Structural Analysis by Parpola No attempt at linguistic decipherment of an unknown script can hope to succeed unless it is preceded by a thorough structural analysis of the available inscriptions to
Essays on the symbols and study of the written communication or script system used by the ancient Indus Valley civilization.
Parpola's Methodology of Decipherment Parpola's methodology for deciphering the Indus script consists essentially of two parts, namely the rebus principle generally applicable to all ancient
The 'Fish' Signs Fig. 1: Number and Fish Signs The 'fish' sign: Starting Point As the starting point for his linguistic decipherment Parpola accepts the famous rebus (Fig.
The Planets Fig. 2: Modified Fish Signs 'Modified fish' signs: Planets and a Star The Indus texts very often feature the 'fish' sign modified by some diacritic-like markings (Fig.II). These signs
The Star Rohini Fig. 2: Modified Fish Signs The Star Rohini Parpola starts with the assumption that the 'dot + fish' sign (Fig.II d) occurring in the 'Fig Deity' seal is likely to represent the deity
The Planets 'Bangles' Sign: God Murukan Fig. 3: Bangles and Squirrel Sign The principal deity of early Tamils was Murakan, the youthful god of war and love, who became identified with the North
The Indus Squirrel Sign: Title of Murukan The 'Squirrel' Sign: Title of Murukan Fig. 3: Bangles and Squirrel Sign Parpola has proposed reading a pair of signs as 'bangles + squirrel' (Fig.III b),
Fig Indus Tree + Crab Sign as Proto Rudra 'Fig Tree + Crab' Sign: Proto-Rudra Fig. 4: Fig Tree + Crab Sign and Components Parpola refers to two sets of copper tablets, both with the same inscription
Assessment of Parpola's Model of Decipherment One can try to assess Parpola's decipherment at two levels.
1. Meeting the Challenge of the Indus Script In 1920, excavations at Harappa brought to light the ruins of a large brick-laid city, and soon a whole unknown civilization was uncovered in and around