Role of shell in Mesopotamia: evidence for trade exchange with Oman and the Indus valley (1984)

The end of ancient cities of the Indus by Robert L. Raikes (2009) This article argues for a tectonic event resulting in upliftment on Sindhu basin, desiccation of riverine transport and drying up of Ghaggar river to explain the abandonment of sites of the civilization.

Sarasvati temple, Gadag

Close view of columns in the Sarasvati Temple, Gadag

Date: [1885] Description: Photograph of columns in the Sarasvati Temple at Gadag, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. Gadag is a city in the state of Karnataka with a number of medieval temples that were constructed in the Chalukya period. The temple of Sarasvati is part of the Trikuteshvara temple complex, built around AD 1050. It consists of a sanctuary with a small and a large open hall. The walls of the sanctuary are decorated with pilasters covered by very elaborate miniature temple towers. The open hall has one entrance and its roof incorporates straight sloping eaves. The low parapet wall is reclined outwards and is richly carved. The temple's pillars are remarkable. In the 'Chalukyan Architecture of the Kanarese Districts of 1926'


The Saraswati: The mother of Indian civilization. Inaugural address delivered on 24 October 2008 by Prof. BB Lal in the Conference on Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu Civilization held at India International Centre, New Delhi

Sarasvati – Vedic River and Hindu Civilization by S. Kalyanaraman (2008)

Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu Civilization (ed.) S. Kalyanaraman (2008) – Compendium of Papers presented at the Conference on the same subject held at at India International Centre, New Delhi between Oct. 24 to 26, 2008

The webpage updated with these links:

E-books --Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu civilization 
by S. Kalyanaraman 
Sarasvati -- Vedic river and Hindu civilization (12 Sept. 2008) 89 pages
Sarasvati hieroglyph dictionary (Update 31 March 2008) 348 pages
Reading new Bhirrana seals with Sarasvati hieroglyphs (Addenda 2 March 2008)
Sarasvati: Vedic river and Bharatiya civilization (March 2008) -- 332 pages
River Sarasvati -- Legend, myth and reality (1999)
Sarasvati (2000) -- 1281 pages

Sarasvati in 7 volumes (2003)
        Civilization Volume 1
        Rigveda Volume 2
        River Volume 3
        Bharati Volume 4
        Technology Volume 5
        Language Volume 6 [lingua franca of Sarasvati civilization. mlecha, meluhha. essential semantic unity of all bharatiya languages]
        Epigraphs Volume 7
Indus script encodes mleccha speech 5 volumes (2008)
Writing (Volume 1) 554 pages
Dictionary (Volume) 2 50 pages
Epigraphica (Volume 3) 202 pages
Language (Volume 4) 367 pages
Lexicon (Volume 5) 5,111 pages [Indian Lexicon. A comparative dictionary of over 25 ancient Bharatiya (Indian) languages]

Google Culture Monster

The Google culture monster should rekindle the debate about sacred pratima-s from Hindu-Jaina-Bauddham mandirams being kept in foreign museums.

Many artifacts in many museums across the world belong to India and should be returned to India. The collection includes Sarasvati Pratima taken away from Dhar, M.P. Bhoja Shala. People there are in a perpetual vigil with an akhanda deepam in the niche meant for Sarasvati, revered as vidyaa devi.

Marble relief figure of Sarasvati

From Malwa, central India, early 11th century AD

A Jaina divinity of knowledge

Although she is better known as a Hindu goddess, Sarasvati's cult is equally popular among the Jains. Sarasvati is a benign goddess associated with knowledge, music and learning. Originally associated with the river Sarasvati, this goddess now has the epithet, 'Vina-pustak dharini' or bearer of the musical instrument (vina), and a book. The latter is visible in her lower left hand, and she probably also held her other representative feature, a lotus, in one of her hands. She can is often also shown on her mount, the swan. Since knowledge (jnana) plays a fundamental role in Jain religion as a means to salvation, this goddess has an important place in their pantheon. She features frequently in the vast Jain libraries filled with painted manuscripts that have been found in Western India.

Although a relief, the main image has been very deeply cut, and looks three-dimensional. Sarasvati stands in an architectural frame, the arch over her head bearing three small enshrined tirthankaras. Two more tirthankaras can be seen flanking the image level with her hips. Other attendant figures, and perhaps the patrons can be seen in the lowest register of the framing arch. The inscriptin on the base gives the name and family of the donor.


Culture Monster


Google unveils online 'Art Project' but bestows new technology mainly on Old World museums


February 1, 2011 |  4:36 pm (Video)

Aiming to open the world’s art collections to online viewers, Google today unveiled the Google Art Project, a website that allows visitors to see more than 1,000 works by 486 artists, take virtual 360-degree tours of galleries, and zoom in for extreme close-up views to inspect a great artist’s brushwork.

But Google's masters of new technology began by taking a distinctly Old World view of art: Of the 17 museums in the Google Art Project, 13 are in Europe. In America, none of the art on view is housed west of Manhattan or the Potomac River, which means no exposure for museums in Google’s home state of California.

If it's the thought that counts, Google, based in Mountain View in the Bay Area, was neighborly enough to invite the nearby Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the De Young and the Legion of Honor) to be part of the Art Project, museum spokeswoman Jill Lynch said, "but due to scheduling conflicts we were unable. We hope that our exhibition schedule will permit us to work with them in the next round."

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art was not approached to participate, spokeswoman Miranda Carroll said; a Getty Museum spokeswoman told a Times reporter that she hadn’t heard yet about Google’s online initiative and would check whether the Getty had been invited. (Updated, 5:55 p.m.: the Getty confirmed that it was not invited or contacted, either.)

The four United States museums involved are New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art and Frick Collection and in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art. Otherwise, the project focuses on two museums each in Madrid, Berlin, London and Amsterdam, and one each in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Paris, Prague and Florence. 

Many museums around the world have made a priority in recent years of making their collections available on their websites, albeit not typically with a virtual tour of actual galleries. The extreme close-up technology that's one of Google's new wrinkles is available for one artwork picked by each museum.

"You can now see art as never before," the narrator begins on the Google Art Project's video visitors' guide, and he ends with an invitation to "take a trip around the world's greatest museums, and discover the masters."

The project has been 18-months aborning, Google announced; a spokeswoman for the company said Tuesday that it aims to add more museums as time goes on but said there was no information about the timetable for expansion.

“It’s our first step toward making great art more accessible,” Google staffer Amit Sood, who conceived of and heads the Google Art Project, wrote in a blog post announcing it. The company spokeswoman said Sood is based in London and comes from Google’s marketing department. 

Sood ended his introductory note with the thought that “we hope the Google Art Project gives you a fun and unusual way to interact with art –- and hopefully inspires you to visit the real thing.”

Janet Landay, executive director of the New York-based Assn. of Art Museum Directors, which represents museums across North America, said Tuesday that she had little knowledge of Google’s project and aimed to talk to member museums about their response. “Certainly we’d like more representation of our [North American] museums,” she said when asked about the Euro- and Northeast corridor-centric approach of what Google unveiled.

-- Mike Boehm

Art Project


Explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces.



·         Freer Gallery of Art, SmithsonianWashington, DC

·         GemäldegalerieBerlin

·         Alte NationalgalerieBerlin

·         Museo Thyssen - BornemiszaMadrid

·         Museum KampaPrague

·         Museo Reina SofiaMadrid

·         Palace of VersaillesVersailles

·         MoMA, The Museum of Modern ArtNew York City

·         National GalleryLondon

·         RijksmuseumAmsterdam

·         The Frick CollectionNew York City

·         Tate BritainLondon

·         The State Tretyakov GalleryMoscow

·         The State Hermitage MuseumSt.Petersburg

·         Van Gogh MuseumAmsterdam

·         The Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York City

·         Uffizi GalleryFlorence

Sarasvati Research Center

Abstracts of Speakers International Seminar on “How Deep are the Roots of Indian Civilization? An Archaeological and Historical Perspective” -- Vivekananda Intl. Foundation, Nov. 25 - 27, 2010

International Seminar at VIF

Keynote Address delivered 

Professor B. B. Lal
(Former Director General, Archaeological Survey of India)

For quite some time a series of postulates have been distorting our vision of India's past. Some of these are:

1. The Vedas are no older than 1200 BCE and the Vedic people were nomads.
2. The authors of the Harappan Civilization, ascribable to the 3rd millennium BCE, were a Dravidian-speaking people.
This civilization was destroyed by Aryan invaders and thereby became extinct.
3. When it was demonstrated that there was no 'Aryan Invasion', another theory was floated, namely that the Aryans were immigrants from the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex of Central Asia.

Recent excavations at a number of sites in Rajasthan, Haryana, Panjab and Gujarat and a fresh study of the Vedic texts have demonstrated that all the above postulates are ill-founded. We now know for certain that ---
1. The Rigveda is much older than 2000 BCE. A close scrutiny of the text clearly demonstrates that the Rigvedic people were not nomads.
2. The Rigvedic domain and the area occupied by the Harappan Civilization were co-terminus and that the Vedas and this civilization are but two faces of the same coin.
3. The Harappan Civilization did not become extinct. On the other hand, many of its features are noticeable even today.
4. The roots of the Harappan Civilization, on the basis of C-14 dating, go back to the 5th millennium BCE, if not earlier.
Thus, the Harappan/Vedic people were indigenous and not invaders or immigrants.
5. Further, archaeological and literary evidences combine to show that a section of the Vedic people emigrated to as far west as Turkey, via Iran, some time at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE.

About Professor B.B. Lal

Born in 1921 and educated at the University of Allahabad and Institute of Archaeology, London, Professor B. B. Lal was the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1968-72. His excavations at sites associated with the Mahabharata and Ramayana have shown that there was a kernel of truth in these epics, in spite of the fact that these have witnessed heavy interpolations. The excavation at Kalibagan has added many new dimensions to our knowledge of the Harappan Civilization. Professor Lal has published over hundred seminal papers in renowned research journals in India, USA, UK, Italy, France, etc. and over a dozen books, the latest being How Deep are the Roots of Indian Civilization? Archaeology Answers, on which is focused the current seminar. Realizing the importance of Professor Lal's researches, the Institute of Archaeology, St. Petersberg, Russia, has conferred on him an honorary D. Litt., while the President of India has honored him with Padma Bhushan. Abstracts of presentations

Dr. B. B. Lal 2
Dr. J.R. Sharma, CAZRI  2 - 3
Prof. Shiva Bajpai 4 - 5 
Dr. R.S. Bisht 5 
Dr. Michel Danino 5 - 6
Prof. Maurizio Tosi  6
Dr. Jitendra Nath  7
Prof. N. Kazanas 7 - 9
 Prof. Jim G. Shaffer  9 - 10
Dr. Bhagwan Singh 10 - 11
Prof. Nilofar Shaikh 11
Pro. V.H. Sonawane 12 
Dr. A.K. Sharma  12 - 13
Dr. Nandini Sahu 13
Dr. K.N. Dikshit 13 - 14 
Dr. B.R. Mani  14 - 15
Prof. Purushottam Singh  15 - 19
Dr. D.K. Chakraborty 20 - 21
Prof. Nayanjot Lahiri 21
Dr. S Kalyanraman 21
Maj. Gen. G.D. Bakshi 22
Dr. Veena Datta 22 - 23 
Dr. Bhuwan Vikram 23 - 29 2

The collapse of the Aryan Invasion Theory

N. Kazanas, August 2010

The AIT started in late 18th and early 19th centuries as an explanation of the caste system. Thus various European scholars postulated an invasion from non-Indic people (Egyptian or Mesopotamian) who conquered the natives: the invaders (with a strong priestly class) became the two upper castes and the natives the two lower ones (vaishyas and shûdras). This was refined and turned into a linguistic matter after Jones made his speech about the relation between Sanskrit, Greek, Latin etc. The invaders became IE and so was formed a general theory of Aryan or IE invasions to account for the Greek, Italic, Germanic people and so on, in their historical habitats.In mid-nineteenth cent. Max Müller turned the Theory into an entirely linguistic affair. He postulated certain dates for the composition of Indic literature and these became fixed in the minds of indologists. Thereafter, all linguistic refinements for  the  IE  tongues  (Hittite, Greek, Baltic, Slavic etc) were worked out on  this model, namely  that  there was a PIE language which mainly  through migrations  and  invasions  spread  from  an  unspecified  centre  (but  not  India)  and developed into the present different IE language including Old Indic (=Vedic Sanskrit) and Iranian (=Avestan and Old Persian).

At the turn of the 19th to the 20th centuries this view was turned by Europeans  (later the Nazis) into a thoroughly racial affair ascribing to themselves superiority. This racial doctrine has now been abandoned and we have only the linguistic one.

In the 1920s were made the first important discoveries of the ancient Indus Valley or Harappan civilisation. This should have alerted indologists to the possibility that a large part of the Vedic literature was composed by this civilisation which I shall call hereafter the Indus-Sarasvati Civilisation or ISC in short, since most settlements were unearthed on or along the old Sarasvati river. This did not happen. Instead, indologists (mainly sanskritists) found in the ruins of this civilisation evidence that Indo-Aryans invaded and destroyed these cities just as the Rgveda says, according to their own interpretation, that Indra, the chief god of the conquerors destroyed the enemy purs ‘towns, forts’. So a big paradox remained: on the one hand, there was Vedic Literature (a vast corpus) without any other cultural (=archaeological) remains  to  support  it;  on  the  other,  a  large  culture  unearthed  by  archaeologists  but without  literature  despite  its knowledge of writing!

However, in the 1960’s it was established by archaeologists that there had been no invasion , no wars, no violence, and that those towns had fallen into ruination because of natural causes, such as earthquakes which diverted the waters of some rivers and thus caused desiccation on a large scale. But the linguists persisted in their doctrine and the invasion became now “immigration”. But this produced now a second big paradox, i.e. the aryanisation of this vast area where toponymics (=names of rivers, mountains etc) are Aryan (=Sanskritic), not Dravidian or names from another language: small waves of  immigrants, according  to  linguists, produced  the SJ &  IA C 2 aryanisation of a country which only invasion, conquest and coercion could have effected!

Any impartial study of the facts, archaeological and linguistic, shows that there is no evidence of any kind to support the so called “waves of immigrations”.

On  their  side,  all  archaeologists, Western  and  Indian,  say  emphatically  that  there  is  unbroken  continuity  in  the development of the ISC from the seventh millennium to the sixth cent. BCE when the Persian incursions occur. There is no trace at all of any other culture intruding into the ISC.

(a) Anthropological evidence (cranial and skeletal) shows that there was no demographic disruption down to c 600, except perhaps for the period 6000-4500.

(b) Genetical studies now show that there was no inflow of genes into the Indian subcontinent prior to c 600. On the contrary there was flow of genes out of India and into the north-western regions.

Max Müller’s dating of the Vedic Literature is based on fictions and has no basis whatever in reality.

The  so-called  linguistic  evidence  (i.e.  isoglosses,  loan-words  etc)  can  be,  and  have  been,  shown  to  require  no immigration. One eminent  linguist at  least demonstrated  that  the original homeland  is Bactria which  is adjacent  to Saptasindhu, the Land of the Seven Rivers (=N-W India and Pakistan).

Positing Saptasindhu as the original homeland not only does not create problems but, on the contrary, dissolves all difficulties. For instance: (a) Vedic alone has dhâtus and on the whole invariable principles in generating verbs and their conjugations and nouns and their declensions etc. (b) Vedic has both augmented Aorist (=past tense) like á-dhât and an augmented dhât from √dhâ put’. Germanic has only anaugmented and Greek only augmented. (c) Vedic poetry has both  strict metre  and  alliteration whereas Greek  and  Latin  have  only metrical  verses  and Germanic  poetry  has alliterative lines only without strict metre. (d) No two IE cultures ( e.g. Baltic, Celtic, Germanic etc) have any IE theonyms (=names of deities)  to  the exclusion of Vedic. On  the other hand, Vedic has 20  theonyms of which Greek has , Germanic 8, Italic (=Latin) and Celtic 6 and the others even less.

It  is agreed by all,  including Western  invasionists  like Witzel,  that  the ? gveda hymns were composed around  the Sarasvati area. But while  they give a date of composition c 1200-1000,  the available  literary, anthropological and archaeological evidences indicate a date before 3500. Here I summarise broadly the most important points.

1. The Brhadâranyaka Upanisad has a list of 60 teachers. If we allow 15 years for each one, we obtain a period of 900 years. If the BU is of 600 BC, as the AIT scenario wants, the list takes as back to 1500. But none of the 60 teachers nor the doctrine ‘Atman is Brahman’ or ‘I am Brahman’ appear in the RV; the doctrine appears in the Atharva Veda in an approximate form. Given that the RV is linguistically many centuries earlier than the BU, the RVmust be put at least 500-600 earlier, i.e. before 2000!

2.  Linguistically  the  RV is  many  centuries  older  than  the  Brâhmanas and  the  Mahâbhârata.  Palaeoastronomy (astrophysicist N. Achar) has shown that astronomical references in the Shatapatha Brâhmana are true for the date 3000-2950. Several astronomical references in the epic are true for 3100-3000! Thus the RVmust be from about 3500 and before.

3. The Rgveda does not have many features that characterise the ISC and appear only later in post-rigvedic texts. Thus there are NOT–

(a) istakâ the brick, mostly of raw mud, sometimes baked. This was one of the main construction materials in the Early ISC starting at about 3500. Prior to this houses were fashioned of wood with wattle-and-daub, as described in the RV;

(b) larger urban settlements in the RVas we find them in the ISC;

(c) fixed altars or hearths as described in the Yajur Veda and the Brâhmanas;

(d) ruins or ruined towns;

(e) cotton karpâsa;

(f)silver rajata;(g) rice vrîhi;

(h) literacy ‘lipi, lekha(-na)’;

(i) artistic iconography (sculpture, relief, seals).

Bricks are mentioned first in Yajur Veda and extensively in the Brâhmanas. Silver appears as rajata-hiranya in the Yajur Veda; rice vrîhi in the Atharva Veda; cotton karpâsa, first in Baudhâyana’s Sûtras; and so on.

4. The river Sarasvatî is praised as a mighty and all nourishing river in all the Books or the RV except the fourth. Even in late hymns such as 8.21 or 10.64 and 10.177 Sarasvatî is said to give wealth and nourishment and the poets invoke her as «great». In 6.52 Sarasvatî is «swollen by other (three or more) rivers»; in 6.61 she is endless, swift-moving, most dear among her sisters and nourishing the five tribes of the Vedic people; in 2.41.16 Sarasvatî is «best river, best mother, best goddess»; in 7.95.2 this mighty river «flows pure from the mountains to the ocean».

The river dried up around 1900 BCE. So the RV is referring to a condition long before the end of the river. Archaeologists and palaeohydrologists say that Sarasvatî flowed from the Himalayas to the ocean (in the Rann of Kutch) before 3800 BCE. Satellite photos and other analyses confirm now the route of the river from the mountain to the ocean. After this period some of the rivers feeding the Sarasvatî were, due to tectonic shifts, captured by other rivers (eg the Indus and the Ganges) and so this once mighty river weakened and began to dry up reaching its final desiccation c 1900 BCE.

Consequently the RV, or at least all those hymns that praise Sarasvatî were composed before 3600 possibly before 4000. This date agrees with the building materials and techniques (the pre-brick phase) of the very early Harappan culture, as established by archaeologists and as described in RV.

Conclusion:  If  the bulk of several hymns of  the RV were composed c 4000-3600  the  Indoaryans using  the Vedic language were settled  in Saptasindhu at  that period.Whatever else might have happened before  that period,  the Indoaryans were by 1700 BCE thoroughly indigenous.

About  Prof. Nicholas Kazanas

Nicholas Kazanas was born in Greece in 1939. He studied English Literature at University College, Economics and Philosophy at the School of Economic Science and Sanskrit at theSchool of Oriental and African studies – all in London; also post-graduate at SOAS and at Deccan College in Pune. Prof. Kazanas taught in London and Athens and since 1980 has been Director of Omilos Meleton Cultural Institute. In Greece he has published treatises of social, economic and philosophical interest. He has many publications in Western and Indian Journals and some books. He is on the Editorial Board of Adyar Library Bulettin (Chennai). He has participated in international Conferences in London, in the USA and in India. From 1997 he has turned towards the Vedic Tradition and its place in the wider Indo-European culture. This research comprises thorough examination of Indo-European cultures, comparing their philosophical ideas and values, their languages, mythological issues and religions.

The Battle for Ancient India

Dilip K Chakrabarti, Emeritus professor of South Asian Archaeology, Cambridge University

For more than two decades, the politics of the past has been an important part of the theoretical literature of archaeology and ancient studies, although, apart from two books by the present author and some papers both by him and others, India does not figure in this literature. The purpose of the present paper is to outline how and why the study of ancient India  including  its  archaeology  has  come  to  be  related  to  different  power  structures  and  ideologies which  have dominated the Indian scene from the beginning of the British rule to the present period.

On the most basic level, the controversy is about the position of India in the scheme of world civilizations. Has it ever been an original and innovative centre of technology and other material traits of  life  outside  the  domain  of  religion and  philosophy ? In the middle of the nineteenth century Max Muller provided the image of an inwardly turned India, and in the more modern times, A.L.Basham tried to perpetuate this  image  through  his  The Wonder that was India. This image of the other worldliness of India persists strongly even in the contemporary world. If anything related to India is a reasonably  popular  field of study  in  the Western universities,  that  is  Indian  religion and philosophy. The  recent emphasis of a section of expatriate or non-Resident Indians on the hidden or unexplored depths of Indian wisdom in the Vedas, etc. is a part of this tradition. Similarly, the preoccupation of a large number of people with the various imagined mysteries of the  Sarasvati  river   is a part of this tradition too.

But there are also people to whom the idea of a spiritually rich India is redolent of an unacceptably Hindu India. From this point of view , the Sarasvati  has to be argued as a mythical river and Hinduism has to be interpreted as a phenomenon which developed only  after  the Aryans  came to India. From this perspective, Hinduism is as much native to the Indian soil as Islam and Christianity are. All of them came with the influx of new people, the Aryans in the case of the Hindus, the Muslims in the case of Islam and the Europeans in the case of Christianity. The idea of continuity of the Indian civilization does not suit the beliefs of this group of people.

Within this primary frame, there are various shades of opinions regarding various fields. The first is the unqualified acceptance of the idea of correlation between race, language and culture, of which the Aryans, Dravidians, etc. are logical offshoots. This led to the concept of the Aryan rule of India on the one hand and the genesis and persistence of the Dravidian movement on the other. These concepts have many ramifications  and  deserve  detailed discussions exposing their hollowness. If the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu has assumed a form in which scholars extolling the virtues of Tamil civilization are handsomely rewarded,  the  Aryanists  in Tamil Nadu refuse to dissociate the origins of the Tamil civilization from the perceived migrations from the north. When a scholar of the stature of I.Mahadevan refuses to take the date of the earliest Brahmi inscriptions in Tamil Nadu earlier than the third century BC, even though in the neighbouring Sri Lanka they date from the mid-5 century BC and the archaeological sequence at sites like Kodumanal takes the Brahmi-inscribed sherds to c.500 BC, the most charitable explanation I can offer is that to Tamilians of higher castes, the idea of an early literate Tamil antiquity is not particularly acceptable.

The terms like the Aryans, Dravidians, etc. are still freely used in Indian archaeology with unhappy implications.  B.B.Lal, for instance, puts the 'Aryan  homeland'  in  India  whereas to those familiar with the concerned literature behind the Aryan idea, this Aryan idea is nothing but a racist myth and should be discarded forthwith. On the other hand, there is no lack  of  attempts in recent times  to seek the Aryans  in such places as Bactria or the southern part of Siberia.

The  second  sub-area of dispute is the extent to which the different technological elements like food-production, metallurgy, etc.  are  the  results  of  diffusionary  spreads or indigenous developments. At almost every stage of the Indus civilization we have encountered such disputes, including those about its chronology, and in a later context, still there are people unwilling to accept an early   date   for the beginning of iron in India.

A detailed item by item discussion on these and other issues is beyond the scope of the present paper, but it may be useful if we remember the contexts which have given rise to them. Finally, it is worth remembering that the study of ancient India still suffers from certain basic infra-structural problems such as the absence of a national level laboratory devoted to various kinds of dating and other scientific and technical analyses of archaeological objects. It would also be nice if the concerned archaeologists could publish their findings without waiting for their retirements.

About Prof. Dilip K Chakrabarti

Dilip K Chakrabarti is Emeritus Professor of South Asian Archaeology at Cambridge University. He has authored books, besides editing 5 volumes and authoring about 200 articles, notes and reviews. He was awarded Hony. D.Litt by M.J.P. University, Bareilly, and S.C.Chakrabarti medal of the Asiatic Society, Kolkata. He received the Ranade book-2021prize of the Indian Archaeological Society for his book " The Oxford Companion to Indian Archaeology" (2006). His most recent books are "The Ancient Routes of the Deccan and the Southern Peninsula" (Delhi 2010 : Aryan Books) and " The Geopolitical Orbits of Ancient India" (Delhi 2010: OUP). His forthcoming book is " Royal Messages by the Wayside : Historical Geography of the Asokan Edicts" (Delhi 2011 : Aryan Books).

Decrypting Indus Valley Script: what it means to the Study of Indian Civilization

S. Kalyanraman

Languages of present-day  India can be explained  from a common source. The  Indus Script Cipher (2010) by S. Kalyanaraman, is premised on India as a linguistic area. Thus a list of lexemes common to all major language families of India is compiled surmising them to be derived from the common semantic -- and hence, cultural -- pool. Language is but a social contract in a cultural continuum of a civilizational area. Hopefully, the next generation of scholars will not have to repeat the refrain: “The Indus Script has not been deciphered so far…” The rebus decryption of the script occurs by matching glyptic elements of hieroglyphs of the script with homonyms from the list of lexemes. The decryption identifies a set of homonyms, all of which are related to the repertoire of stone-workers (lapidaries) and the glyphs used in their writing system. This work, evidencing the language union (sprachbund) contributes to historical studies emphasizing the essential cultural continuum  from  the days of  Indus Valley  (Sarasvati-Sindhu) civilization  into  India's historical periods.

About Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman is Director, Sarasvati Research Centre, President, Ramasetu Protection Movement and BoD member of World Association of Vedic Studies. His research interests are: Vedic Sarasvati River and Hindu civilization, decrypting Indus Script, National Water Grid and creation of Indian Ocean Community. He was a senior financial and IT executive  in Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines and  in  Indian Railways. His publications  include:  Indian Lexicon -- a multilingual dictionary of over 25 ancient Indian languages, Sarasvati in 11 volumes, Indian Alchemy -- Soma in the Veda, Indus Script Cipher. He is a recipient of many awards including Vakankar Award, Hedgewar Prajna Samman and Sivananda Eminent Citizen Award. Website:

Read on...

 Full paper will made available soon.

Asian Perspectives, 

Volume 42, Number 2, Fall 2003

E-ISSN: 1535-8283 Print ISSN: 0066-8435

DOI: 10.1353/asi.2003.0039

The Uninvited Skeleton at the Archaeological Table: The Crisis of Paleoanthropology in South Asia in the Twenty-first Century

Kennedy, Kenneth A. R.

Asian Perspectives, Volume 42, Number 2, Fall 2003, pp. 352-367 (Article)

DOI: 10.1353/asi.2003.0039

Emerging from the philological-historical approaches of the eighteenth-century Orientalists, the scientific study of the hominid fossil record and prehistory of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and their borderlands) has a history of over two centuries. Today Western and South Asian scholars offer new answers to old questions about the origin and antiquity of the earliest hominids in the subcontinent, the beginnings of the Indus civilization, archaeological and skeletal interpretations about the reputed Indo-European-speaking Aryans of the Vedic tradition, biological affinities of ancient and modern populations, and palaeodemographic profiles of health and disease status, traumatic and developmental modifications, and population sizes and densities of earlier peoples in this part of Asia. At the beginning of the third millennium we respond to these issues in ways that modify or repudiate earlier theories and interpretations of archaeological and palaeontological data, e.g., a present-day recognition that hominids were present in the northwestern sector of the subcontinent during the geological period of the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition, the establishment of the roots of the Indus civilization in cultures established by 7000 B.C. and long before the period of the third millennium B.C. settlement and cultural diffusion, the fall of the Aryan migration myth and its racial and caste implications, and a reevaluation of population genetic affinities using DNA and more powerful statistical types of analysis of the skeletal record. This paper summarizes these and other recent advances in South Asian palaeoanthropology by noting transitions in scientific perspectives and present-day issues of research, and discusses prospects for the development of palaeoanthropology in South Asia at the dawn of the new millennium in the light of specific crises that will be encountered by its future practitioners.


Palaeoanthropology, South Asia, research orientations.


70 ppt slides v ideo 1: 2:20  Hieroglyphs

Glimpses of successful cyphertext attack 

Video 2: 1:20 Indus Script Cipher 

ISBN 978-0-9828971-0-2 



A path-breaking work as significant as the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs by Champollion. Indus script  uses a rebus method  key for hieroglyphs of Indian linguistic area. Cultural, language contacts and history of using thousands of glyptic elements and semantic clusters are demonstrated.

Prof. Narasimha Rao, Former Director of Crypto Lab, University of Louisiana, Lafayette praises the successful cyphertext attack: "What a delight truly it is to read the prodigious effort of Indus Script Cipher! In the case of Egyptian hieroglyphs, there was a Rosetta Stone, which enabled a (partially) Known – Plaintext attack to succeed. The task is considerably harder here in a Cyphertext-only attack without a Rosetta Stone. The concept of Unicity Distance (the information-theoretic innovation of Claude Shannon) is the minimum length of ciphertext required to break a code theoretically, never mind its actual complexity. The code-breaking is not just deciphering a code, but it is finding the secret-key, which simplifies the old and new tasks as well. Kalyanaraman studied thousands of seals containing a number of glyphs and each glyph having two or more glyptic elements, sufficiently large enough ciphertext symbols or characters. Compiling a database of over 8000 semantic clusters of glosses from Indian multi-lingual lexicon and cryptanalysis of these is indeed history-making, par excellence."

Prof. Shivaji Singh, Former Head of the Department of Ancient History,Archaeology and Culture, University of Gorakhpur (India): A real treat for everyone interested in the earliest writing system of South Asia 

…Many a scholars had even started feeling that Indus inscriptions would perhaps never be read! It is a matter of pleasure to note that Kalyanaraman’s present book has succeeded in changing this pessimistic scenario…The author of the Indus Script Cipher makes it very clear in the very beginning of thebook that no a-priori assumptions are made about ‘the theories related to invasionsand migrations or chronology of movements of people into or out of India which yielded the majority of Indus script inscriptions’. It is this capacity of the author to remain objective in an emotionally and politically charged atmosphere that has made this book a great success...

I am sure that Dr. Kalyanaraman’s name will go down the history and he will be remembered with reverence by future generations for this extraordinary contribution.

AUTHOR BIO S. Kalyanaraman, Ph.D.  is Director, Sarasvati Research Center, President, Ramasetu Protection Movement in India and BoD member of World Association for Vedic Studies. His research interests relate to rediscovery of Vedic Sarasvati River, roots of Hindu civilization, decoding of Indus Script, National Water Grid and creation of Indian Ocean Community. He has a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the Universitty of the Philippines. He is a multi-lingual scholar versed in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Sanskrit, Hindi. He was a senior financial and IT executive in Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines and on Indian Railways. His 15 publications include: Indian Lexicon - a multilingual dictionary for over 25 Indian languages, Sarasvati in 15 volumes, Indian Alchemy - Soma in the Veda. He is a recipient of many awards including Vakankar Award (2000), Shivananda Eminent Citizens’ Award (2008) and Dr. Hedgewar Prajna Samman (2008).

Indus Script Cipher S.  Kalyanaraman  Suggested Retail Price  $34.99       

Language and Communication  6” X 9” Trade paperback 468 pages 98289713 ISBN  9780982897102 ISBN-13

Unraveling Indus Script used by lapidaries of a civilization c. 4th millennium BCE; e.g., svastika hieroglyph in early zinc metallurgy

The book by S. Kalyanaraman, Indus Script Cipher – Hieroglyphs of Indian linguistic area achieves a breakthrough in decrypting the cipher of the inscriptions by using the rebus key to read about 1000 glyphs (both pictorial motifs and clearly identifiable glyptic signs such as fish, rim-of-jar, rimless pot, sprout) and almost all glyptic elements in pictorial motifs and the frequently-occurring pairs of glyphs called signs in Corpora of Indus Inscriptions. The absence of a Rosetta stone (with trilingual inscriptions, which enabled Champollion to decrypt Egyptian hieroglyphs) is overcome by creating plain-texts of about 300,000 glosses from Indian linguistic area organized in over 8000 semantic clusters many of which contain homonym (similar-sounding) pairs of glosses which aid in rebus cryptanalysis. The cypher-text only attack without a Rosetta stone is successful because several hundreds of glyptic elements from the corpus of hieroglyphs (of about 400 signs and 100 pictorial motifs) of Indus script inscriptions, match rebus with homonym pairs which occur in more than one language family of the linguistic area.

The result is astonishing: that all the present-day languages of India related to glosses of artisans’ repertoire are derived through language contacts during the days of Sarasvati-Sindhu (Indus) civilization. The artisans who invented alloying during the bronze age also invented a writing system. This was used by seafaring merchants of Meluhha trading over long-distances traversed through riverine and maritime waterways and trading outposts of Persian Gulf and further on to Mesopotamia.

The cover-page shows two seals displayed in the British Museum. The seals show right-handed and left-handed svastika glyphs, perhaps the earliest occurrence of the glyphs anywhere in the world in the context of a writing system.
One ReichspPfenning svastika coin  made of zinc (1942).
kaśēru  ‘the backbone’ (Bengali. Skt.); kaśēruka id. (Skt.) Rebus: kasērā metal worker ʼ (Lahnda)(CDIAL 2988,  2989) Vikalpa (alternative): ri ‘ridge formed by the backbone’ (Santali); rebus: rīti ‘brass’ (Skt.)

The semantic context in which over 58 svastika occurrences in inscriptions provides for  rebus decryption of the cipher in the grapheme: svastika glyph; rebus: svastika ‘zinc’ (Ka.); jasth, jasti ‘zinc, pelter, pewter’. That svastika glyph denoted a material in historical context is explained in a magnum opus by Thomas Wilson, Curator, Department of Prehistoric Anthropology, U.S. National Museum,  1896,The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol, and Its Migrations; with Observations on the Migration of Certain Industries in Prehistoric Times. The cognate Sanskrit word was yazada, a derivative from sattiya (glyph, rebus: zinc ore) attested in many Indian language glosses of the linguistic area. Copper alloyed with zinc ore yielded brass which glittered like god and was used during historical periods for casting statuary, covering temple roofs and fabricating vessels. Thus, it was that svastika glyph became a hieroglyph in the writing system of scribes who were also lapidaries working with beads of semi-precious stones and metal-workers working with minerals and alloys.

The Indian sub-continent enjoys the unique distinction of being the first to introduce brass and zinc metallurgy to the world. Summarizing the recent research and current literature on the subject, the present author claims that the earliest brass in the world was in the Harappan site of Lothal and then in the early PGW site of Atranjikhera. The primacy of zinc metallurgy in India is established by three kinds of evidences: (a) second millennium BCE radiocarbon dating of zinc ore mine in Southern Rajasthan, (b) fourth century BCE brass vase in Taxila assaying 34% zinc, and (c) second century CE literature of Nagarjuna describing distillation of zinc. This paper also documents the uninterrupted tradition in India on brassware, the details of the spectacular and large scale zinc manufacture in medieval Zawar, and the unique phenomenon of a technology transfer from India to the western world…The earliest method of making brass was possibly the cementation process in which finely divided copper fragments were intimately mixed with roasted zinc ore (oxide) and reducing agent, such as charcoal, and heated to 1000 degrees C in a sealed crucible. Zinc vapor formed dissolved into the copper fragments yielding a poor quality brass, zinc percentage of which could not be easily controlled…Lothal (2200-1500 BCE) showed one highly oxidized antiquity, which assayed 70.7% copper, 6.04% zinc, 0.9% Fe and 6.04% acid-soluble component (probably carbonate, a product of atmospheric corrosion). The material could have been prepared through smelting of zinc-bearing copper ore or the cementation route described earlier. The raw material might have come from the Ahar-Zawar area. The Harappan site of Rosdi, also in Gujarat, has yielded a few samples of chisel, celt, rod and bangle, made of brass and assaying up to 1.54% zinc. Similar materials might have been used for making the brass-bronze items of Atranjikhera during the PGW era (1200 – 600 BCE). One copper-bassed item contained 11.68% Sn, 9.0% Pb and 6.28% Zn, while another item assayed 20.72% Sn and 16.20% Zn. Both the samples contained traces of iron and sulphur indicating the possibility of chalcopyrite and sphlerite-galena having been the source materials, which could easily come from the Ahar-Zawar area.”[Biswas, Arun Kumar, 1992, The primacy of India in ancient brass and zinc metallurgy, in: Indian Journal of History of Science, 28 (4), 1993, with diagrams showing brinjal-shaped retorts used to produce upto 6 lakh tons of zinc in about 5 centuries.]

Indus Script Cipher makes history recording hundreds of hieroglyphs of India. Further validation comes from evidences of the historical periods in India from c. 600 BCE showing continued use of Indus script hieroglyphs which evolved from c. 3300 BCE. This book details a decipherment of the Indus script using the same rebus method used by Champollion to read ancient phonetic   hieroglyphs of India. By demonstrating an Indian linguistic area of cultural and language contacts and history of language changes, this is a landmark contribution to civilization studies of the world and will promote efforts to rewrite the ancient socio-cultural and economic history of a billion people in India and neighboring  regions. This work will also be of interest to IT and Information Theory specialists as a contribution to mathematical theory of communication and for validation of the uniqueness of the successful cipher attack by evaluating mathematical adequacy of the data sets used (technically referred to as unicity distance).

Review a world-renowned expert in Cryptography: What a delight truly it is to read the prodigious effort of Indus Script Cipher! In the case of Egyptian hieroglyphs, there was a Rosetta Stone, which enabled a (partially) Known – Plaintext attack to succeed. The task is considerably harder here in a Cyphertext-only attack without a Rosetta Stone. The concept of Unicity Distance (the information-theoretic innovation of Claude Shannon) is the minimum length of ciphertext required to break a code theoretically, never mind its actual complexity. The code-breaking is not just deciphering a code, but it is finding the secret-key, which simplifies the old and new tasks as well. Kalyanaraman studied thousands of seals containing a number of glyphs and each glyph having two or more glyptic elements, sufficiently large enough ciphertext symbols or characters. Compiling a database of over 8000 semantic clusters of glosses from Indian multi-lingual lexicon and cryptanalysis of these is indeed history-making, par excellence. -- TR. Narasimha Rao, Ph.D. Loflin Chair Professor-Emeritus of Computer Science, Former Director of Crypto Lab,University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA

Kalyanaraman has produced a work of historical significance; it is a veritable milestone in study of civilizations, emphatically defining the roots of Indian civilization and languages. This is as significant as the work of Champollion who decrypted Egyptian hieroglyphs. An abiding contribution to ancient history, language and literature studies is complemented by his compilation, in over 2500 pages, of an Indian Lexicon for over 25 ancient languages of Indian linguistic area which now has over one billion people. (Review by V. Sundaram of S. Kalyanaraman's Indian Lexicon)

This work should result in rewriting of ancient Indian history, promotion of language studies of Indian linguistic area, excavation of thousands of sites on Sarasvati River Basin to authenticate the civilization heritage and chronology of formation and evolution of Indian languages.

Indus Script Cipher: release of Indian edition and lectures in Delhi Nov. 24 to 27, 2010
(Video 6:32 mins.)  

Intl edition: Indus Script Cipher at ( Also at Barnes&Noble, Books-a-million

Indian edition: Indus Script Cipher, 2010, Delhi, Pratibha Prakashan

Abstract: Languages of present-day India can be explained from a common source. Indus Script Cipher (2010) by S.  Kalyanaraman, is premised on India as a linguistic area. Thus a list of lexemes common to all major language families of India is compiled surmising them to be derived from the common semantic -- and hence, cultural -- pool. Language is but a social contract in a cultural continuum of a civilizational area. Hopefully, the next generation of scholars will not have to repeat the refrain:  “The Indus Script has not been deciphered so far…” The rebus decryption of the script occurs by matching glyphic elements of hieroglyphs of the script with homonyms from the list of lexemes. The decryption identifies a set of homonyms, all of which are related to the repertoire of stone-workers (lapidaries) and the glyphs used in their writing system.  This work, evidencing the language union (sprachbund) contributes to historical studies emphasizing the essential cultural continuum from the days of Indus Valley (Sarasvati-Sindhu) civilization into India’s historical periods.

Indian lexicon is at which constitutes the semantic resource-base (including Vedic, Prakrit, Pali and other Indian languages) for identifying ancient homonyms of the sprachbund to help read rebus the glyphics of Indus script. Introduction is at

On slide 3 of the Presentation is a Susa pot slide showing the interaction areas of Meluhha, Magan, Dilmun and Mesopotamia (After Maurizio Tosi, 2010). This pot has a FISH glyph inscribed on the pot. This pot contained metal artefacts. See the two slides of Maurizio Tosi (2010) at The 'fish' glyphic is a signature glyph of the civilization denoting ayas 'metal' of the Indian sprachbund or Indian linguistic area.  Fish + crocodile is read rebus as: ayakaara 'metal smith' (Pali). Other compound attested is ayaskaanDa (Panini) which gets depicted rebus as fish + arrow or fish + four linear circumscript strokes -- together with bos indicus (zebu or brahmani bull), another signature glyph. khaaru is attested as crocodile and khaar is attested as blacksmith in Kashmiri language. The glyphic of the script represent words, not syllables or alphabets. 

This is an evidence linking the writing system of Indus Script with the trade interactions of the civilization -- of Meluhha stone-workers, metal-workers with Susa, dated to ca. 4th millennium BCE (?) The fish glyph is rendered in a rebus reading as aya, ayo. Rebus: aya, ayas 'metal' (Indus language, meluhha/mleccha). The gloss is presented in Munda etyma compiled by the late Sudhibhushan Bhattacharya. It is apposite to record a tribute to the late Sudhibhushan Bhattacharya who initiated studies on Munda etymology , to the late Kuiper for his work on Nahali  etymology and to the work of Norman Zide on Munda numerals. See full bibliography at Bhattacharya, Sudhibhushan. 1966. Some Munda etymologies. Studies in comparative Austroasiatic linguistics. Ed. by Zide, Norman H. (Indo-Iranian monographs, 5.) The Hague: Mouton, 1966. 28-40. Details of the 'ayo' etyma at
(After Maurizio Tosi, 2010. Pot with metal artefacts found at Susa. Pot is painted with Indus Script 'fish' glyph).

Many glyphics including the crocodile + fish combination on many punch-marked coins from Gandhara to Karur of the historical periods starting from ca. 1000 BCE, an evidence of continuance of the writing system together with kharoshthi or brahmi script inscriptions. These punch-marked coins constitute the rosetta stones of the civilization together with a number of inscribed artifacts such as: the two pure tin ingots found in a shipwreck in Haifa; anthropomorph of Gangetic copper hoards; Sohgaura copper plate; Rampurva copper bolt; and Srivatsa glyph on Sanchi torana. Thus, together with cultural markers of the civilization such as wearing sindhur at the parting of the hair, worship of shivalinga, use of turbinella pyrum for bangles and trumpets, glyphics of the writing system also continued to be used in the Indian linguistic area (Indian sprachbund) during historical periods as a cultural continuum. 

The presentation was made in three lectures in Delhi; the Indian edition of the book, Indus Script Cipher (Delhi, Pratibha Prakashan) was released at Delhi University on Nov. 24, 2010:


(A Multi-disciplinary Academic Society) &  SANSKRIT DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSITY OF DELHI, DELHI  SPECIAL LECTURE ON Indus Civilization, Indus Script and Sanskrit Language
Key Speaker:  Dr. S. Kalyanaraman  Director, Sarswati Research Center, Chennai
Chairperson:  Prof. Ram Karan Sharma  President, WAVES –India
Chief Guest:  Prof. Shiva G. Bajpai Renowned Historian, LA, USA
Guests of Honour:  Prof. Bhu Dev Sharma   Renowned Mathematician, NOIDA
Dr. Sundari Siddharth Former Faculty, Sanskrit, Delhi University
You are requested to make it convenient to attend the program.
VENUE:   Room No. 72, Sanskrit Department, Faculty of Arts, University of Delhi,
Maurice Nagar, Delhi -110007  DAY & TIME: Wednesday, Nov. 24,  2010  at 2.30 p.m.- 5.00 p.m. RSVP: -Dr. Shashi Tiwari    General Secy, WAVES, India   Ph: 9810690322 - Prof. Mithilesh Chaturvedi     Head, Sanskrit Department, DU  Ph: 27666657(O)            
Lecture 2: Rashtriya Pandulipi Mission (National manuscript Mission of India)

Special Lecture series in Tattvabodha:
Speaker: Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, Director, Sarasvati Research Centre
President: Dr. Radha Madhav Bharadwaj
Assoc. Professor, History Dept., Deen Dayal Upadhyay Mahavidyalaya, New Delhi
Title of Lecture: Indus Valley Civilization and Script
Date and Venue: Friday, 26 November 2010 5 to 6:30 PM; Seminar Hall 1, Vishwa Yuva Kendra, Chanakyapuri, Delhi

Lecture 3: Vivekanda International Foundation and Draupadi Trust, Delhi

Seminar on How deep are the roots of Indian Civilization? (Nov. 25 to 27, 2010)
Speaker: Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, Director, Sarasvati Research Centre
Chair: Dr. Jim G. Shaffer, Dept. of Anthropology, Case Western Univ., USA
Title of presentation: Decrypting Indus Valley Script : What it means to the study of Indian Civilization 10 to 11 AM, Nov. 27, 2010
Proceedings of the Intl. Seminar will be posted at the website:

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman is Director, Sarasvati Research Centre, President, Ramasetu Protection Movement and BoD member of World Association of Vedic Studies. His research interests are: Vedic Sarasvati River and Hindu civilization, decrypting Indus Script, National Water Grid and creation of Indian Ocean Community. He got his Ph.D. in Public Administration from Univ. of Philippines; graduate degree in Economics and Statistics from Annamalai University. He is versed in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Sanskrit languages. He was a senior financial and IT executive in Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines and in Indian Railways. His publications include:* Indian Lexicon -- a multilingual dictionary of over 25 ancient Indian languages, Sarasvati in 11 volumes, Indian Alchemy -- Soma in the Veda, Indus Script Cipher. He is a recipient of many awards.

Some highlights of the Seminar at VIF (Nov. 25 to 27, 2010):

Published: November 27, 2010 00:00 IST | Updated: November 27, 2010 04:06 IST

No archaeological evidence to prove western invasion in the subcontinent: Experts
Staff Reporter, The Hindu

Having set the tone for a discussion on the roots of Indian civilization, the seminar, “How deep are the roots of Indian civilization? An archaeological and historical perspective”, brought up some pertinent questions related to the subcontinent's past on Friday.

Day two of the seminar organised by Draupadi Trust in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Archaeological Survey of India was marked by inputs from renowned archaeologists and scholars.

In the first session, Omilos Meleton Cultural Institute (Greece) director Prof. N. Kazanas spoke about the “Collapse of the Aryan invasion theory” based on linguistic evidence in the Rigveda supporting the indigenous nature of Indian civilization and genetic evidence that there was “no influx of new genes after 10000 B. C. in India”.

Prof. Kazanas' presentation was followed by Case Western Reserve University Anthropology professor Jim G. Shaffer, who spoke about the “Harappan diaspora”, explaining how the increase in population density of Haryana and eastern Punjab and decrease in population in Cholistan in the late Harappan period suggest a “displacement from Harappan civilization towards the east”. He also said there was no archaeological evidence to prove western invasion in the subcontinent.

Vedic scholar Dr. Bhagwan Singh spoke about “Rigvedic Harappans: Their roots and legacy”, calling it “incorrect…to hold Aryan-speaking branch to be the sole author of Indus-Sarasvati civilization”. According to him, there were three major cultural strains- Aryan, Dravidian and Mandari -- that cannot be classified into any one familial scheme.

Shah Abdul Latif University (Pakistan) Vice-Chancellor Nilofar Shaikh presented recent evidence found by the excavation of Lakahn-Jo- Daro site in Pakistan. The architectural evidence at the site suggests a strong linkage to the “mature Indus” civilization, in addition to some unique features like “I- shaped bricks”.

Ms. Shaikh's presentation was followed by Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda's professor of Archaeology V.H. Sonawane's paper on “The Harappan scenario in Gujarat”; Department of Archaeology and Museums (Raipur) advisor Dr. A.K. Sharma's paper on “The Harappan Horse - A study in comparative occurrence during Harappan & post Harappan times” and ASI (Nagpur)'s Dr. Nadini Sahu's presentation on “Excavations at the Early Harappan site of Bhirrana”.

The last session included presentations by ASI secretary general K.N. Dikshit on “The decline and legacy of Harappan civilization” and ASI joint director-general Dr. B.R. Mani titled “From Janas to Janapadas”. The day concluded with BHU professor Purushottam Singh who raised some important questions at the end of his presentation on “Early archaeology in the Gangetic Plains”.

Prof. Singh pointed out that the Ganga Valley civilization had no evidence of religion except burial grounds found in some places. He also questioned the absence of a “label” like the Aryans or Harappans for the people of this civilization, who had contributed significantly to the history of the subcontinent.


Focus on Indian civilisation

Staff Reporter, The Hindu

NEW DELHI: Focussing on creating awareness in civil society about recent archaeological and historical researches and to promote understanding and relevance of Indian civilization in modern times, a seminar, “How deep are the roots of Indian civilization? An archaeological and historical perspective” was inaugurated by Ministry of Culture Secretary Jawahar Sircar here on Thursday. Organised by Draupadi Trust in collaboration with knowledge partners Archaeological Survey of India and Indian Archaeological Society and hosted by the Vivekananda International Foundation, the three-day-long seminar will include presentations by renowned scholars and archaeologists from India and abroad.

Mr. Sircar stressed the importance of a “serious study on the subject of antiquity of Indian civilisation” and urged scholars to base their research on rational, not emotional basis. He inaugurated an exhibition- “Draupadi: Shashakt- Rupa Rupeshwari”- depicting the life of Draupadi as a woman of substance.

Delivering the keynote address, former ASI Director-General Prof. B. B. Lal spoke about “postulates [that] have been distorting our vision of India's past”. Among these is the belief that the Vedas are no older than 1200 B.C. and that Vedic people were nomads. Recent excavations at sites in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat and a fresh study of Vedic texts, he said, have proved that most of these postulates are “ill- founded.”

According to Prof. Lal, these excavations proved that the Rigveda is older than 2,000 BC and people of this civilisation were not nomads. Quashing the “Aryan invasion theory” he said that the Harappan civilisation did not become extinct, and C-14 dating procedures proved that Harappan and Vedic people were indigenous, not invaders or migrants.

Thursday's session focussed on the life and practices of Harappan and Vedic civilisations with presentations on scientific findings of the drainage system in north-west India with regard to river Saraswati by Central Arid Zone Research Institute's Dr. J. R. Sharma and Indian Space Research Organisation scientist Dr. Bidyut Bhadra; the geographic identification and significance of Sapta Sindhu by California State University Professor Dr. Shiva Bajpai; Harappan town planning and water harvesting by former ASI Joint Director-General Dr. R. S. Bisht; continuum in town planning and metrology in Harappan in classical India by Coimbatore scholar Dr. Michel Danino and a comparative study of the middle Asian intercultural space and the Indus civilisation by University of Bologne (Italy) Professor Maurizio Tosi. Also present was Shah Abdul Latif University (Pakistan) Vice-Chancellor Dr. Nilofar Shaikh.

Draupadi Trust Chairperson Neera Misra spoke about the need for a “holistic approach to development” and knowledge of one's civilisation being an important part of development of a nation.