Mirror: http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2012/02/indian-hieroglyphs-meluhha-and-archaeo.html

Indian hieroglyphs, meluhha and archaeo-metallurgy


The paper analyses the stages in the evolution of early writing systems which began with the evolution of counting in the ancient Near East. Providing an example from the Indian Hieroglyphs used in Indus Script as a writing system, a stage anterior to the stage of syllabic representation of sounds of a language, is identified. Unique geometric shapes required for tokens to categorize objects became too large to handle to abstract hundreds of categories of goods and metallurgical processes during the production of bronze-age goods. In such a situation, it became necessary to use glyphs which could distinctly identify, orthographically, specific descriptions of or cataloging of ores, alloys, and metallurgical processes. About 3500 BCE, Indus script as a writing system was developed to use hieroglyphs to represent the `spoken words' identifying each of the goods and processes. A rebus method of representing similar sounding words of thelingua franca of the artisans was used in Indus script. This method is recognized and consistently applied for the lingua franca of the Indiansprachbund. That the ancient languages of India, constituted a sprachbund (or language union) is now recognized by many linguists. The sprachbund area is proximate to the area where most of the Indus script inscriptions were discovered, as documented in the corpora. That hundreds of Indian hieroglyphs continued to be used in metallurgy is evidenced by their use on early punch-marked coins. This explains the combined use of syllabic scripts such as Brahmi and Kharoshti together with the hieroglyphs on Rampurva copper bolt, and Sohgaura copper plate from about 6th century BCE. Indian hieroglyphs constitute a writing system for meluhha language and are rebus representations of archaeo-metallurgy lexemes.

Keywords: Token, counting, writing,archaeo-metallurgy,meluhha,literacy

Invention of bronze-age technologies necessitated the invention and development of a writing system called Indus Script which is evidenced in corpora of about 6000 inscriptions.[1] Around 7500 BCE[2], tokens appeared and represented perhaps the early deployment of a writing system to count objects. Many geometric shapes were used for the tokens.[3] Tracing the evolution of a writing system[4], Schmandt-Besserat evalutes the next stage of keeping tokens in envelopes with markings abstracting the tokens inside and calls these abstract numbers are `the culmination of the process…'[5] This evaluation is the starting point for identifying another stage before `the culmination' represented by the use of syllabic representation in glyphs of sounds of a language.

That penultimate stage, before syllabic writing evolved, was the use of hieroglyphs represented on hundreds of Indian hieroglyphs.[6]

The arrival of the bronze age was maked by the invention of alloying copper with arsenic, zinc or tin to produce arsenic-alloys, and other alloys such as brass, bronze, pewter. These archaeo-metallurgial inventions enabled the production of goods surplus to the requirements of the artisan guilds. These inventions also created the imperative of and necessity for a writing system which could represent about over 500 specific categories of activities related to the artisanal repertoire of a smith. Such a large number of categories could not be handled by the limited number of geometric shapes used in the token system of accounting and documenting – goods, standard measures of grains, liquids and surface areas.[7]

The existence of Indian sprachbund is evidenced by the concordant lexemes used for bronze-age repertoire of bronze-age artisans. These lexemes are compiled in anIndian Lexicon.[8] This is a resource base for further studies in the formation and evolution of most of the Indian languages. Identifiable substrata glosses include over 4000 etyma of Dravidian Etymological Dictionary and over 1000 words of Munda with concordant semantic clusters of Indo-Aryan. That the substrata glosses cover three major language families –Dravidian, Munda and Indo-Aryan -- is a surprising discovery...

...The Indus script inscriptions using hieroglyphs on two pure tin-ingots found in Haifa were reviewed. (Kalyanaraman, S., 2010, The Bronze Age Writing System of Sarasvati Hieroglyphics as Evidenced by Two "Rosetta Stones" - Decoding Indus script as repertoire of the mints/smithy/mine-workers of Meluhha. Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies. Number 11. pp. 47–74).

Tokens designed to count goods evolved over millennia into hieroglyphs to represent words denoting the bronze-age goods and processes. This stage of rebus representation of sounds of words of meluhha (mleccha language) was the stage penultimate to the culminating stage which used representation of syllables graphically in Brahmi and Kharoshti scripts. This culmination of the process for literacy and civilization was the contribution made by artisans of the bronze-age of Sarasvati civilization (also called Indus civilization).

Read on...http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2012/02/indian-hieroglyphs-meluhha-and-archaeo.html