs and reading around them.



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 07:02 AM
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There have been a couple of threads on this...

I just finished rereading "Canticle for Lebiowitz" for the first time in years...

... They are a shopping list.



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by grover
 




Yah a shopping list, I love "A Canticle for Lebowitz" , its one of my favorite stories of all time. I'll think I'll have to read it again, its been at least 32-33 years since I read it.

Another good book about a post apocolyptic world is anthem by Ayn Rand, I read the two back to back when I was in jr high.

I believe that a new computer analysis of the indus script indicates that is language and not just a collection of pictograms, or something aslong those lines.



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 01:32 PM
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it is one of those things like the The Voynich Manuscript



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 09:06 PM
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For me, the context of the symbols along with the art indicates a linguistic component. In comparing them with other symbols (rock art) which are in a cultural context but are not linguistic, a few things stand out in my mind that indicate "writing" (or at least phrases/syllable symbols) :
* the symbols aren't randomly scattered around or near art but have a fixed place.
* they always appear in a certain orientation (up-down, left-right)
* they're on a line and there is size associated with them.

BTW, I'm not overly convinced by using DNA sequences for comparison. I think they should have used non-literate language examples, including things like the Native American rock art (which is sometimes story, sometimes culture, sometimes referential, but not literacy) or Australian aboriginal symbols.

I don't know much about the archaeology and the context in which those artifacts are found, but I'll side with the "they're language" crew. I would have to do a lot more study before I could make a more informed opinion.

(gads, I sound scientific today....)



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 09:14 PM
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Did anyone notice that the far right looks exactly like VH1.
Oddly funny.
Interesting read though.



posted on May, 27 2009 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by Byrd
 


I know the context of a couple of examples of indus script.
One was a sign that hung at the gates of one of the indus cities.
The sign is wooden and was found nearly intact, it has several rows of script, with some of the symbols repeating at random intervals.
Several of the symbols are very common in examples of indus script, and turn up on graves on an island in the persian gulf.
The graves are part of the ,I believe, the largest grave complex in the world.
Items of indus mfg, distinctive glass beads and pottery have turned up it the grave complex as well.
I think its clear that it is a written language.



posted on May, 27 2009 @ 03:04 AM
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Some of it looks like lettering, some pictures, is it possible it is BOTH? Like Kanji? Perhaps they are pictures that mean individual words as well! It is really on the fence though, could be either way... though I think picture-script is probably the best answer!

Interestingly, just thinking out loud here,
There is some similarity to the Norse runes I noticed (which were also the precursor to Russian modern-day Cyrillic), and in one of the slideshow there is a swastika, in fact facing both ways. The Nazis were very interested in Norway in many many ways, including for the Viking heritage and runes, and they were also obsessed with the idea of the Aryans, which if Im not mistaken originated from India. Then the SS had expeditions all over the world, including Tibet and the Middle East, Persia, Iceland I think, etc. So did Hitler rip off everything from the Indus valley then? Is there some connection Im not seeing?



posted on May, 27 2009 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by Ridhya
Some of it looks like lettering, some pictures, is it possible it is BOTH? Like Kanji? Perhaps they are pictures that mean individual words as well! It is really on the fence though, could be either way... though I think picture-script is probably the best answer!


That occurred to me as well, but I don't have enough context or enough of the script to comment. Punkin said that at least one was hung over a city gate, which would indicate that a part of it referred to the name of the city and possibly the city's title or the name of the ruler.


There is some similarity to the Norse runes I noticed (which were also the precursor to Russian modern-day Cyrillic),

Accidental. I did note them, but there's no cultural context and that civilization had been gone for thousands of years by the time the Norse runes showed up.



and in one of the slideshow there is a swastika, in fact facing both ways. The Nazis were very interested in Norway in many many ways, including for the Viking heritage and runes, and they were also obsessed with the idea of the Aryans, which if Im not mistaken originated from India. Then the SS had expeditions all over the world, including Tibet and the Middle East, Persia, Iceland I think, etc. So did Hitler rip off everything from the Indus valley then? Is there some connection Im not seeing?

The swastika is a very ancient sign (like the sun symbol) and meant different things in different cultures. The Nazis adopted it because of a pseudo-occultic connection. Hitler didn't rip off everything from the Indus valley.



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