Crocodile in the Indus Civilization and later South Asian traditions

Asko Parpola presents a wide-ranging investigation of the evidence of crocodiles in the Indus Civilization and later traditions. He draws on zoological, material, ethnographic, epigraphic, etymological and historical evidence to offer an impressively detailed narrative on the role of the crocodile in the environment and culture of the time.

He concludes that "quite a number of Indus signs associated with representations of the crocodile on the Harappan 'sacrificial tablets' (and by extension in other texts) can be correlated with expressions that the Dravidian languages have for 'crocodile'. To a reasonable degree, these new interpretations satisfy iconic and linguistic requirements; to some extent, they also support each other. Corroborating the method and premises of earlier interpretations, they open up new avenues for further penetration into the Indus script. That said, we must remain on the lookout for opportunities to further prove or disprove these hypotheses."