"We want to find the bedrock against which all further interpretation of the language should be checked," These are the words of Mayank Vahia, an astrophysicist in the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research in Mumbai.
Vahia is just one of the members in the team of mathematicians and computer scientists from institutions in the United States and India. It was they who opposed and rejected the claims of scholars who declared that the ancient tablet script found in the Indus Valley is but “rudimentary pictograms” adding that the ancient people, who ages ago had lived there, were illiterate. They had, since then, started their work in solving the puzzle that may say more on the ancient civilizations that once graced the earth.
The Harappan scripts are but one of the epitome of a long lost civilization that once thrive the Indus region. Like the Rosetta Stone, which was found in the Delta in the town of Rosetta (Rashid), this ancient text is yet to be understood as many tried to decipher it for decades--Vahlia and his team being presently involved it’s this study.
Since it was first excavated, up to the present, the Indus civilization is covered in mystery with the Harrapan script left to be deciphered. Even with the uncovering of evidences of large sanitation and bathhouses, which suggests that an empire, larger and older than other known ancient empires are seemingly not enough unless by some luck a new tablet, which may serve in helping decode the Harappa scripts, is dug up.
As published last April and August; in Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences, respectively, Vahlia’s team had incorporated the use of computer modeling to prove their part that the Harappan text do carry communicated language. Since claiming the study, they have studied the scripts comparing it to other ancient scripts, using a computer program. After the series of test, they state that the script has similar entropy to other writings. “Conditional entropy” is defined as “a degree of randomness in a given sequence”. It was using this theory that the team had quantified the said ancient scripts.
For years the Harrapan had been claimed by Scholars from Southern India to be of proto-Dravidian: (1) the fact that Dravidian language was spoken in the West Indus, Brahui (Baluchistan and Afghanistan); (2) Rig Veda, the first of the four religious Hindu scripture, is in the form of Dravidian; and (3) Sanskrit has borrowed words from the Dravidian. However, even with claim, it seems that this is not enough.
The secrets of the Ancient Civilization in the Indus Valley may be kept hidden from the world for more years to come. But with an open mind and determination to bring on ideas, there’s a possibility that the pieces of the jigsaw may fall in place and be solved. ‘Till then we are bound to suspense with the mysteries that the ancients keep.
This composition is made as a background check
on the study in uncovering the mysteries of the ancient civilization that once thrived in the Indus Valley.