FW: The Deciphered Indus Script - One Recent Title (fwd)
FW: The Deciphered Indus Script - One Recent Title (fwd)
From: Hugh W. Jarvis [mailto:hjarvis@...]
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2000 12:49 PM
Subject: The Deciphered Indus Script - One Recent Title (fwd)
FYI. Details below. Hugh
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 16:39:27 +0500
From: k.k.agencies <kkagen@...>
Subject: The Deciphered Indus Script - One Recent Title
E/Editor's Pick: 190
Here is a grand work, just published, which could be of interest to you.
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The Deciphered Indus Script : Methodology, Readings, Interpretations /
Natwar Jha and N. S. Rajaram. 1st ed. Delhi, Aditya Prakashan. 2000.
xxviii, 269 p. ills. 29 cm.
List Price: $ 63.30 Your Price: $ 57
ISBN: 8177420151 KK-10943
The Indus Valley Civilization, known also as the Harappan, is one of the
most important civilizations of antiquity. Ever since its discovery by
Indian and British archaeologists beginning in 1921, this civilization has
been extensively studied by archaeologists, historians, anthropologists and
of course, Indologist. Of particular interest are several thousand seals
found at these sites containing both writing and images on them. These have
been objects of intensive study for over seventy years. In spite of this,
the script has remained undeciphered, and the writing unread. This is a
major gap in our knowledge of the past though there is no shortage of
theories that purport to explain the civilization.
The deadlock has been created by the theory of an Aryan invasion of India
in the early second millenium BC: the achievements of the Harappan
Civilization have been attributed to a people called Proto Dravidians who
never existed, speaking a language that also never existed. The writings
that they left behind have been sought to be read by imposing this
non-existent language on these imaginary people inhabiting this very real
civilization. In the process, the immense body of literature left behind by
the ancient Indians is sought to be totally divorced from the writings.
The present volume is devoted to the study of the Indus script and its
decipherment. It offers a methodology for reading the Indus script by
combining paleography with ancient literary accounts and Vedic grammar.
These illustrate the methodology and also help shed new light on the
Harappans and their connections with the Vedic Civilization. The language
of the seals is Vedic Sanskrit, with a significant number of them
containing words and phrases traceable to the ancient Vedic glossary
Nighantu, compiled from still earlier sources by Yaska. The language is
less archaic than that of the Rigveda, and corresponds closely to that of
the later Vedic works like the Sutras and the Upanishads.
The scope of the work is somewhat broader than what the title may suggest,
and extends to placing the Harappans in their proper historical context.
The Harappans, who until now had remained a silent enigma, speak to us
again, and speak to us in a language and idiom that we can all comprehend
-- the Vedic. The converse is also true: we now have an archaeological and
geographic context for the Vedic Aryans. The Harappans belong to the later
The implications of these findings go beyond the borders of India --
leading to a possible change in our viewpoint on the origin of civilization
itself. Since Dholavira, according to Bisht, has shown planned cities
dating to the fourth millennium, the Vedic Civilization of the Sarasvati
heartland must go back at least to the fifth. Thus, the idea of the birth
of Civilization in the river valleys of Mesopotamia is no longer tenable.
The cradle of civilization -- assuming there was such a thing -- can now be
claimed for the Sarasvati Valley.
The decipherment and its significance
Contents of the seals: writings and images
Scope of the work
Decipherment and the readings
Methodology and program
Steps Towards Decipherment
1. The Changed Historical Context
2. Language of the Indus Seals
3. The Indus Script and Ancient Writing
4. Indus Seals and the Vedic Literature
The Deciphered Indus Script
5. Decipherment I: Basics and Methodology
6. Decipherment II: Steps towards Interpretation
7. Meanings and Symbolisms
8. Readings and References
9. Readings and Explanations
10. Comparison with other Ancient Scripts
Appendix 1: Example of Pre-Harappan Writing?
Appendix 2: Corrections
Dr. Natwar Jha studied Vedic literature at Shyama Vidyapeeth, Mandar Ashram
in Bounsi, Bhagalpur, Bihar. He continued his higher studies in Sanskrit
literature at Darbhanga University, and obtained a Ph.D. from Bihar
University at Muzaffarpur. He is one of the world's foremost Vedic scholars
and palaeographers who has deciphered the 5000 year-old Indus (Harappan)
script, thereby solving what is widely regarded as the most significant
technical problem in historical research in our time.
Dr. N. S. Rajaram was born in Mysore, India in September 1943. He holds a
B.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from B.M.S. College in Bangalore and
Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences from Indiana University in Bloomington,
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