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Indus Script Cipher: Book review by V. Girish

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  • S. Kalyanaraman
    A much broader approach and attempt to solve the Indus Script*.*, November 29, 2010 By V.
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2010
      A much broader approach and attempt to solve the Indus Script.November 29, 2010
      V. Girish (Herndon, VA USA)


      This review is from: Indus Script Cipher: Hieroglyphs of Indian linguistic area (Paperback)

      This is one of the balanced approaches that I have seen in trying to decipher the Indus Script. The author does a very good job of looking at the current decipherment claims by Iravatham Mahadevan, Asko Parpola and essentially exposing them for their shortcomings as it relates to a restricted sample set. While he doesn't directly refute the non-script claim by Witzel et al in his book - he provides adequate information to dispel the notion that these writings could not be a script. 

      The things that appealed to me the most in this book was 

      a) his use of "Rebus" technique to map the script to words from various regional languages - this sits in well with how many other non Indus scripts have been deciphered 
      b) His treatment of the extended Indian-Sub continent as a "Linguistic Area" that allows him to map out the script by Rebus across multitude of languages in that region 
      c) Not necessarily getting hung up on whether Dravidian preceded Prakrit or Sanskrit or vice-versa. In fact, he doesn't even make the claim whether the script in question is pre-Prakrit or post-Prakrit - a true quality of a good researcher. 

      As an reader with a decent interest in this area - I was able to read this book without difficulty - the author didn't lose me much as went through his explanations. 

      Overall, I think this is a very good research work from a person that seems to have very good knowledge over the languages spoken in the linguistic region (Which I think an Asko Parpola or Witzel can't really claim) and done without any bias whatsoever. 

      I sincerely hope this book leads to a discussion on origin of Indian languages without any prejudice to any language so that we can better understand the people that lived in the Indian subcontinent many many moons ago. 

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