You are on page 1of 21

Indus Signs

Deciphered as syllables
THE DIRECTION OF WRITING
The direction of writing

Myth 1: the direction of writing is always from right to left.

False. Non symmetrical signs have mirror variants.


The direction of writing
ta-Da "big"

The direction is usually given by that of the animals.

Regular

but

Regular
Counter-example
ACROPHONIC PRINCIPLES
Acrophonic Method
• Each sign stands for the beginning of the word
expressed in the drawing:
– ve- < big tree
– ye- < water, river (*yed- )

xx di n ye ve
ye ve

veyendixx "spirit" veye "god"


modja "Gharial"
mu-ko

mu is derived from mo
ko is acrophonic of komu "horn"

yE is derived from yO
Both have a long vowel yE-na yO-Di-kO
"elephant" "ram"
SHORT AND LONG VOWELS
ko and kO are not similar
ya and yE / yO are not similar

mu-ko
"horn"
ya-Di-kO
"bull"

ye-ve yE-na yO-Di-kO


"god" "elephant" "ram"
PROPAGATION OF VALUES
veye "god" veyen- "king"
modja "Gharial" ve- "tree"

yed- "water,
ye-ve ye-ve river"
mo

xx da-mo ve-ye 2 daTa


Hunt : 2 big Ta-da 3 xx
cattle
xx 3 big

veye "god"
modja "Gharial" veyeNT- "hunt"
moda "cattle" veyen-xx "king"
7 mo ve-xx "tree"
mu-ko
"horn"
modja "Gharial"

n mo
hence hence
xx-xx-n-ye-ve nu mu
"spirit"

ve-Du-nu-mu kO-De xx
"we will hunt a bull"
(R to L)

ya-Di-kO
"bull"

(L to R)

yO-Di-kO
"ram"
ABRIDGED WRITING
Apparently
complete
ye ve d Di n ye ve writing

veye "god" veyendid "spirit"

Writing
ve-ye : 2 apparently
ve : 2 Hunt : 2 interrupted
by numbers
This sign cannot be the same as ye: it contrasts with ye here.
Ve-(ye)- + numbers
ve 7

ve 2 ve-ye 2 da-Ta xx-kO mu-ko 7 ve

Ta-da 2 ye-ve
ya-Di-kO xx 2 ve ?? 7 ve
Moda- "Cattle" + Numbers
xx da-mo

7 mo
Numbers

Ta-da 3 xx

xx-xx-mo 8 xx ya-Di-kO 8 xx
Numbers

5 xx 2 xx 2
Numbers

xx 2 12 xx mo xx 3 xx