TIFR Indus Script Research

TIFR Indus Script Research

In November 2007 scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), one of India's most prestiguous scientific institutions, began publishing a series of papers on their analysis of ancient Indus script signs. Supported by a five-year grant from the Jamsetji Tata Trust, the researchers plan to approach issues around the ancient script with rigorous statistical and analytical tools. We will present their work as it develops. They are working with Iravatham Mahadevan, one of India's foremost script analysts.

Their first paper is a 16-page PDF A Statistical Approach for Pattern Search in Indus Writing. Their second paper is a 21-page PDF on the Segmentation of Indus Texts (December 2007). Nisha Yadav's presentation Indus Script: Search for Grammar is based on a lecture first given at the Chennai Seminar The Indus Script: Problems and Prospects in 2006.

In 2010, IEEE Computer published a general overview of this work, Probabilistic Analysis of an Ancient Undeciphered Script by Rajesh P.N. Rao at the University of Washington, Seattle. Prof. Rao also maintains an up-to-date list of group member papers on the statistical analysis of the Indus script.

Prof. Mayank Vahia (on the far right above) is an astronomer at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Over the last few years, he has been actively pursuing the origin of astronomy as a means of studying the intellectual growth of Indian cultures.

Nisha Yadav works in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. She has worked on space-based telescope and related issues. She has become deeply involved with the Indus Script and uses statistical and computational methods to derive clues to its possible grammar.

Hrishikesh Joglekar is a graduate from IIT Kharagpur and works as a Senior Software Developer. He is interested in astronomy, archaeo-astronomy and the Indus script. He is working on developing computational tools to study the script.