era, copper; bed.a, hearth: Sarasvati hieroglyphs on two daggers an

From: S. Kalyanaraman
Message: 31241
Date: 2004-02-25

This message relates to two sets of Sarasvati hieroglyphs: 1. fish glyphs which occur 1241 times on the epigraphs and also on fish-shaped incised tablets; 2. ten glyphs which constitute a message on a monolithic signboard found at Dholavira.


The underlying sounds are lexemes of mleccha, in a linguistic area of Sarasvati-Sindhu river basins circa 4th millennium BCE. The language is attested in Mahabharata as the language used for conversation between Vidura and Yudhishthira.


1. URL: (1 mb) Decoding Dholavira Signboard: vis'vakarma tradition


The signboard with ten glyphs can be decoded as the repertoire of metalcaster's workshop displayed on the northern gateway of the fort. Dholavira village is called kotada (kot. = fort). It is notable that out of these ten glyphs, the glyph denoting 'nave of wheel' appears four times, virtually forming the divider of a three-part message.


era, er-a = eraka = ?nave; erako_lu = the iron axle of a carriage (Ka.M.); cf. irasu (Ka.lex.) era = nave of wheel (Kannada); ara_ = spokes (R.gveda); rebus: ara, era = copper (Pali. Pkt.) aru = copper (Akkadian)


Read from right to left, the message on the signboard is: 1. mineral, moltencast coppersmith; 2. silver, native metal, bronze, moltencast copper; 3. mint (workshop), copper (ore) and moltencast copper.


2. URL: (2.7 mb)
Decoding Fish glyphs as Sarasvati hieroglyphs: vis'vakarma artisan guild tradition

bhed.a hako = fish (Santali); rebus: bed.a = one end of a hearth (Gujarati)

The fish glyph variants are also explained in the continuum of Vis'vakarma metallurgical tradition.

Rebus code is a metaphor for an incipient writing system.

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