Post 12- an alphabetical list

Post 12

A tentative alphabetical list of 28 basic signs of Indus script was compiled using place names of Indus Valley Civilization centers   appearing in the currently available Indus texts. (attached ) The decipherment was in conformity with locating and identifying known place names in the un deciphered texts , following the proven method  which had been used to decipher the Mesopotamian cuneiform texts  as documented in  Perci Handocks ‘book  MESOPOTAMIAN ARCHEOLOGY,  using proper names  already known in other scripts..

While using the above alphabetical list in the case of attached  22 texts  it is seen that  that phonetic  value of  the  first four words in 18 texts  reads as –GARIYASI.As per Monier  Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary, the earliest use of the  word  GARIASI is found in  Yajurveda and Mahabharata

Continue in the attached document: Post_12


Post 11: A tentative Alphabetical List of Indus Script

Based on identification of proper nouns relating to place names of Indus Valley civilization centers located in the body of the Indus script, an alphabetical list had been prepared and circulated in the Since it has only 28 letters ,it has serious limitations in decipherment of texts having other than these basic signs.

Based on the commendable work done in their paper on “INDUS SCRIPT :A STUDY OF ITS SIGN DESIGN” (Nisha Yadav and MN Vahia ), making use of the frequency analysis of Basic Signs and Modifiers , it is proposed to add a few more Basic signs ,( which were not encountered in the limited number of identified place names) and selected modifiers having high frequency of use in these texts ,to the alphabetical list attached to Post 7 .

Names of ancient cities worldwide tended to be extremely simple, easy to pronounce and remember, like Gaya, Kashi, Mathura, Rome, Kaba, Mecca, Madina, URUK, Sumer, Meluha, Sindh Lothal Harappa etc These are just a few examples which do not have the complexity of Indraprastha, Los Angeles , Washington, Strasbourg etc This could be the reason why complex constructions were absent in these identified place names.

Since these signs have not been encountered in the place names so far, ,it will not be correct to assign any phonetic value to these signs. At the present state of information that we have, phonetic value indicated in the bracket is not even an intelligent guess work .It has just been noticed in use in text interpretation exercises currently available on web sites.

One of the recommended options is to approach such problems as cross word puzzles or fill in the blank exercises in which the available information may be of dubious aid.

Since the following Basic Signs and Modifiers have very high frequency in the body of INDUS CORPUS .our efforts at text decipherment will require these signs to be interpreted .These are tabulated in the attached Post_11 upload

Post 10: The difference between rich and poor languages

The difference between rich and poor languages

The number of signs in the currently available Indus texts is estimated to range above 400 .as documented below –

“There are about 450 different signs in the Indus script. Comparing this figure with the number of graphemes in the other early scripts, and also taking into regard the age of the Indus script, the conclusion of its belonging to the logo- syllabic type seems inevitable.

 It is likely that in most cases the Indus signs stand for nuclear words, i.e. the lexical roots. This is undoubtedly so in the case of texts comprising one single sign only. “ASKO PARPOLA

Similar views were more emphatically expressed in a 2004 article in which Farmer, Sproat, and Witzel presented a number of arguments about the Indus script being nonlinguistic, principal among them being extreme brevity of the inscriptions, and existence of too many rare signs (increasing over 700-), and the lack of the random-looking sign repetition typical of a language .

Viewed in the perspective of most European languages having only 26 alphabets with other scripts contemporary Scrips having fewer number of unique signs ,did negatively affect the claim of Indus civilization being linguistic . That this alone may not be a relevant criterion of the evolutionary stage of a language becomes crystal clear from an example of a vibrant living modern Indian language like HINDI .

to continue reading click Post 10- The_number_of_signs_used_inIndus_texts

Blog-9: Locating the place names of Indus Valley

Locating the place names of Indus Valley

The current exercise of locating the place names of Indus Valley (IVC) sites and cities with whom these had trade and perhaps cultural relations in the available Indus texts using an indicative alphabetical list   is an ongoing exercise. Place names have a built in capacity to reveal the ageless original phonetic value of alphabets in use and the place names so located.. It is the most neutral entity, free of all   pre conceived notions and ideologies which could be deficient in objectivity.

There is however, a serious limitation due to small number of alphabets so far identified which are being currently used for text decipherment on the one hand and the total number of signs and sequences numbering over four hundred which the texts contain .The place names yet to be identified include Banawali, DholaVira, Gola Dhoro, Ganeriwala, Kalibangan, KotBala, Kot Diji, Mehargarh, Mundigak, Nausharo, Ongar, Shortugai. Apart from IVC centers one could think of coming across names of important cities of antiquity. Like Dabarkot, Taxila Jullandhar, GiriNagar (Girnar),Prabhas and river Saraswati.

During this quest of place names in the Indus Script, I have come across 11 sequences (attached below) of which the first 4 alphabets can be phonetically transcribed as per the tentative alphabetical list as “GARIYASI”. This is just an inference and should lead to no conclusions.

the list is attached as a pdf file Blog_9_list

Mystery of Indus civilization and its script


 With an estimated area of one million square kilometers, twice as large as the combined expanse of the contemporary civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt,  Indus Valley Civilization had its first encounter with modern age when. ruins of Harappa were visited by Charles Masson in 1826. He published his Narrative of Various Journeys in Balochistan, Afghanistan, and the Punjab in 1842,” where the locals talked of an ancient city extending “thirteen cosses” (about 25 miles) called Brahminabad.”

East India Railway  company engineers  constructing  the railway line between Lahore and Karachi found the fire baked bricks of Mohan Jo Daro and Harappa mounds  extremely useful as ballast  for the rail track  and used up the same for the 175 kms of railway which was laid. with man made stone  substitute.

Regular excavations started in 1921–22 resulting in the discovery of the civilization at Harappa and Mohen jo -daro .Since then,  over fifteen hundred settlements have so far been located of which more than hundred sites  have been excavated .These  Include major urban centers of Harappa, Mohen Jo-Daro, Lothal, Dholavira, Ganeriwala,  kalibangan, Rakhigarhi. Mehargarh and others  and the number is continuously growing.

Indus Valley  civilization, also known as Saraswati-Hakra-civilization, is the most well archived ancient civilization. Archeologists have continuously expanded the horizon of knowledge about variegated facets of this culture through its inception, growth, maturity, decline and final merger in the main stream of contemporary history retaining, its basic characteristics throughout.

Ancient history experts,, linguists with proven expertise in decipherment of ancient scripts and other specialists from diverse fields, equipped with sophisticated analytical tools ,find that no significant headway has so far been made to make this dumb civilization utter a single sensible word acceptable to well established norms of validation. of the decipherment of an unknown script.

This paper summarizes. attempts so far made to unravel the mystery of Indus script and the   skill, ingenuity, zeal and effort with which the subject has been dealt with. The world has eagerly awaited  the fortuitous appearance of a multi lingual text of sufficient length to authenticate correct decipherment of the Indus Script. With passage of time chances of discovery of a Rosetta Stone of Indus civilization are becoming remote.

to continue reading click here- Post 8


Post 7- KEY ALPHABETS of Indus language

An alphabetical list based upon  experience gained  while  locating  place names in the Indus Script Corpus  has been made out to  enable enthusiastic  supporters of this proven method of script decipherment  to sign their names in Indus Script. (attached)

As the script must  have continued to  evolve through time and undergone changes ,there are variants due to improvements brought about  in the  size and form of alphabets  while the texts written in older  styles have also continued .As a result we have more than one alphabet for the same sound .These have been separately listed.

Four new place names have been also  located  in the  texts. These are-

  • Mehargarh
  • Harippa
  • Narhain
  • Narhain

There is a long list of place names yet to be located. These include

  • Banawali,
  • Dhola Vira,
  • Kalibangan,
  • Kot Bala,
  • Kot Diji,
  • Nausharo
  • Ongar,
  • Ganeriwala,
  • Suktandor,
  • Mundigak,
  • Shortugai. and many more.

Once we have adequate number of names located to identify maximum number of alphabets it should be possible to prepare an accurate  and exhaustive list of alphabets  which will hopefully enable every one to read Indus text like any other living language .This will also revive the Indus  language from its thousands of years of stony sleep  .

The alphabetical list placed in the attached file follows the pattern  of English and other European languages.The  example  placed with each word represents the nearest sound in English.There are a few sounds in Indus language  not represented by single alphabets in English .These have been separately shown as combined consonantal sounds currently in use  in English.

click here to see the alphabetical list: Post 7

Deciphering  of Indus- Script  with and without a bi-lingual text: Post 6


KeyComponents of  the exercise “Early Decipherment Indus Valley Civilization script”

  1. Text decipherment is a clinical task.
  2. It has to be performed under controlled conditions to eliminate externalities.
  3. The sign ,symbol or sequence is the subject of our scrutiny. Similar to lab tests the process of finding out the sound of the signs has nothing to do  with  end results and consequences thereof.
  4. The alphabet contains a sound which has to be surmised, ,ascertained, confirmed .and finally validated by an external point of reference confirming the sound assigned to the alphabet.
  5. Ideograms : ,Because of their very nature and function , ideograms have immense possibility of multiple interpretations. For the sake of ensuring  uniformity ,with zero tolerance  for possibility of deviations, one of the underlying assumptions in the current exercise  is treating ideograms as simple alphabets.  “a large number of signs in IVC(Indus Valley Civilization) texts, which were ,formerly, used…

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Deciphering  of Indus- Script  with and without a bi-lingual text: Post 6

Key Components of  the exercise “Early Decipherment Indus Valley Civilization script”

  1. Text decipherment is a clinical task.
  2. It has to be performed under controlled conditions to eliminate externalities.
  3. The sign ,symbol or sequence is the subject of our scrutiny. Similar to lab tests the process of finding out the sound of the signs has nothing to do  with  end results and consequences thereof.
  4. The alphabet contains a sound which has to be surmised, ,ascertained, confirmed .and finally validated by an external point of reference confirming the sound assigned to the alphabet.
  5. Ideograms : ,Because of their very nature and function , ideograms have immense possibility of multiple interpretations. For the sake of ensuring  uniformity ,with zero tolerance  for possibility of deviations, one of the underlying assumptions in the current exercise  is treating ideograms as simple alphabets.  “a large number of signs in IVC(Indus Valley Civilization) texts, which were ,formerly, used ideographically ,in Proto-Indian scripts or in scripts where they originated but by the time of IVC texts  these came to be used as mere phonograms”(G R Hunter- Script of Harappa…page 68)This mandate is the corner stone of  scientific identification of alphabets ensuring uniformity  and verifiability.
  6. Stage for text interpretation would come after adequate number of alphabets are identified and people are familiar with the art of writing in Indus script.
  7. An incisive articles on the subject (The decipherment of Indus Script … ) by Dr Subhas C Kak suggests an identical interventionist approach which forms  the main part of this exercise .He has rightly suggested identification of  principal alphabets by trial and error method. See attached file BLog Six
  8. Currently our slogan is to WRITE INDUS. This most appropriate slogan  comes from Ms. Nisha Yadav  who worked as a team member  on Statistical analysis of Indus Script by TIFR. Till  this limited objective is  achieved ,ascertaining the Meaning of Meaning has to be put on hold .


Deciphering Indus Script- Oral Communication- Post 5

Oral Communication

Oral communication capability is a gift of nature shared by humans with a large number of other species. In its original state it is audio visual and is fully supported by all sense organs in conveying the sense which  is reinforced by rhythm, intention a tone and physical gesture and the environment  to convey the.  full content of information, thoughts, ideas and feelings.

The poem Among School Children by WB Yeats is the most exquisite poetic expression of the richness of such communication, where a fusion of environment, content, listener and speaker takes place instantaneously, as under-

“O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer

Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?

O body swayed to music, O brightening glance

How can we know the dancer from the dance?”

Among School Children

William Butler Yeats

In the earliest state of human existence all language is poetry and all movement is dance Script comes much later, facilitating indirect, distant, remote secret, true, and false communication. Script however, is the only means of  preservation of information through time. and constitutes one of the most outstanding human inventions. Indus civilization is currently an exception to  literary monuments transcending time  and becoming ageless and eternal source of inspiration for all times to come  compared to stone statues  and marble  structures aptly recorded in Shakespeare’s

Not marble nor the gilded monuments of all princes shall out live this time

Decipherment of Indus script is therefore, a venture to redeem Indus culture from  threatened oblivion.It is perhaps to add richness of oral communication to an otherwise inert script that written communications in early stages were artfully  decorated by a variety of frills representing suggestive objects of nature like leaves, flowers, plants, rivers, mountains, animals etc to make good the limitations of otherwise lifeless signs/script.‘ The tradition seems to have survived  only in affectionate communications like birthday or anniversary  greeting cards.

Although  as of now, we are not in a position to read  Indus texts or speak like Harappans,  nothing prevents us from writing in Indus Script .,using an alphabetical table which has all the imperfections .Once we start writing I am sure the script will unfold its mystery .  table attached hindi indus alphabet

deciphering the Indus script- post 4

Place names  of Indus Valley Civilization sites  which have been excavated  are important for text decipherment..Recovery of  artifacts from these sites  increases  chances of availability  of place names in  the seals, as these were as address tags..Some of these exotic names include –


Ancient Mesopotamian texts speak of trading with at least two seafaring civilizations – Magan and Meluhha – in the neighborhood of South Asia in the third millennium B.C. This trade was conducted with real financial sophistication ,in amounts that could involve tons of copper. Mesopotamians speak of Meluhha as a land of exotic commodities. A wide variety of objects produced in the Indus region have been found at sites in Mesopotamia. This is definitely one of the names of famous IVC cities, and could be Mohen Jo Daro

Beth Nahrain,is  the Aramaic name   of Mesopotamia  attested since the adoption of Old Aramaic as the lingua franca of the Neo Assyrian Empire in the 10th century BCE

The  current Greek name Mesopotamia was first coined in the 2nd century BCE by the historian Polybius during the Seleucid period.     Narhain does appear in Indus texts.


One of Sumer’s largest cities, also the largest city in the world,  had at its height ,a population of 50-80,000.Discoveries of obsidian from far-away locations in Anatolia and lapis lazuli from Badakhshan in northeastern Afghanistan, beads from Dilmun (modern Bahrain), and several seals inscribed with the Indus Valley script in Mesopotamian cities  suggest a remarkably wide-ranging network of ancient trade centered around the Persian Gulf. Trade extended from the silver mines of Anatolia to lapis lazuli mines in Afghanistan, the cedars of Lebanon and the copper of Magan.


Magan (also Makkan) was an ancient region which was referred to in Sumerian cuneiform texts of around 2300 BC and continued to be to a source of copper and diorite for Mesopotamia up to 550 BC The archeological and geological evidence suggests that Oman was the land of Magan, which appears in Sumerian cuneiform texts ca. 2300 B.C. as a source of copper and diorite for the city-states of Mesopotamia,


These texts tell us that ships with a cargo capacity of 20 tons sailed up the Arabian Gulf, stopping at Dilmun to take on fresh water before continuing to Mesopotamia. They also say that Magan lay south of Sumer and Dilmun, was frequented by Indus Valley travelers, and had high mountains from which diorite or gabbro(hard black stone) for black statues was quarried..

During 1950s, Danish archaeologists excavating grave mounds in Bahrain, northwest of Oman, found 4,200-year-old settlements and temples of the city-state of Dilmun, known as the city of the gods in ancient Sumerian literature.

Umm Qais is a town in northern Jordan near the site of the ancient town of Gadara. It is situated in the extreme north-west of the country, where the borders of Jordan, Israel and Syria meet A clay tag recovered from Umms with Indus inscription would indicate trade relations between Indus cities and Umms.

It has been possible to decipher the following texts   post 4