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Old December 12th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #101

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Originally Posted by ravichaudhary View Post
There is no clear time line of writing in the Indian subcontinent


We have the Sarasvati Civilization( Indu Valley) script. That civilization is dated around 3000 BCE.

Today we know it was a vast civilization, spreading from Central and north India to central Asua with well planned cities, canal systems, dockyards, and having a well developed knowledge of mathematics including geometry. They knew the decimal system, and designed precise weights and measures which were in excat propoetions an drations.

For images see: Ancient Indus Weights, Harappa.


It was a sea faring nation , with extensive sea trade with West and East Asia. In East Asia, the links to Easter Island have been noted as have the similarity in signs between the Rongo Rongo script and the Harappan script

Quite obviously they built ocean going ships which could transverse these great distance, and also they could navigate the open seas.

Their knowledge of astronomy is also indicated, and the constellation of the Great Bear or the Seven Rishis( seers) is found on a seal.

Recently a possible astronomical observatory has been found dated to that period. See article by Vahia and Menon below : ;

A possible astronomical observatory at Dholavira
M N Vahia1, 2 and Srikumar M Menon3
1 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
2 Manipal Advanced Research Group, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka
3 Manipal School of Architecture and Planning, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka

http://www.tifr.res.in/~archaeo/pape...0Dholavira.pdf

I will suggest it is quite impossible, not to have a writing system, for even to record astronomical events, replicate the weights, or architecture, or ships or the sophisticated altars, would require the transmission of knowledge, and could not be left simply to an oral ‘ pass it down’ system.

It is an enigma, why such a sophisticated civilization, did not leave behind extensive records.

They knew burnt bricks, and would have known the art of baking bricks and could just as well have put the writing on Clay tablets as the Sumerians did and baked them to make them into a permanent records.

They could just as well put inscriptions on walls or stone even if to say’ Killjoy was here’.


The inscriptions found are short, on seals and only a few longer inscriptions.- Dholavir for example.


As writing existed in Sumer, and the two civilizations are supposed to be contemporaneous, , we should expect a simultaneous development of a writing system. .


Yet we do not find extensive writing records in the IVC civilization.


One explanation could be that they used to write on material that was perishable- Palm leaf, Bark, cloth, or paper.

These would not stand the ravages of time, especially the humid monsoon conditions of the Indian subcontinent.

Ravi Chaudhary

I agree with you.

Brahmins might have been interested in meorizing holy scriptures like Vedas or and the scriptures regarding the fields that required their expertise like sculpture (Shilpshastra), Vastushastra, Science, Ship building, and even maths. But they didn't have any specific motive to memorize all the Upnishadas (which primarily deals with philosophy rather than religion) and works on Sanskrit drama. Now the oldest Upnishadas themselves belong to the Vedic period. So it might be possible that they might have some sort of scripture at that time. Afterall IVC has proven connection with sumerians. So they might be aware of writings. However even if present the spread of writing musn't be wide spread because of the lack of avaibility of suitable writing material and instruments. It must be restricted to some people only.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 01:00 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Pusyamitra View Post
And better explanation is that IVC script evolved to Brahmi script as per statistical analysis of Subhash Kak.
This may well be the case, but we have to explore the larger issue, which is why there is such a large gap.

In this I agree with Bart Dale. He has raised a valid query. I also have similiar queries.

Ravi Chaudhary
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Old December 12th, 2012, 01:09 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by ravichaudhary View Post
This may well be the case, but we have to explore the larger issue, which is why there is such a large gap.

In this I agree with Bart Dale. He has raised a valid query. I also have similiar queries.

Ravi Chaudhary
It can be explained that we wrote on palm leaves which are perishable.

http://www.crystalinks.com/indus.html

"A few Harappan signs have been claimed to appear until as late as around 1100 BC (the beginning of the Indian Iron Age). Onshore explorations near Bet Dwarka in Gujarat revealed the presence of late Indus seals depicting a 3-headed animal, earthen vessel inscribed in what is claimed to be a late Harappan script, and a large quantity of pottery similar to Lustrous Red Ware bowl and Red Ware dishes, dish-on-stand, perforated jar and incurved bowls which are datable to the 16th century BC in Dwarka, Rangpur and Prabhas."
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Old December 12th, 2012, 04:16 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Pusyamitra View Post
It can be explained that we wrote on palm leaves which are perishable.

Indus Script - Crystalinks

"A few Harappan signs have been claimed to appear until as late as around 1100 BC (the beginning of the Indian Iron Age)."
No civilization that we know of wrote only on perishable material. Every other civilization, even when they wrote on perishable material, also wrote on non perishable material as well. What you claim for Indian civilization, to write only on perishable material, is unknown in the history of writing throughout the world. You name it, Chinese, Mayan, Egyptians, Jews, Greek, Ancient German runes, even when they wrote on persihable materials such as silk, paper, papyrus, birch bark, also incribed their letters on harder materials such as stone, clay, and metal.

Even accepting the 1100 BCE date you give, that still gives around an 800 year gap before we have examples of writing again, and even then it is vastly different. The number of characters used in IVC indicated it must have been a logographic or logosyllabic writing system similar to Egyptian and Chinese, making it fundamentally different from the syllabic Brahmi script, which used far fewer characters.

The IVC people wrote on non perishable material, and so did the later people of India, but just not in the in between period? That just doesn't make sense, nor seem likely. And note, even when we write on perishable material, there should still be evidence for it. For example, the papyrus scrolls themselves outside the arid land of Egypt is very perishable, but we still have evidence of that they existed - numerous clay bullae that use to seal the scrolls can be found, even if the scrolls themselves no longer exist. An example are the bulla clay seals found in an ancient Greek library that burned down in Palestine. Ancient Resource: Greek and Roman Library Papyrus Seals and Bullae

The Incas of South America successfully ran a large and well run empire without the use of writing, so writing, while very useful, is not absolutely necessary. Strange as it seems to us, you can have a civilization without writing, as the Incas showed. Given the lack of any evidence of writing, per Occam's Razor, the simpliest, and most likely explanation for this is because there was no writing at during that time period, otherwise we would have found some evidence of it. (If we can find examples of ancient Germanic Runes of clearly barbaric people, then we should have found something by the clearly more advance people of India, and we haven't.)

As for why we have a gap, once we accept the most logical explanation, that writing was lost, then its re-appearance is easily explained by the exposure of the people of India to the writing of the Persian as a result of the Persian conquest. The Indians would been inspired to come up with their own writing, because they would have gained first hand experience seeing the benefit that writing gave while watching the Persians use it while administering their Indian domains. This writing could have been independently developed - the Native American tribe the Cherokees independently developed their own written language within a century and half of their contact with Europeans. (By 1819 the Cherokee written language existed, and the first English contacts with the Cherokee were probably sometimes in the late 17th century). Once developed, the writing could have spread rapidly, given the example of Cherokee. Note, Cherokee was indpendently developed from English, and although it borrows characters from European writing, it uses the characters differently.

Quote:
The Cherokee syllabary, which was reputedly invented by George Guess, a.k.a. Chief Sequoyah, of the Cherokee, was introduced in 1819. Sequoyah's descendants claim that he was the last surviving member of his tribe's scribe clan and the Cherokee syllabary was invented by persons unknown at a much earlier date.

By 1820 thousands of Cherokees had learnt the syllabary, and by 1830, 90% were literate in their own language. ..Cherokee language, writing system and pronunciation

Just a side observation, the time gap between the first contact of the Cherokee with the English and the appearance of their writing is similar to the span of time between the Persian invasion, and the first examples of India writing in the new Brahmi script.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:19 PM   #105

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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
No civilization that we know of wrote only on perishable material. Every other civilization, even when they wrote on perishable material, also wrote on non perishable material as well. What you claim for Indian civilization, to write only on perishable material, is unknown in the history of writing throughout the world. You name it, Chinese, Mayan, Egyptians, Jews, Greek, Ancient German runes, even when they wrote on persihable materials such as silk, paper, papyrus, birch bark, also incribed their letters on harder materials such as stone, clay, and metal.

Even accepting the 1100 BCE date you give, that still gives around an 800 year gap before we have examples of writing again, and even then it is vastly different. The number of characters used in IVC indicated it must have been a logographic or logosyllabic writing system similar to Egyptian and Chinese, making it fundamentally different from the syllabic Brahmi script, which used far fewer characters.

The IVC people wrote on non perishable material, and so did the later people of India, but just not in the in between period? That just doesn't make sense, nor seem likely. And note, even when we write on perishable material, there should still be evidence for it. For example, the papyrus scrolls themselves outside the arid land of Egypt is very perishable, but we still have evidence of that they existed - numerous clay bullae that use to seal the scrolls can be found, even if the scrolls themselves no longer exist. An example are the bulla clay seals found in an ancient Greek library that burned down in Palestine. Ancient Resource: Greek and Roman Library Papyrus Seals and Bullae

The Incas of South America successfully ran a large and well run empire without the use of writing, so writing, while very useful, is not absolutely necessary. Strange as it seems to us, you can have a civilization without writing, as the Incas showed. Given the lack of any evidence of writing, per Occam's Razor, the simpliest, and most likely explanation for this is because there was no writing at during that time period, otherwise we would have found some evidence of it. (If we can find examples of ancient Germanic Runes of clearly barbaric people, then we should have found something by the clearly more advance people of India, and we haven't.)

As for why we have a gap, once we accept the most logical explanation, that writing was lost, then its re-appearance is easily explained by the exposure of the people of India to the writing of the Persian as a result of the Persian conquest. The Indians would been inspired to come up with their own writing, because they would have gained first hand experience seeing the benefit that writing gave while watching the Persians use it while administering their Indian domains. This writing could have been independently developed - the Native American tribe the Cherokees independently developed their own written language within a century and half of their contact with Europeans. (By 1819 the Cherokee written language existed, and the first English contacts with the Cherokee were probably sometimes in the late 17th century). Once developed, the writing could have spread rapidly, given the example of Cherokee. Note, Cherokee was indpendently developed from English, and although it borrows characters from European writing, it uses the characters differently.




Just a side observation, the time gap between the first contact of the Cherokee with the English and the appearance of their writing is similar to the span of time between the Persian invasion, and the first examples of India writing in the new Brahmi script.
Panini is from Gandhara so your theory could be true
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Old December 12th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
No civilization that we know of wrote only on perishable material. Every other civilization, even when they wrote on perishable material, also wrote on non perishable material as well. What you claim for Indian civilization, to write only on perishable material, is unknown in the history of writing throughout the world. You name it, Chinese, Mayan, Egyptians, Jews, Greek, Ancient German runes, even when they wrote on persihable materials such as silk, paper, papyrus, birch bark, also incribed their letters on harder materials such as stone, clay, and metal.

Even accepting the 1100 BCE date you give, that still gives around an 800 year gap before we have examples of writing again, and even then it is vastly different. The number of characters used in IVC indicated it must have been a logographic or logosyllabic writing system similar to Egyptian and Chinese, making it fundamentally different from the syllabic Brahmi script, which used far fewer characters.

The IVC people wrote on non perishable material, and so did the later people of India, but just not in the in between period? That just doesn't make sense, nor seem likely. And note, even when we write on perishable material, there should still be evidence for it. For example, the papyrus scrolls themselves outside the arid land of Egypt is very perishable, but we still have evidence of that they existed - numerous clay bullae that use to seal the scrolls can be found, even if the scrolls themselves no longer exist. An example are the bulla clay seals found in an ancient Greek library that burned down in Palestine. Ancient Resource: Greek and Roman Library Papyrus Seals and Bullae

The Incas of South America successfully ran a large and well run empire without the use of writing, so writing, while very useful, is not absolutely necessary. Strange as it seems to us, you can have a civilization without writing, as the Incas showed. Given the lack of any evidence of writing, per Occam's Razor, the simpliest, and most likely explanation for this is because there was no writing at during that time period, otherwise we would have found some evidence of it. (If we can find examples of ancient Germanic Runes of clearly barbaric people, then we should have found something by the clearly more advance people of India, and we haven't.)

As for why we have a gap, once we accept the most logical explanation, that writing was lost, then its re-appearance is easily explained by the exposure of the people of India to the writing of the Persian as a result of the Persian conquest. The Indians would been inspired to come up with their own writing, because they would have gained first hand experience seeing the benefit that writing gave while watching the Persians use it while administering their Indian domains. This writing could have been independently developed - the Native American tribe the Cherokees independently developed their own written language within a century and half of their contact with Europeans. (By 1819 the Cherokee written language existed, and the first English contacts with the Cherokee were probably sometimes in the late 17th century). Once developed, the writing could have spread rapidly, given the example of Cherokee. Note, Cherokee was indpendently developed from English, and although it borrows characters from European writing, it uses the characters differently.




Just a side observation, the time gap between the first contact of the Cherokee with the English and the appearance of their writing is similar to the span of time between the Persian invasion, and the first examples of India writing in the new Brahmi script.
The lack of non perishable material can be explained by the fact that there was severe population displacement and trauma after fall of IVC.

I prefer to place my bet on statistical analysis rather than the hunch of a few westerners.

A palm leaf manuscript discovered from Harappan site in Afghanistan has strengthened the belief of existence of a proto Brahmi script, which was used by Indus Valley people. This discussion was raised by Dr DP Sharma, Harappan archaeologist and director, Bharat Kala Bhawan, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in the International Conference on Harappan Archaeology held recently in Chandigarh.[Harappan people used an older form of Brahmi script: Expert]

http://buddhistartnews.wordpress.com...-proto-brahmi/

Last edited by Pusyamitra; December 12th, 2012 at 10:53 PM.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #107

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Originally Posted by Jinit View Post
I agree with you.

Brahmins might have been interested in meorizing holy scriptures like Vedas or and the scriptures regarding the fields that required their expertise like sculpture (Shilpshastra), Vastushastra, Science, Ship building, and even maths. But they didn't have any specific motive to memorize all the Upnishadas (which primarily deals with philosophy rather than religion) and works on Sanskrit drama. Now the oldest Upnishadas themselves belong to the Vedic period. So it might be possible that they might have some sort of scripture at that time. Afterall IVC has proven connection with sumerians. So they might be aware of writings. However even if present the spread of writing musn't be wide spread because of the lack of avaibility of suitable writing material and instruments. It must be restricted to some people only.
Please watch that Tedx videos on Indus valley script. Additionally there is a chance that they would decipher the number system used in IVC before the deciphering of the IVC languages.

The pots and jars excavated in the Indus valley civilization of same size are found to have exact volume . The researchers believe that the IVC scripts on these pots could be some sort of number or some kind of characters representing the quantity , the jar or pots could accommodate.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:39 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Pusyamitra View Post
The lack of non perishable material can be explained by the fact that there was severe population displacement and trauma after fall of IVC.

I prefer to place my bet on statistical analysis rather than the hunch of a few westerners.

A palm leaf manuscript discovered from Harappan site in Afghanistan has strengthened the belief of existence of a proto Brahmi script, which was used by Indus Valley people. This discussion was raised by Dr DP Sharma, Harappan archaeologist and director, Bharat Kala Bhawan, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in the International Conference on Harappan Archaeology held recently in Chandigarh.[Harappan people used an older form of Brahmi script: Expert]

Did Harappans write in proto-Brahmi? | Buddhist Art News
Did you bother to read the entire article? Here is what it says at the bottom of the link:

Quote:
All this hypothesis is based on a manuscript written on palm leaves. The article does not mention the age of the manuscript and how it survived over 5000 years without destruction; a picture of the writing would be really helpful. Another issue with the Indus script is that they are very short, but the article claims that the manuscript has longer text. To folks who have been doing mathematical analysis on the script, the longer text would be valuable. I hope the ASI makes this information public. Did Harappans write in proto-Brahmi? | Buddhist Art News
When all is said and done, there is NO FACTS PROVIDED BACKING UP THE CLAIM. All we have is some India scholar making a claim, but not providing any real data to support the claim:

1. The location this alleged palm leaf was found is not provided. The provenance of any archaeological object is critical, and the article does not provide that essential information. An unnamed "Harappan site in Afghanistan" does not provide any real information as to the location the object came from. We need the specific site for the information to be of any use.

2. No scientific data is provide to show how old this palm leaf is. For all we know, the palm leaf might be only 20 or 30 years old.

3. No information is given for when this alleged palm leaf was found, and by whom. Was it obtained from the same Indian source notorious worldwide for its fake antiques?

4. No picture or illustration of the alleged palm leaf is provided.

5. Since the IVC script has yet to be deciphered, we can't say whether the script went from left to right or right to left. Any claim made in that regard, which the source does, is shear speculation and guess work.

and so forth. The entire frequency analysis claimed is based on just someone's say so, who failed to provide evidence when he easily could have done so. Sorry, but adhering to Von Daniken and Menzie standards doesn't qualify as real scholarship, and that is what we have here with this frequency analysis claim. The support for the frequency analysis theory is far worse than I thought - it doesn't appear to have any real data behind it, and is not just a manipulation of statistics to get the results you want.

Citing bogus examples like this actually does a disservice to your claims, since it will lead people to discredit what you have to say, so even if you do manage to come up with a valid argument, they won't listen.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 04:22 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
Did you bother to read the entire article? Here is what it says at the bottom of the link:



When all is said and done, there is NO FACTS PROVIDED BACKING UP THE CLAIM. All we have is some India scholar making a claim, but not providing any real data to support the claim:

1. The location this alleged palm leaf was found is not provided. The provenance of any archaeological object is critical, and the article does not provide that essential information. An unnamed "Harappan site in Afghanistan" does not provide any real information as to the location the object came from. We need the specific site for the information to be of any use.

2. No scientific data is provide to show how old this palm leaf is. For all we know, the palm leaf might be only 20 or 30 years old.

3. No information is given for when this alleged palm leaf was found, and by whom. Was it obtained from the same Indian source notorious worldwide for its fake antiques?

4. No picture or illustration of the alleged palm leaf is provided.

5. Since the IVC script has yet to be deciphered, we can't say whether the script went from left to right or right to left. Any claim made in that regard, which the source does, is shear speculation and guess work.

and so forth. The entire frequency analysis claimed is based on just someone's say so, who failed to provide evidence when he easily could have done so. Sorry, but adhering to Von Daniken and Menzie standards doesn't qualify as real scholarship, and that is what we have here with this frequency analysis claim. The support for the frequency analysis theory is far worse than I thought - it doesn't appear to have any real data behind it, and is not just a manipulation of statistics to get the results you want.

Citing bogus examples like this actually does a disservice to your claims, since it will lead people to discredit what you have to say, so even if you do manage to come up with a valid argument, they won't listen.

Its up to the ASI to make the information public and they are notoriously inefficient due to a lack of funds. Don't dismiss it until you actually see the evidence.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 04:46 AM   #110
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Its up to the ASI to make the information public and they are notoriously inefficient due to a lack of funds. Don't dismiss it until you actually see the evidence.
ASI also suffers from political intervention so whatever they do is highly prone to suspect.

they uncovered Dwarka but retracted later on.

same story with indraprastha.
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