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Dholavira sign Board - Deciphered

Kottayam, Kerala,

                                 Generally Indus inscriptions are short containing only four letters or less than four letters . However this above given sign board of Dholavira is different , it contains 10 letters and is quite lengthy compared to inscriptions on seals of IVC. Analysis of this inscription shows that most probably the objective of the sign board is different from the regular Indus seals encountered so far. 

                              The place of finding of  an object in the archaeological site is important to interpret the nature of an object. My interpretation is that "Dholavira" is a "burial place" , because of the reasons given in the page "Dholavira -Bhoot Pradesh". Further, a skeleton was found in a sitting position near this "Dholavira sign Board" (as per the information given by guide, not yet verified). 

                               All these points discussed in the page under "Bhoot Pradesh" shows that Dholavira was a kind of burial place and not a place for living people. My interpretation about the "Signboard " is that it could be indicating the name of the person, who had been buried in this place. Further, excavation below this sign board will reveal that there is the possibility of finding a skeleton below that sign board. The sign board is nothing but a "epitaph"(An inscription on a tombstone in memory of the   of a dead person over his grave). The analysis of the symbols involved shows  that this signboard has been written in the last phase of "Indus Valley civilization" and impact of Sanskrit words could be easily visualized.

Defects in "Signboard " theory:
1) I have not seen any castle with wooden sign board. If at all there was a sign board in that citadel, it would have been in stone engraving. Considering the need for durability and prestige attached with signboard of a citadel.
2) If  that site was occupied by a shop, then also the possibility of 10 feet long sign board is a difficult proposition.
3) It is really doubtful, if there was any kind of trace of wooden board available at the time of excavation, it looks like that it was merely an assumption that there could have been a wooden board.
4) If the wooden sign board had fallen from a higher elevation, it is unlikely that the letters would have survived the impact. In this case the letters have survived intact.
5) It is unlikely that any wooden engraving would have been studded with "gypsum". Generally wooden carvings are studded with elephant tusk or any different coloured wood. Gemstones are generally embedded only on white marble, like in Taj mahal Pietra dura work.
6) Finally, gypsum stone is not a semi precious gem, it is merely a variant of "Plaster of Paris"(Alabaster), which is a common, cheap material.
Final conclusion is that it is a "epitaph" over a grave and not a signboard.

Methodology of my Interpretation

1. First, I identified the figures (Objects) shown in the sign board.

2. Second, I searched for the Sanskrit names for the identified objects. Here , I would like to acknowledge that the online Sanskrit dictionary "Spokensanskrit"was quite useful in searching for the Sanskrit words. Follow the link given below for the online Sanskrit dictionary. http://spokensanskrit.de/

3. Third, I used the first letter of the object in syllable/Logo-gram/alphabetic way to get the sound. (Only exception is "Diamond" symbol (Fifth symbol), where i have used Rebus principle)

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 First step---
Objects in the logogram identified
 Wheel Mallet LeafWheel Diamond LambdaBreak
ChakraChakra Two-Wheels
 Second step--Sanskrit name of the object identified  Chakra MudgaraPatra  Chakra Hira Lambda   Chakra  ChakraDwi-chakra
 Third step --
First syllable of the word is taken
 Cha Mu Pa Cha Hi La
 Cha Cha D
 It does not make any sense, hence slight modifications were carried out "Cha"
is taken out from
"M" are variations
of the 
same syllable

  "Cha" ---changed to "Ka" other name for chakra is"Kataka"

to "Hira"
to rebus
 "La" expanded
to "Lal"
 Fourth step ---
syllables were modified to correct the sound
 Cha M Pa Ka Hira Lal  ChaCha  D

The conclusion is that the name of the buried person could be  read as "Champaka Hiralal Chachad" ("Champaka" means "Champak" flower, a fragrant flower)   (Hiralal is very common name in Rajasthan and Gujarat even today) ("Chachad" is an existing family name in Rajasthan and Gujarat as on today)

Equivalent Sanskrit words for objects identified
 Wheel Mallet Pipal Leaf Diamond Chevron Two wheels 
Here the entire word "Hira" is taken after following rebus principle
 Similar to Greek "Lambda symbol"
Hence taken as "La" sound.
Dwi - Chakra 

Notes to this  Interpretation ---

1.There are many Sanskrit words for a single object with totally different phonetic sounds.

2. The logo-gram "wheel" has been assigned with two different sounds in this interpretation --- first "Cha" sound, and second "Ka " sound.

3. Greek word  "Lambda" is used instead of known Indian letters or words (Sixth Symbol). This symbol also looks like alphabet "Gamma" of ancient Cretan Greek. 

4. Instead of "ChaChaji ---It could be "KaKaji" also

5.The word "Hiralal" has a Greek connection. This word literally means "Person dear to Goddess Heera". Heera is of course the ancient Greek goddess. "Lal" is a common suffix to North Indian's name as on today.

6. All these Greek influence shows that this sign board had been written in the very last phase of IVC. (Or) Most probably after the Alexander invasion of India or after the arrival of Indo Greek rulers in India. https://sites.google.com/site/greekinfluenceonindia/home/indo--greek-rulers-of-india

7. All artifacts available in this archaeological site should not be construed as belonging to IVC period, because it was a graveyard and had been used as a graveyard over thousands of years, starting from 3000BC to 1900AD.(Till the date of excavation).

8. All the artifacts extracted from this site should be properly carbon dated to arrive at the exact age of the artifact. It should not be just assumed that just because one artifact  belongs to 2000 BC, other objects nearby also will be of the same period. There could be drastic difference in the age of artifacts.

9. The leaflet issued by the Archaeology department of India about this site reveals that there are seven different layers of settlement  in this place. This fact further confirms that this site had been continuously used for over a period of 5000 years. Our Indian archaeologists lead by R.S.Bisht and others are saying that it was under continuous habitation, whereas my opinion is that it was under continuous use as a "Grave Yard".

10. The second possible interpretation for "Two - Wheels" logo-gram could be that they are Bracelets / bangles/ear rings/ and not wheels.  Bracelet means "Indra" (Jyestha) as per Jyotisha vedanga table serial no. 18.Bracelet Jyestha (Indra) sound of the syllables "Jy" and "Ji" are the same. If "Ji" syllable is applied to the last letter of this Dholovira signboard word, it gives the meaning of "ChaChaji".  "Chacha"means "Uncle" in Hindi and "Ji" is a  honorary suffix term.

References ---


Comments to indus valley civilization site