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Finnish scholar offers Tamil key to Indus script.

FOR WELL over a century, the Indus script has puzzled historians and archaeologists.

At the ongoing World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore, a Finnish Indologist has offered a Dravidian key to unlock the centuries- old mysteries of the Indus Valley Civilisation.

Asko Parpola claimed to have deciphered the Indus script through the depiction of Tamil god Murukan or Murugan. He demonstrated possible solutions to the yet- to- be- decoded Indus seals.

Parpola had earlier stunned Orientalists by asserting that the Rig Veda had several distinctive Dravidian features.

According to him, the Indus script was a logo- syllabic writing system with proto- Dravidian as its underlying language.

The Indus Valley Civilisation dates back to the second half of the third millennium B. C. He said the Indus script predated the composition of the oldest Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda. Hence, Tamil, which is closer to the proto- Dravidian language, had more probable links with the ancient civilisation than Sanskrit.

Thus, Parpola said Tamil was relevant in comprehending the Indus text. The Tamil god Murukan, according to him, was central to deciphering the Indus seals.

Murukan is the principal deity of the old Tamil pantheon, and his Vedic counterparts Skanda and Rudra may have descended from a proto- Dravidian deity. Murukan is also the god of fertility.

The Finnish scholar took one particular seal with a peculiar symbol sequence in which six vertical strokes were followed by a fish. The ' fish' is a symbol that denotes a star too. In fact, the Tamil word for fish ' miin ' is used to mean both words. He said ' 6+ fish' could mean ' aru- miin ', the Tamil term for the constellation Pleiades. He linked this deduction to old Tamil texts that describe Murukan as ' aru- miin kaatalan ' or beloved of the Pleiades.

Next, Parpola took the symbol of ' two intersecting circles' in a Mohenjodaro seal.

He explained that this could be a pictogram depicting ' muruku ' which is the name for Murukan as well as a term for ring, earring or bangle. He referred to the bangle cults wherein bangles were the votive offerings of women praying for a boy.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jun 27, 2010
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