" Did you know there are similarities between the Indus script and one used in Minoan Crete, and even before then in 'Old Europe' (a culture in Eastern Med in c. 7000 to 3500 BC), as well as 'masons' marks' on bricks in Comalcalco, a city in Mexico dating from about the First Cen. AD.
(More in Robert Scoch's Voyages of the Pyramid Builders)"
How goes it?
The bookreview I'm posting has some pictures at the link provided. There has been alot more discussed since this review in '96 but I think it gives a nice, short condensation for a novice such as myself.
I also recently heard similarities in the Brahmi Script can be found at Easter Is. tho I have yet to read any research on this. Have you any info.?
( Chuckle, Yes, I am still anchored out here in the Atlantic! :))) And when time allows I would like to collect and share my thoughts with you re:Atlantis/Sundaland based on some recent readings I've done.)
IndiaStar Review of Books
Indus Valley Seals Deciphered!
Alphabetic Writing Originated
with the Ancient Hindus
-- Book Review --
Vedic Glossary on Indus Seals
by Natwar Jha
Varanasi, 1996 : Ganga-Kaveri Publishing
(D 35/77 Jangamawadimath, Varanasi 221 001, India)
60 pages, $ 10
Reviewed by C. J. S. Wallia
Science historians have long agreed that the international numeral system (1,2, 3,), based on the concepts of placement and zero, as well as the decimal system were invented by the ancient Hindus. (Nevertheless, many Western publications continue to call the everyday numerals Arabic, even though Arab historians have always acknowledged the numerals' Hindu origins.)
An even more fundamental contribution to human knowledge-- the origin of alphabetic writing -- should now be credited to the ancient Hindus. This claim arises from the successful deciphering of the ancient Indus script recently accomplished by Natwar Jha. In his new book, Vedic Glossary on Indus Seals, Jha explains his methodology and presents readings of more than 100 seals. The book is an English language summary of his monumental publications, Sindhu Mudra Lipi Bhasa, in Sanskrit, and Sindhu Sabhyata ki Mudraon ki Bhasa aur Lipi, in Hindi.
Dr. Natwar Jha, who serves as the principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Farraka, West Bengal, spent 20 years on the Indus script project. He has deciphered more than 3500 seals and established that the script is old Brahmi, a thousand years older than the Phoenician script, the currently believed origin of all alphabetic writing. In detailed charts, Jha shows stage-by-stage derived forms from old-Brahmi that include Phoenician, Aramaic of Taxila, Sabien Hemyaretic, and Greek.
I sought evaluations of Jha's work from several Sanskrit scholars currently researching the early history of science and paleography. In response, Dr. Navaratna Rajaram, author of The Politics of History: Aryan Invasion Theory and the Subversion of Scholarship sent me a 22-page personal communication:
"I find the readings so decisive that I am convinced that all previous theories, readings, and formulations have been rendered irrelevant by Jha's work. Any changes, if needed, will only be refinements. ...In the Indus seals, we have in all probability the mother of alphabetic writing. This is only one of the revisions to our knowledge of history of science brought about by the decipherment of the Indus script."
Another response, just as enthusiastic, came from Dr. Atamjit Singh, former dean of Punjabi studies at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and currently a visiting lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.
The beautifully crafted 5,000-year-old Indus seals, discovered in 1875, had long baffled scholars attempting to decipher their script. The scholars failed largely because of the assumption under which they labored-- uncritically accepting that the inscriptions had to be pre-Vedic and Dravidian. This assumption stemmed from the prevailing Eurocentric, colonial dogma that Sanskrit-speaking invaders came to India from the West and could not have composed the Vedas before 1200 B.C. The arbitrary date was insisted upon by writers like Max Muller, who had a hidden agenda to convert Hindus to Christianity and worked long and hard to deliberately distort the Vedas. Muller insisted on the very late date for the Rig Veda to fit into the Judeo-Christian time scale, which posited that the world itself had been created in 4004 B.C.!
The Aryan invasion theory is in tatters now. No Aryan journey to the east; instead, Sanskrit speakers migrated westwards into Kassite Iran, Hittite Anatolia, Greece, and much further. N.Rajaram and David Frawley, in their acclaimed book The Vedic Aryans and the Origins of Civilization: A Literary and ScientificAnalysis date the composition of the Rig Veda at 3750 B.C. They base this date, in part, on Subhash Kak's brilliant work on the astronomical code contained in the Rig Veda.
In the introductory chapter of Vedic Glossary on Indus Seals,
Jha discusses how the Indus civilization ended. He cites recent Indo-French LANDSAT satellite mappings of the shifting courses of the Sarasvati river over many centuries during the third millennium B.C.
The final drying up of the Sarasvati occurred in 1900 B.C. because tectonic plate movements made the mighty river lose two of its tributaries, Yamuna and Sutlej. (Noting the centrality of the Sarasvati in the civilization of Sapta Sindhu or seven rivers, from 7500 B.C. to 1900 B.C., and the repeated homage this river receives in the Rig Veda, Subhash Kak has suggested that the Indus civilization be renamed as Sarasvati civilization and the script on the seals as Sarasvati script.)
In the first part of Vedic Glossary on Indus Seals, Jha describes his major insight into his deciphering efforts: the four- to five-thousand-years-old inscriptions were meant to serve as a link betweenVedic literature and archaeology. Jha's inspiration came from his reading about Rishi Yaska's search in the Mahabharata for Kashyapa's lost Sanskrit etymological composition.
"The 'Moksa Dharm--Santiparv--chapter 343 of Mahabharat and its couplet no. 71, 72, 73, 88, 89, 92, and 93 are very important for understanding the subject matter as written on Indus seals. Where couplet 73 is clearly related with the Indus seals and couplet 92 records Aryan trend of considering Lord Vishnu in the form of unicorn (bull with one horn), called the Eksringah Nandivardhnhah in our epic and 'bull-bos indicus' called the Vrisha, Vrishakapi, Sipivisht, and Trk-kut. Similarly couplet 89 assimilates all above material information on varied forms of bulls with Nighantu -- the first generation Vedic glossary composition. We get information from couplet 73 that Nighantu was buried in the ground for certain reasons, like floods; and after some time, under the able guidance of Rishi Yaska an attempt was made to excavate the buried composition. And thus the recovered material formed the basis of composing Nirukta -- the second generation Vedic composition."
In the second part, Jha begins by asserting that the Indus script was "the first and the oldest scientific script of the world, which later on crossed the national boundary and went to West Asia and Europe, where it developed as Semitic and Greek." He then goes on to present the reader a convincing, stage-by-stage comparative study in the next 50 pages.
As an example, on page 19 Jha argues that the Greek script descended directly from the old-Brahmi: the dental consonant 'th' is not found in Semitic but it is in common in Sanskrit and in Greek. Jha cites Panini's famous work, Ashtadhyayi, (2900 B.C. -- this date is cited by Rajaram and Frawley), in which Yavan Lipi (Greek script) is mentioned. It's long been established that the Greek language is far closer to Sanskrit than it is to any Semitic language; now, it's likely the Greek script derived from the old-Brahmi.
Some of the main features of Jha's decipherment are: the old-Brahmi script is written from left to right, although sometimes it is also written right to left like plough lines on soil ("halayudh lekhan paddhti"); there are 61 basic signs in total comprising 55 consonants, 1 Onkar, 3 Vowels, and 2 Ayogwah (combination of vowel and consonant); there are also 162 composite signs; Phoenician is a reduced subset of 22 signs from the old-Brahmi's 61 signs; some seals are inscribed with the swastika as well as a cross without arms; a few of the signs are pictographic, but most of them are alphabetic.
The Indus/Sarasvati script or old-Brahmi developed in two divergent directions in India: Devanagari and related North Indian regional variants; and Ashokan Brahmi from which derived Bhattiprolu Brahmi in South India.
Jha also charts the evolutionary stages of the five point numeral system, shown on the reverse side of several seal, into Greco-Roman numerals. Some of the seals carry mathematical formulas. One seal is carved with the formula for the circumference to diameter ratio or p from "paridhi vyas anupati"from which derived the term pi of the Greeks. Another seal shows the formula for the circumference of a circle as 2 times p times radius.
Jha cites the work of Navaratna Rajaram and A. Seidenberg, an eminent American historian of science, for establishing the source of both Egyptian and old Babylonian mathematics in the technical manuals for the construction of complex geometrical Vedic fire altars, Sulba-Sutras.
Jha's achievement is truly impressive-- a landmark book!