Of the four most ancient civilizations of the Old World only the South Asian or Harappan civilization’s writing has not been deciphered. Ever since the discovery of that civilization in the early part of the 20th century, almost innumerable efforts have been made by scholar and amateur alike to solve the puzzle of the ancient writing. The author, building on the most enlightened of these efforts and on his intimate experience in the archaeology of the Indus River region has created a methodology which makes possible a major breakthrough for the decipherment of the Harappan writing. The book describes in detail what this methodology is and applies it to the writing. Over 4,000 inscriptions were studied from which a compilation of these signs used in the script writing, identification of each of the 419 signs involved, and their probable representation of words and sounds in the Harappan language, was made possible. The book furnishes a model which can be tested. Sign identification lists, possible translations and a beginning of a grammar are included. The motifs associated with the writing are also studied and that relationship analyzed. The consequence of this understanding of the writing and the motif coupled with the already known archaeological evidence is the restoration of ancient life as it was lived in the Western part of the Indian Subcontinent in the 3rd Millennium B.C. While not a claim for decipherment, the model may yet be the most advanced step for decipherment yet taken.
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