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Friday, April 24, 2009

'Indus Valley civilization was literate'

The 4,000-year-old Indus Valley civilization that thrived on the Indo-Pak border might have been a literate society which used a script close to present day languages like Tamil, Sanskrit and English, reveals a new finding announced on Thursday. A group of Indian scientists have conducted a statistical study of the symbols found in the Indus Valley remains and compared them with various linguistic scripts and non-linguistic systems like DNA and computer programming. They found that the inscriptions closely matched those of spoken languages such as Tamil, Sanskrit and English. The results published in the journal Science show that the Indus script could be “as-yet-unknown language”. An article in 2004 claimed that the Indus script does not represent language at all, but just represented religious or political symbols. The claim was made that the Indus civilization was not a literate civilisation,” Rajesh Rao, lead author at the Washington University said. “At this point we can say that the Indus script seems to have statistical regularities that are in line with natural languages,” he added.


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