Of the writing systems of the ancient world which still await deciphering, the Indus Script is the most important. It developed in the Indus or Harappan Civilization, which flourished c. 2500 -1900 bc. in and around modern Pakistan. Prof. Parpola outlines what is known about the Harappan culture and its script, presents a decipherment of a small number of interlocking Indus signs, and proposes a method which will permit further progress in decipherment. His fascinating study confirms that the Indus script was logo-syllabic and that the Indus language belonged to the Dravidian family. He also argues that Indian astronomy was started by the Harappans, and that the Indus religion was genetically related to those of the ancient Near East and Hindu India.
About the Author:
Asko Parpola is Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki.