Monday, September 7, 2009

Recent Researches into the Harappan Script

Veteran epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan shares some fascinating breakthroughs on his researches on deciphering the Harappan script.
When the Indus script became extinct, the memory of its grammatical elements should have been lost; but it did not quite happen that way. Since most of the Harappan ruling classes had names or titles ending in -(a)nr , that sound was borrowed by Indo-Aryan as an ethnic name to denote the neighbouring Non-Aryan people. Thus, Dr. –(a)nr > IA anr > andhra ( attested in Aitareya Brahmana VII:18).


The ‘alpha and omega’ signs have been so designated not only because they respectively commence and end most of the Indus texts, but also because they sum up the essence or most important feature of the Indus seal-texts, namely, the identity of the Harappan ruling class. This is shown below schematically (from left to right for convenience) :...


After the collapse of the Indus Civilisation, the institution of mel-akam (‘High House’) did not survive. But those who owned allegiance to the mel-akam , the akatt-u people, did survive and, in course of time, re-emerged in the Vedic period as the ‘jar-born’ priests typified by Agastya. A section of the ruling classes did not stay on, but migrated under the leadership of the Akattiyar clan to South India, where they founded the Early Historical kingdoms (of Andhras and their successors in the Deccan, and the triple kingdoms, Chera, Chola and Pandya, in the Tamil country).
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Courtesy: Harappa Project

Note: This article is not related directly to DD Kosambi but I felt it might be of some interest to the readers of this blog.