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Old October 28th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #1

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Meluha - Indus Valley Civilzation


I recently read a book called "The Immortals of Meluha".
The_Immortals_of_Meluha The_Immortals_of_Meluha

Here is the synopsis from Wiki.
"The story is set in 1900 BC, in what the modern Indians mistakenly call the Indus Valley Civilisation. The inhabitants of that period called it the land of Meluha – a near perfect empire created many centuries earlier by Lord Ram, one of the greatest monarchs that ever lived.
The once proud empire and its Suryavanshi rulers face severe perils as its primary river, the revered Saraswati, is slowly drying to extinction. They also face devastating terrorist attacks from the east, the land of the Chandravanshis.
To make matters worse, the Chandravanshis appear to have allied with the Nagas, an ostracised and sinister race of deformed humans with astonishing martial skills.
The only hope for the Suryavanshis is an ancient legend – ‘when evil reaches epic proportions, when all seems lost, when it appears that your enemies have triumphed, a hero will emerge’."

------------------------------------------------------------------
I am an Indian and I must say the story was a good attempt at trying to humanize the religious characters in Indian Mythology. I would like to discuss the validity of some of the claims made by the writer and how much of his imagination might actually be a fact
--------------------------------------------------------------------

1) Indus Valley civilization people came from South India. The people were originally part of a Sunken land to the South (Kumari Kandam???). Manu, the Hindu Counterpart of Noah was a Pandyan King(A south Indian Dynasty)

From my search -> Brahui language now existent in Pakistan is said to be of Dravidian Origin.
It is isolated from the nearest Dravidian-speaking neighbour population by a distance of more than 1,500 kilometres (930 mi)
Brahui_language Brahui_language

The author has also quoted the following in his website
http://www.shivatrilogy.com/ancient_india.html

"I believe that the ancient Vedic civilisation (of which the Indus Valley civilisation was a component) descended from a prehistoric civilisation which existed deep in the South of India during the last great Ice Age. This was a time when all of Europe was under thick sheets of ice. A time when the sea levels were drastically lower than today. A time when the landmass of South India extended much deeper into the present day Indian Ocean, incorporating Sri Lanka as well. This antediluvian civilisation was ruled by a line of emperors called the Pandyas2. The name of the civilisation itself remains inconclusive. I have used the term Sangamtamil in the book.
This civilisation was destroyed as the sea levels rose with the end of the Ice Age (climate change happened at that time as well!). It is believed that Manu, a Pandyan prince, escaped the devastation of his country and settled with his band of followers in north-western India. This band grew into the mighty Vedic civilisation of yore.

The Indus Valley people (or the Meluhans3) themselves were a nihilistic group which broke many of the Vedic restrictions, creating a new way of life that fills people with awe even today. The sheer genius of their engineering, the plainly apparent egalitarianism of their city planning, their love of standardisation and order, the obsession with water, has fascinated historians for ages. They burst suddenly on to the Indian scene with awesome brilliance around the end of the 4th millennium BC, blazed mightily for longer than a 1000 years, and then went into slow decline. The fact that their script remains tantalisingly elusive adds to their mystique.

2) Historians indicate Meluha could be the name the ancient name of the Indus Civilisation.
http://www.harappa.com/arrow/meluhha-and-agastya.html (pdf)

"It is now generally accepted that Meluhha was the ancient name of the Indus Civilisation as written in early cuneiform records"

3)Is the Indus valley Script still undecipherable? or has it been partially deciphered? ( I do see explanations for some of the symbols in the script in the web)

4)Sarasvati River was more prominent than the Indus during the Indus Valley Civilization but it later dried up giving Indus River the importance it has got today

According to some palaeo-environmental scientists and Archaeologists,between 2500 BCE and 1900 BCE some tectonic disturbances caused tilt in topography of Northwest India resulting in the migration of river. The Sutlej moved westward and became a tributary of the Indus River while the Yamuna moved eastward and became a tributary of the Ganges. The Yamuna shifted its course eastwards, supposedly in the early 2nd millennium BCE, allegedly reaching its current bed by 1st millennium BCE,while the Drishadvati bed retained only a small seasonal flow. The Sutlej several times over shifted its channel northwards and was eventually captured by the Indus system. The water loss due to these movements caused the Sarasvati river to dry up in the Thar Desert

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Old November 29th, 2010, 04:16 AM   #2

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Re: Meluha


Sad. I realize that this thread doesnt even have a single reply.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 04:24 AM   #3

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Re: Meluha


I found your thread fascinating. Unfortunately, I know nothing about history in this region. Very sad indeed.

I watched a series of shows this weekend called Out of Egypt. It started with ancient cities and went on to pyramids, religion, etc. One of the things I liked about the shows were that they included Indian and Asian civilizations and cultures.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 04:46 AM   #4

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Re: Meluha


Thanks Clemmie. Let me check out that show u said. But its hard to believe there's not even one expert on Indus Valley Civilization in this forum. Being an Indian myself,its very sad to see that. I recently took to learning about my own history but very few sources are actually available.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 05:12 AM   #5

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Re: Meluha


Also, check out the Asian forum above. There are a lot of posts on India there.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 05:25 AM   #6

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Re: Meluha


.

Last edited by Lord_of_Gauda; November 29th, 2010 at 06:29 AM.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:08 AM   #7
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Re: Meluha


A fascination subject, swamped in speculation.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:59 AM   #8

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Re: Meluha


Quote:
1) Indus Valley civilization people came from South India. The people were originally part of a Sunken land to the South (Kumari Kandam???). Manu, the Hindu Counterpart of Noah was a Pandyan King(A south Indian Dynasty)
This *could* be true but not to the extent speculated by the Tamil nationalists. Ie, if you look at google maps and notice the continental shelf of the Indian peninsula, at 10,000 BCE, with sea levels at its lowest, the land exposed is anywhere between 50-200 kms further than the current coastline.
As such, it is quite possible that ancient cultures residing by the coastline got inundated gradually as the sea levels rose and could be the basis of the 'great flood' myth seen in so many cultures.
But suffice to say, 'sunken continent south of the Indian peninsula' remains an untenable position.

The other possibility is that 'Kumari kandam/atlantis' etc. refer to south-east Asia, since in the ice ages, the landmasses of Malay peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo & Java were connected in one huge landmass. Ie, Java sea and the seas between Sumatra & Boreno did not exist. As such, this is the largest 'piece' of land to be definitevely submerged in the post glacial sea level rise and being in tropical setting ( where mankind's footprints are the oldest in a tribal setting), could be the origin point of such 'lost land' tales.

Quote:
From my search -> Brahui language now existent in Pakistan is said to be of Dravidian Origin.
It is isolated from the nearest Dravidian-speaking neighbour population by a distance of more than 1,500 kilometres (930 mi)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahui_language
Indeed, but the whole divide between 'Indo-Aryan and Dravidian' languages is very murky. Conventional thinking is that they are two seperate family trees but largely ignore our poor understanding of Sanskrit & classical Tamil links. The idea of IVC being a non Indo-Aryan entity is completely speculative. We do not know the language of the IVC, so we cannot say what they spoke. The strongest evidence, though circumstantial, relating to the languages of the IVC is that they spoke an Indo-European language, simply because of the nomenclature of north Indian hydrology: virtually all the rivers and lakes bear Indo-European names. It is generally accepted that the hydrology of a region is the least likely thing to change with the change of cultures and is seen worldwide: despite turkification of central Asia, the central Asian rivers retain Indo-European names, despite Arabification of Northern middle-east (Syria-Iraq, etc), the names of their rivers largely retain their assyrian, babylonian and hittite roots and despite sinification of western China, rivers in Tibet and Xinjiang retain their Uralo-Altaic roots.

Similarly, the rivers in Europe retain their celtic, Greek, Illyrian, Germainic roots, despite changing social landscapes.

As such, the fact that north Indian rivers are all Indo-European in origin, with no river having non Indo-European nomenclature is the strongest thing we have to go on for the language of the IVC people.

Quote:

The Indus Valley people (or the Meluhans3) themselves were a nihilistic group which broke many of the Vedic restrictions, creating a new way of life that fills people with awe even today. The sheer genius of their engineering, the plainly apparent egalitarianism of their city planning, their love of standardisation and order, the obsession with water, has fascinated historians for ages. They burst suddenly on to the Indian scene with awesome brilliance around the end of the 4th millennium BC, blazed mightily for longer than a 1000 years, and then went into slow decline. The fact that their script remains tantalisingly elusive adds to their mystique.
I do consider the engineering sophistication of the IVC to be quite extraordinary: they were far more advanced than the Sumerians/Mesopotamians/Egyptians etc. and not until the height of Rome, more than 2500 years after the IVC rose, would another civilization rival/eclipse the technological genius of the IVC.
But they did not 'rise suddenly'. The proto-IVC stage in western India/Pakistan shows a gradual amalgamation of farming villages into towns & cities, much like the accruement of farming cultures into cities in mesopotamia and Egypt.

Quote:
2) Historians indicate Meluha could be the name the ancient name of the Indus Civilisation.
http://www.harappa.com/arrow/meluhha-and-agastya.html (pdf)

"It is now generally accepted that Meluhha was the ancient name of the Indus Civilisation as written in early cuneiform records"
Meluhha could either be Indus Valley Civilization or it could be Bahrain, which was used as a 'port of rest/stoppage' by the IVC traders on their way to and from mesopotamia. It is unclear whether meluhha refers to Bahrain or to IVC. The reason for this is, by the Sumerian description of the civilization & its people, it matches up to the IVC very well but the location given by the Sumerians match Bahrain's location, where archeologists have established the existence of IVC harbors, acting as a rest-stop for the voyages.

Quote:
3)Is the Indus valley Script still undecipherable? or has it been partially deciphered? ( I do see explanations for some of the symbols in the script in the web)
The IVC script has been heavily speculated on, particularly by Indologists and nationalistic elements in India but fact remains, it is undeciphered.
We cannot claim to decipher the IVC script until we find a key to it, much like the Rosetta stone acted for the egyptian heirelographics. And such a key has been largely missing.

Quote:
4)Sarasvati River was more prominent than the Indus during the Indus Valley Civilization but it later dried up giving Indus River the importance it has got today

According to some palaeo-environmental scientists and Archaeologists,between 2500 BCE and 1900 BCE some tectonic disturbances caused tilt in topography of Northwest India resulting in the migration of river. The Sutlej moved westward and became a tributary of the Indus River while the Yamuna moved eastward and became a tributary of the Ganges. The Yamuna shifted its course eastwards, supposedly in the early 2nd millennium BCE, allegedly reaching its current bed by 1st millennium BCE,while the Drishadvati bed retained only a small seasonal flow. The Sutlej several times over shifted its channel northwards and was eventually captured by the Indus system. The water loss due to these movements caused the Sarasvati river to dry up in the Thar Desert
This is pretty accurate and supported by geological & satellite mapping data on the hydrology of western subcontinent.
What is also seen as 'de-facto' evidence is that the largest concentration of IVC cities are found on the 'Saraswati channel', which would be compatible with the Rig Veda: In the Rig Veda, the Saraswati is called the mother of all rivers, given the most importance. Stands to reason then, that would be the same case with the IVC people, given that the saraswati river basin would be the very middle of the civilization and its most urbanized.
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Old June 18th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord_of_Gauda View Post
This *could* be true but not to the extent speculated by the Tamil nationalists. Ie, if you look at google maps and notice the continental shelf of the Indian peninsula, at 10,000 BCE, with sea levels at its lowest, the land exposed is anywhere between 50-200 kms further than the current coastline.
As such, it is quite possible that ancient cultures residing by the coastline got inundated gradually as the sea levels rose and could be the basis of the 'great flood' myth seen in so many cultures.
But suffice to say, 'sunken continent south of the Indian peninsula' remains an untenable position.

The other possibility is that 'Kumari kandam/atlantis' etc. refer to south-east Asia, since in the ice ages, the landmasses of Malay peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo & Java were connected in one huge landmass. Ie, Java sea and the seas between Sumatra & Boreno did not exist. As such, this is the largest 'piece' of land to be definitevely submerged in the post glacial sea level rise and being in tropical setting ( where mankind's footprints are the oldest in a tribal setting), could be the origin point of such 'lost land' tales.



Indeed, but the whole divide between 'Indo-Aryan and Dravidian' languages is very murky. Conventional thinking is that they are two seperate family trees but largely ignore our poor understanding of Sanskrit & classical Tamil links. The idea of IVC being a non Indo-Aryan entity is completely speculative. We do not know the language of the IVC, so we cannot say what they spoke. The strongest evidence, though circumstantial, relating to the languages of the IVC is that they spoke an Indo-European language, simply because of the nomenclature of north Indian hydrology: virtually all the rivers and lakes bear Indo-European names. It is generally accepted that the hydrology of a region is the least likely thing to change with the change of cultures and is seen worldwide: despite turkification of central Asia, the central Asian rivers retain Indo-European names, despite Arabification of Northern middle-east (Syria-Iraq, etc), the names of their rivers largely retain their assyrian, babylonian and hittite roots and despite sinification of western China, rivers in Tibet and Xinjiang retain their Uralo-Altaic roots.

Similarly, the rivers in Europe retain their celtic, Greek, Illyrian, Germainic roots, despite changing social landscapes.

As such, the fact that north Indian rivers are all Indo-European in origin, with no river having non Indo-European nomenclature is the strongest thing we have to go on for the language of the IVC people.



I do consider the engineering sophistication of the IVC to be quite extraordinary: they were far more advanced than the Sumerians/Mesopotamians/Egyptians etc. and not until the height of Rome, more than 2500 years after the IVC rose, would another civilization rival/eclipse the technological genius of the IVC.
But they did not 'rise suddenly'. The proto-IVC stage in western India/Pakistan shows a gradual amalgamation of farming villages into towns & cities, much like the accruement of farming cultures into cities in mesopotamia and Egypt.



Meluhha could either be Indus Valley Civilization or it could be Bahrain, which was used as a 'port of rest/stoppage' by the IVC traders on their way to and from mesopotamia. It is unclear whether meluhha refers to Bahrain or to IVC. The reason for this is, by the Sumerian description of the civilization & its people, it matches up to the IVC very well but the location given by the Sumerians match Bahrain's location, where archeologists have established the existence of IVC harbors, acting as a rest-stop for the voyages.



The IVC script has been heavily speculated on, particularly by Indologists and nationalistic elements in India but fact remains, it is undeciphered.
We cannot claim to decipher the IVC script until we find a key to it, much like the Rosetta stone acted for the egyptian heirelographics. And such a key has been largely missing.



This is pretty accurate and supported by geological & satellite mapping data on the hydrology of western subcontinent.
What is also seen as 'de-facto' evidence is that the largest concentration of IVC cities are found on the 'Saraswati channel', which would be compatible with the Rig Veda: In the Rig Veda, the Saraswati is called the mother of all rivers, given the most importance. Stands to reason then, that would be the same case with the IVC people, given that the saraswati river basin would be the very middle of the civilization and its most urbanized.
Thanks That reply was quite informative, though I had missed it for a long time. Let me know if you read that book. I would like to hear your views on it.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 01:20 AM   #10
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Fortunate to have stumbled upon this thread!!
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