some new stuff on the indus-sarasvati.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Srinivasan Kalyanaraman
Date: Nov 13, 2005 5:54 PM
Subject: Bronze age writing system of Meluhha (Mleccha)
To: "S. Kalyanaraman"
Abstract: Bronze age trade and writing system of Meluhha (Mleccha) in Sarasvati Civilization [For Bronze Age Trade Workshop in 5ICAANE]
The discovery of two pure tin ingots in a ship-wreck at Haifa has produced two rosetta stones to decode the 'indus script'. As Prof. Muhly noted, the emergence of bronze age trade and writing system may be two related initiatives which started circa 3rd millennium Before Common Era (BCE). Not unlike the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the corpus of inscriptions of what I refer to as Sarasvati Civilization (since about 80% of the archaeological sites are on the banks of this Vedic river) relate to the repertoire of lapidaries, smiths, mint and metalsmithy. The pictorial motifs and signs of the script may be read as hieroglyphs with rebus readings of furnace types, minerals, metals and alloys. The breakthrough invention of alloying is depicted through a unique artistic style of creating ligatured signs and ligatured pictorial motifs (such as a bovine body with multiple animal heads, combination of animal heads, combination of lathe and furnace on a standard device, ligaturing on a heifer, damr.a -- unicorn -- with one curved horn, pannier, kammarsala). A ligature of a tiger's face to the upper body of a woman is also presented in the round. The hieroglyphic code has been cracked as words of Mleccha (Meluhha) which is a proto-indic or proto-vedic dialect which constitute the substratum for many proto-versions of present-day Prakrits, Samskr.tam, Nahali, Munda, Dravidian languages/dialects which evolved in a linguistic area ca.3rd millennium BCE. Mleccha was the language in which Yudhishthira and Vidura converse in the Mahabharata about the non-metallic killer devices of a fortification made of lac. Mleccha is attested as a language in many ancient texts. Mlecchamukha means copper in Sanskrit and milakkha means copper in Pali. The depiction of a Meluhha trader (accompanied by a woman carrying a kamandalu) who needed a translator as explained on an Akkadian cylinder seal, excludes Akkadian as the languag of the Sarasvati civilization. There are, however, substratum words in Sumerian such as tibira 'merchant' and sanga 'priest' which are cognate with tam(b)ra 'copper' (Santali) and sanghvi 'priest' (Gujarati). The Sarasvati hieroglyphs on tin ingots found at Haifa relate to ranku 'antelope', 'liquid measure'; read rebus: ranku 'tin'. The findings have been documented in a seven volume encyclopaedic work on Sarasvati http://www.hindunet.org/saraswati and summaries with albums posted at http://spaces.msn.com/members/sarasvati97
Dr. S. Kalyanaraman